A wasp is a flying insect of the ecosystem which has great economic importance. It feeds on insects; hence, it is suitable for insect control.
It also helps in cross-pollination since the adult feeds on pollen and nectars of flowers.
However, wasps become pests due to their aggressive nature, ability to hold grudges, and defending their homes by stinging any trespassers. A wasp colony can find and attack you out of grievance for killing one of them, even if it were accidentally.
Having this type of insect in your home is detrimental, hence a need for control.
If you do not want to be a victim of wasp stings, you need to know how to get rid of wasps.
We will learn how to get rid of wasps and do so naturally in this article. We will also discuss how to get rid of wasps quickly and what repels them.
Continue reading to learn more.
An overview of wasps
An adult wasp has a head, thorax, and abdomen. It has a stinger with which it stings its prey, especially spiders, and paralyzes them to feed its larvae.
Over 30 000 species of wasps exist, and the most common ones are the mud daubers, paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. Paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are social and live in colonies, while mud daubers are solitary; hence, they live alone.
- Paper wasps: These are brownish-black wasps with yellow or red markings. They are about three-quarters to one inch long. You can find their nests under eaves, around buildings or on sturdy plants closer to the ground.
- Hornets: A hornet is a black wasp with light yellow strips about 1.25 inches in size. It makes its nests from paper and paper-like materials. A hornet’s nest can be found in high trees, sturdy areas in buildings, etc. A hornet wasp population is very aggressive and will attack to defend their nests.
- Yellow jackets: Yellow jackets have black and bright yellow patterns. They are about 3/8 to 5/8 inches in size. Yellow jackets use paper-like materials to build their nests, which can be found in the ground, hanging from structures and inside structures. A hornet is usually mistaken for a yellow jacket.
- Mud daubers: Mud daubers build their nests out of mud; hence, the name. A mud dauber is black with yellow markings on its leg. It is much more slender than a hornet and yellow jacket. It is about half to one inch long and is known for being docile. It would instead move on to a new place when you destroy its nest than to attack you.
Wasps are different from bees as they feed on insects like spiders and beetles, unlike bees that feed solely on nectars and pollen. They also have smooth stingers that allow them to sting their prey continuously.
The sting of a wasp is painful, and anyone that falls victim should seek treatment immediately. Treat the sting site to prevent infection and other complications. Summer is the peak period for wasps, so it is best to wear long sleeves whenever you are outdoor.
How do you keep wasps away?
To keep wasps away for good, here are things to do:
1. Keep your home less attractive to them
The more appealing your home is to wasps, the more they will flock to it.
One of the best ways to remove them is to keep your home less attractive for them to build a nest. Wasps are attracted to sweet things, so ensure that your garbage cans are closed at all times and waste is disposed of properly.
You also need to drastically reduce the insect population as wasps need them to raise their young ones.
Avoid cultivating plants with bright flowers in your garden or plant pest-repellent plants alongside, as they are attracted to bright colors.
Turn off the light at night or install dimmed ones so that you do not attract insects that will, in turn, attract wasps. Seal entrance gaps that may serve as access for them into your home. Remove any abandoned and inactive nest with holes to prevent takeovers from solitary wasps.
2. Build a fake wasp nest
Building a fake wasp nest is an efficient wasp control method as it repels wasps.
Wasps do not takeover an active wasp nest as they are extremely territorial, so you can build a fake nest to deceive them and discourage them from nesting. You can create a paper-like wasp nest and coat it with dead insects to ward off wasps looking for an empty wasp nest.
3. Keep insect predators
Some insect predators like Starlings and Orioles feed on wasps, and keeping them on your property will help in wasp control.
Attract these predators with bird feeders or birdbaths, so they stop by the wasp nest on your property to eat their food source.
However, ensure that you look out for other bird pests that may attract other predators or, worse, destroy your garden or become pests themselves.
What smells do wasps hate?
Wasps hate some scent and steer clear when they perceive them. Some of these scents even affect wasps profoundly as it paralyzes and kills them.
These scents are from some plants and are beneficial for pest control of wasps. Here are some of the smells that repel wasps:
- Thyme citronella
Wasps hate these smells because they are pungent, making them suitable for population control of wasp on your property. You can plant some of them in any area with a wasp nest. The scents will force them to evacuate the nest and move on to another nest without them. Peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, geranium, and lemongrass are highly recommended.
You can create essential oil blends out of them and apply them directly to your home. It will repel wasps that want to invade your property, especially during summer. You may also create a solution by adding water and then spray all over your property.
Please take caution when spraying directly or close to the wasp nest as some wasps could attack you; suppose they are there. To avoid this, wear protective apparatus like goggles, face shield, gloves, and overalls.
During the peak season of wasp infestation, it may be hard not to get stung as they may tangle in your clothes.
You may accidentally come in contact with them and get stung out of panic. You can rub these essential oils on your body to repel these pests. Wormwood plant is rare to cultivate in gardens because it is poisonous; however, you can get dried cuttings and place them around your home.
