Tower climber here dealing with hornets

Tree Hooligan

New Member
Hey guys not looking for a fast way away from hornets but more along protection ideas. 2 days ago I had a guy severely attacked but bald faced hornets. Literally had over 75+ that we could count hits. At 200ft it cant be shot with wasp spray easy. So we are looking at alternative techniques. Maybe carried protection or the sort. As someone who is transitioning to tree work I understand the panic. He ended up getting stung repeatedly in the eyeballs (yes eyeballs) and let go which he fell into his safety lanyard and was pretty much a pinata. I managed to recover him and do a successful rescue. Just looking at preventative ideas. Thanks
 

Tree Hooligan

New Member
I was able to attach him to the safety line and lower. Just didnt know if there was maybe a special spray or how you guys get out of a situation like that.
 

Tree Hooligan

New Member
Thanks I'll have to listen! We use a petzl id and rope grab but he was in a spot where he had to manually lanyard to get to. I guess an option would be to run separate safety lines. Just not normal practice. We run 1 set for emergencies but this time was on the opposite side of the climbing surface.
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
Jesus. I cant imagine much that could potentially help if you get surprised...maybe a mesh hood to throw over your helmet to stop them from STINGING YOUR EYEBALLS!!! Head neck and face shots are most threatening, a small head net could fit in a pocket?
 

Little buddy

New Member
I'm getting into the tree business after 14yrs in the pest control industry. I would get a bee suite (some cheap ones on Amazon), and us a contact kill aresole insecticide. I use a P.I. made by prescription treatment. You need inject it directly into the side of the nest with a straw tip. (Like on a wd40 can) It kills the nest in about 30 seconds. Be careful after the treatment as you can have some returning to the nest that might not like what they see. Regular wasp killer will not kill the hornets inside the nest. I attach the can to a pole with duct tape to reach a nest that is not within my reach. This method also works well with yellow jackets.
 
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JeffGu

Well-Known Member
I only climb trees and ham radio towers under 100' these days... but the best defense is to see them before you get close enough to piss them off. If I can't see likely nest sites, I take a can of the 20' wasp spray up with me, and if I see a spot where there might be a nest, I set up for a fast descent and give it a squirt, them move down a little. If nothing happens, I keep going up. The spray will always set at least a few of them out flying. From that distance, they're unlikely to figure out that you're the cause of their misery, so getting down isn't as much of a problem.

A drone might very well be a viable solution to seeing the hive before you start your ascent. If the tower looks like it might harbor hornets/wasps, you could at least know your enemy is waiting there. That would be the time for the bee suit and the big gun chemicals.
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Bald face are the worst. They seem to zero in on the face for some reason. I can't imagine 75+ hits. Drone would be the best way to assess the situation, next would be using a good powerful pair of binoculars before you go up.
 

samsquatch

Active Member
Paintball guns! destroy the nest & come back in a couple days? I can't tell if I'm joking or not, but that's the first thing that comes to mind. Your LTE tower is likely in rural or secluded area, you may get away with firing a spud gun up there too :)
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Hey guys not looking for a fast way away from hornets but more along protection ideas. 2 days ago I had a guy severely attacked but bald faced hornets. Literally had over 75+ that we could count hits. At 200ft it cant be shot with wasp spray easy. So we are looking at alternative techniques. Maybe carried protection or the sort. As someone who is transitioning to tree work I understand the panic. He ended up getting stung repeatedly in the eyeballs (yes eyeballs) and let go which he fell into his safety lanyard and was pretty much a pinata. I managed to recover him and do a successful rescue. Just looking at preventative ideas. Thanks
Very early in the morning.. The little bastards are ectothermic, so below a certain temperature they are lethargic. Their guards tag you with a pheromone, that tells the rest of the hive you're a bastard. 75 stings is no joke.. Once stung seriously avoid the area by about 50 yards, because they will home in on you. They go for moist warm areas, aka eye's and mouth.
 

samsquatch

Active Member
Could paintballs be drained of paint then reinjected with insecticide?
Hey, there's a patent idea!
I was just thinking to destroy the nest by brute force. Question for the pest control guys: will destroying the nest get rid of them or will they stick around to try to rebuild one close by?
 

Little buddy

New Member
They would build close by most likely. The paintball with insecticide is interesting if it was a powder/dust. You need something that expands inside the nest.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Hey, there's a patent idea!
I was just thinking to destroy the nest by brute force. Question for the pest control guys: will destroying the nest get rid of them or will they stick around to try to rebuild one close by?
I've cut limbs or felled trees with nests in them.. They tend to swarm the same location in empty space where their nest use to be for quite some time. Best not to be there, but the few times I have they seem pre occupied rather than vengeful, however I'm always a good distance away
 
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