How to Get Rid of Wasps Naturally
Wasps, one of nature’s most feared and gruesome creatures. Their long thin and thick bodies often remind us of something almost primeval. Anyone who has ever done battle with wasps around their home knows what awful creatures they can be. I am one of those people.
Last spring, there were wasps everywhere around our house. They were buzzing by our front porch, hovering around our cars, flying over our heads and pretty much constantly around us anytime we were outside. As we try our best to be green, we tried to live with them, knowing that if we did not bother them, they would not bother us. However, they were everywhere, so it was very difficult. Then, one day, a wasp got trapped between the storm door and the front door of our house. When our daughter came home and opened the storm door to get into the house, the wasp darted out and stung her. I will never forget the sound of her cry when that happened.
That was the day that I decided that the wasps had to go. But, I still wanted to be green about it, so I looked into how to get rid of wasps naturally and here is what I found (we recently wrote about how to get rid of ground bees naturally as well).
The first thing I learned about wasps are that there are different kinds of them. For example, a paper wasp, which builds a nest that looks somewhat like a bee’s honeycomb, is actually a beneficial wasp. Paper wasps live in small colonies, are not very aggressive and are not likely to sting people unless they feel like they are being attacked. They eat many pests that can cause trouble in your garden. Mud wasps, or mud daubers, are another kind of fairly docile wasp. They are solitary wasps and also prey on insects that can cause problems in the yard. However, yellow jackets and hornets are other types of wasps that live in large colonies, are very aggressive and will defend their homes to the death.
So, if you have paper wasps or mud daubers living around your house, but not on it and they do not bother you, it may be best to leave them be, as they are actually helping rid your local area of insect pests. On the other hand, if there are hornets or yellow jackets anywhere around your house, it is probably best to try to get rid of them.
So, when it comes to getting rid of wasps naturally, there are two ways in which you can do so: preventative or getting rid of established nests.
The best way to stop a wasp problem is to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. There are some easy things you can do in the early spring to help reduce the wasp population around your house and discourage wasps from making nests on our near your home.
Use a fake hornet’s nest
This is just simply a brilliant idea. Wasps are very territorial creatures. If they see what they think is another wasp’s nest, they will not build a nest within 200 yards of it. So, simply by hanging up one fake hornet’s nest in your backyard and one in your front yard, you can prevent wasps from building nests anywhere around your house. You can build your own fake hornet’s nest or you can buy them for pretty cheap.
Build a trap
Another way to cut down the wasp population and keep them from building nests around your house is to trap them before they build a nest. It is easy to build your own wasp trap.
- Take a 2 liter soda bottle and cut off the top, about 5 inches down from the top. Keep the top, as you will be using it later.
- Add small rocks to the bottom of it to weigh it down.
- Fill it halfway full with water and add in a few drops of hand or dish soap and stir it up.
- Get some honey and smear it on the outside of the very top of the soda bottle.
- Turn the cut off top section of the bottle upside down and put it into the bottom section of the bottle.
- Secure the upside down top portion using duct tape or staples.
- Place the trap outside where you have seen wasps flying around your house.
The trap works by allowing wasps to fly into it via the hole in the top. But, once the wasps fly in, they cannot figure out how to get out and they end up becoming tired and fall into the water and drown.
After you place your trap, you should start to see wasps floating in the water after a day or so. Make sure to empty the trap every day or two. If you get too many dead wasps floating in the water, the other wasps can use their bodies are a raft and stay alive inside of the trap. When you go to clean it out, they may be able to escape and will not be very happy and will take their anger out on you! Also, make sure that you put the dead wasps inside a sealed container that will not be opened for a few days, as apparently some of the wasps may survive and if you open the container, they can come out stinging, or worse, go back to their nests to get some friends and come back mad.
If you are worried about appearances, you can also buy a nice looking glass trap that is very effective and looks better around your house.
Prevention is great, but what if you already have wasp nests on our around your house?
Getting Rid of Established Nests
Instead of reaching for a can of wasp spray full of nasty chemicals, try these natural methods to get rid of established wasp nests. Caution: whenever trying to get rid of wasp nests, you should only attempt to do so at dusk or night when the wasps are asleep and the cooler temperatures make it harder for them to fly! You should also wear a lot of clothing to prevent stings. If you are allergic to wasp stings, have someone else do the removal!
Use Boiling Water
If you have a ground nest in your yard, a great way to get rid of it without spraying it with chemicals is to use boiling water. Wait until dusk or night and go out to the nest with a large pot of boiling water. Pour the entire pot of water down into the nest and hightail back into the house. This method is less effective than an insecticide, but it will not damage the environment. You may have to repeat this method 2 or 3 times to finish off the entire nest.
If you have a ground nest, you can mix half water and half dish soap in a large bucket. Again, wait until night when the wasps are asleep and dump the entire bucket contents down into the nest and run back into the house. Again, you will likely have to do this 2 or 3 times to kill the entire nest.
If there is a nest high up on the house or in a tree, you can mix half water and half dish soap in a bucket and suck it up with a super soaker watergun. Go outside with the water gun and spray the nest, getting it as wet as possible before running back into the house. You can also use a garden hose end sprayer to do this. In that case, put pure dish soap in the end sprayer, as the water coming through will dilute it. Again, spray the nest and soak it as much as possible before running to safety. Do this 2 or 3 times until the entire nest is killed.
Finally, if you have a large nest in a tree and can persuade a friend to help you out, you can fill a large bucket with a lid (large enough to hold the nest) full of water and soap. Go out at night and hold the bucket directly below the nest. Have your friend cut the nest off of the branch so that it falls down into the bucket of water and then IMMEDIATELY shut the lid of the bucket and make sure it is sealed. Leave it sealed for a week to ensure all of the wasps have drowned. Then, take the nest out and bury it to prevent any remaining wasps from coming back to it.
Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called DIATOMS. It is naturally-occurring and does not cause harm to the environment. However, it kills insects by puncturing the insects exoskeleton and absorbing its body fluids, effectively drying them out to death.
Diatomaceous earth works well for ground nests as it is a powder and can easily be dumped into the nest. Again, do this only at night when the wasps are sleeping and run back to safety after you have dumped it into the nest. Just like other methods, it may require 2 or 3 applications to eradicate the entire nest.
Do you know any other ways to get rid of wasps naturally?
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