What is the natural way to get rid of wasps?
In some areas, the authorities frown on some eradication methods of wasps for environmental and animal rights reasons, so the best way to get rid of wasps is naturally. The natural ways to eliminate wasps are:
1. Cultivating pest-repellent plants
Pest-repellent plants are known to keep wasps away due to their pungent smell. Plants like Peppermint, spearmint, basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, thyme citronella, and lemongrass are wasp repellent.
Cultivating them in your garden will help eliminate any wasp colony nesting there. You can also grow them in flower pots and put them on your window sills to remove wasps from your home.
You can grow them around the perimeter of your property to keep wasps out permanently. You can also keep the flower pots of these plants in attics and any other area with wasp nests.
Many of these plants also repel other insects that serve as sources of food for the wasp population. The wasps will inevitably leave since there will be less or nothing to eat or nurture their larvae.
2. Using dishwater
The combination of soap and water has proven to be one natural way to repel wasps.
When wasps come in contact with dishwater, they suffer from suffocation and inability to breathe due to clogged breathing spores. They die immediately, making it suitable for eliminating wasps naturally. Dishwater is readily available, as all you need is liquid soap in water.
You can get dishwater and spray near the wasp nest. You can also pour it in ground holes harboring mud daubers and other wasp species that nest in the ground.
Please take caution when spraying close to the wasp nest as there may be a sudden attack from the wasps inside it. Wear overalls, gloves, face shield, goggles for protection.
You can add drops of essential oil blends to stop the wasps from coming back to their nests for better results.
3. Using Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is a known strong wasp repellent in its plant form; however, it is highly suitable for eliminating wasps in its oil form. Peppermint oil is one of the common home remedies that keep wasps away.
You can add drops of this oil in any area with the presence of a wasp nest. Its spicy scent will force the wasps to evacuate from there and find somewhere else. You can also pour the oil in holes where you suspect a wasp nest.
Make sure you are well-protected when you do so to prevent attacks from the wasps. Peppermint scent is refreshing and pleasant for humans, so you can apply on your skin during the peak season of wasp infestation to prevent wasp stings.
How do you get rid of wasps quickly?
Getting rid of wasps is not an easy task due to the possibility of many stings. Killing wasps fast will protect you from massive stinging and will help you adhere to animal rights regulations. Here are ways to eliminate wasps quickly:
1. Set Wasp traps
Setting traps for wasps is one quick way to eliminate them.
It prevents them from attacking you and can also be beneficial in case of relocation. When you bait these insects, you can kill them as fast as possible, getting them out of the picture. You can get a manufactured wasp trap or make yours.
How to make a wasp trap
What to use
- A piece of lunch meat
- A two-liter bottle
- Rope, string, wire or twine
- Scissors to cut
- Hole puncher
- ½ cup of soda
- 1/8 cup of vinegar
What to do
- Cut the soda bottle at the end of the top slope of the head.
- Add in the soda, vinegar and lunch meat.
- Place the cut-off head into the bottle in a funnel-like position.
- Punch holes on the bottle at each side of the top. Attach the rope or twine to hang it on a tree or your porch.
How it works
The mixture will attract the wasps to the trap, and they will slide in through the opening. However, they cannot leave because of the narrow exit. The scent of vinegar will eventually suffocate it.
2. Use chemicals
Using chemicals to treat wasp nests is a quick way to eliminate wasps.
They come in liquid and powder forms. Try to purchase the best wasp and hornet chemical products at your local pesticide store. These chemicals kill wasps instantly; this is why they are the most effective treatment of wasp infestation.
However, they are not suitable for the environment and can have adverse effects on humans and pets, so using them is less encouraged.
For better results, apply with a spray tank with an extended nozzle so that you can be as far as possible from the nest.
Also, wear a face shield, coveralls, goggles, and gloves to avoid contact with the chemicals and even with the wasps. You have to drench the wasp nests in chemicals to ensure they die quickly and have no survivors.
When this is done, remove traces of their nests by destroying it to prevent possible re-infestation. If you cannot remove the nest, you will need to continue spraying with chemicals for two weeks to ensure all the immature wasps are no longer viable.
The powdered form is applied similarly but used mostly for eliminating wasp nest in the ground. Some of these products will have rights reserved based on your state’s law and regulations regarding its use for killing wasps.
3. Call in a wasp exterminator
It is possible to do everything and still have a wasp problem. When this occurs, you need to call in a wasp exterminator. This is a professional certified in residential and communal elimination of these insects. Contact your local authorities for a wasp exterminator.
Ensure you discuss all your previous attempts to remove wasps from areas with an infestation. After selecting a suitable professional, set a date for the extermination and prepare adequately. It may take a few days, so you will probably take your valuables, family and pets, and evacuate your house for a while.
Wasps can be challenging to eliminate, especially the hornets and yellow jackets. If you have an infestation on your hands, you can employ the above approaches for control or call in a professional for help.