As we head into the summer months many of us are spending a lot more time working on our yards and enjoying the outdoors. Inevitably the warmer season also brings with it a rise in insects, including wasps. Wasps can be quite dangerous, so it is important to know how to get rid of wasps correctly to keep you and your family safe.
Spotting a wasp nest in your yard is very alarming. Stay on the lookout for their nests, especially when working in areas that have been left undisturbed all year. If they are surprised, they may sting defensively. Keep in mind that, even though wasps can be quite scary, they are some of the most common pests out there. This means that the problem can be effectively managed with the right techniques.
If you are concerned that you have a wasp problem, then continue reading. We will cover our top five tips for handling wasps safely so that you can get back to enjoying your yard.
Before you start, ensure that your problem is actually wasps and not honeybees. While bees can also sting, they are much gentler than wasps and their hives should be handled differently. Additionally, bees are critical for a healthy environment and should be conserved when possible, so it’s important not to mix them up.
1. Assess the Situation and Identify the Problem
If you have seen wasps flying around then you may have a nest. The first step will be to identify the source of the infestation. Keep in mind that there could be more than one colony as well. Killing individual wasps won’t be effective, so it’s important to get to the root of the problem.
Look in areas with overhangs, protected areas, and spots that you may not have touched much over the winter months. Common areas are sheds, the underside of outdoor structures, and even windowsills. If you do spot a nest, keep your distance. You do not want them to feel threatened.
If the nest is not in an obvious location, then it may be wise to wear safety gear while you’re looking. The last thing you want to do is stumble into a nest and disturb the colony. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and gloves. Avoid sandals and consider wearing glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.
2. How to Get Rid of Wasps: Drench the Nest
First things first, keep in mind that wasp removal can be a dangerous task! If you are allergic to any stinging insects, then consider calling in professionals. If the nest is in a hard-to-reach location, then make sure you have full access before starting
Nest drenching is the process of literally drenching the nest in insecticide specifically formulated for wasps. If the infestation is minor, then you can do this with a hand-held spray. For larger nests a long nozzle sprayer will need to be used.
Make sure that you are dressed safely and that you are prepared for any wasps that may fly out of the nest while you spray. Continue spraying until there are no more wasps emerging, and then carefully destroy the nest. Be sure that you have killed every wasp with the spray before you handle the nest itself.
3. How to Get Rid of Wasps: Dust the Nest
An alternative to nest drenching is nest dusting. Using this technique, you will cover the nest with a powder version of insecticide. Simply cover the nest and the area around it with the powder and re-apply consistently until the colony is killed.
There are pros and cons to dust and spray insecticides. Dusting the nest is the safer choice, as they are much less likely to emerge and sting. On the other hand, it is a slower method that could take weeks for full effect.
In general, it is best to dust nests that are a less immediate threat. This way the insecticide can take more time to work without causing a hazard to people or pets.
4. Natural Methods to Get Rid of Wasps
For many of us, the thought of spraying harsh insecticides in our homes and yards is unappealing. Luckily there are some natural remedies that can help with smaller infestations.
One option is a simple mixture of dish soap and water. For very small nests you can use this to drench the nest. However, be very careful, spraying water at a nest could alarm the wasps. A hose-end sprayer can do the job at a distance for outdoor nests.
Another option is to make a wasp trap. This is safer than spray, though may be less effective and will take more time. To do this you can place bait in a bottle with the top cut off. Once they fly in to get the bait, they will not be able to escape. Dispose of these traps very carefully and consider adding some vinegar to deter honeybees.
5. Prevention is the Best Treatment
Once you have handled a wasp problem one of the first questions you may have is how to prevent it from happening again. While wasps are quite common, there are some techniques to keep them from moving in again.
The first step is to keep your yard clean and all trash secured. Wasps will be attracted to any food, especially sweets, so make sure that they aren’t tempted by your bins. Fruit trees can be a similar attraction, so be sure to pick any ripe fruit as soon as possible.
Next you should make the environment less habitable for wasps. This includes lining all overhangs so that they are not able to build a nest there and filling in holes where yellow jackets might want to build in-ground nests. Seal your house well so that there are no hospitable crevices for them.
Another option is to spray the area where wasps might build nests using the same insecticide used to spray the nest itself. While this can be effective for keeping wasps away from overhangs or attractive spots, be careful not to spray your plants or areas where other insects and animals could be poisoned.
It might be wise to hang wasp traps even after you have gotten rid of a nest. This will help you identify the problem quickly if a new colony starts to build. Be sure to monitor any areas where you don’t often go, like sheds, and keep excess moisture down in your yard.
If you are worried about the safety of your family or your pets, then it could be time to bring in professional exterminators. If you are managing a large nest, multiple nests, or if anyone in the household is allergic to wasps then consider handing the job over to professionals.
Contact All Green Today
If you have questions about wasps or any other pests then please contact us at All Green Pest Control and Lawn Care. Our state-of-the-art equipment and techniques can help make sure that your yard stays safe and pest-free all summer long.