How to get rid of Wasps

wasps vespula germanica how to get rid of

Having to deal with a wasp nest in the vicinity of your home can prove to be quite troublesome, especially if you have small children or someone with an allergy to wasp stings in the area. When dealing with a wasp infestation, be sure to always wear protective clothing and approach the nest at night, when the wasps are less active. Before acting, also make sure you are not allergic to their stings, so better set up an allergy test with your doctor.
Make sure the nest you want to tackle is a wasp nest and not a bee one. Bee populations are in significant decline, so make sure you preserve the ones you find, as in some areas, it can also be illegal to remove their nests and harm bees.
Wasps are also an important part of the ecosystem, as they pollinate plants and flowers and eat other garden pests such as caterpillars. Make sure you are indeed in dire need of removing the wasp nest, as sometimes, if they are far enough from a house, they can actually be quite helpful.

wasps vespula germanica how to get rid of

Identify the type of wasps

Before engaging in any kind of activity that has the purpose of removing a wasp nest from your property, you need to identify the type of wasps you are dealing with. After making sure you are not having issues with bees, but wasps indeed, you need to establish what kind of wasps have built a nest on your property. There are three main types of wasps that can affect you.

Paper wasps:

  • Have long bodies and legs, in comparison to other wasp species
  • They have large nests, which are exposed and with visible combs
  • Nests are usually built in sheltered areas and have an umbrella form
  • They only attack if threatened
  • Their sting can be painful and dangerous

Yellow jackets:

  • Have thick waists, black antennae and short legs
  • They tend to create covered nests, especially in enclosed spaces or cavities in the ground
  • They are aggressive, as they sting multiple times and attack in swarms

Hornets:

  • The largest type of social wasp
  • The bald-faced hornet is easily recognisable due to the white markings on its head and thorax
  • The bald-faced hornet is the most common hornet found in America
  • The European hornet is recognisable due to its brown and orange markings
  • Their nests are found in tree trunks and wall cavities.

Once you have established the type of wasps you are dealing with, you can choose the best method of action. It is best to do this as early in the year as possible, as this will affect the level of success of your activity. The sooner you manage to remove the nest from your property, the easiest it is to deal with the situation. As time passes, the nests get bigger and have more individuals which can become a potential threat. To be able to fight them, you need to understand how they operate, and why it’s better to act sooner than later.

The queen normally selects a spot for the nest, early in spring. She will build a small portion to house the first worker wasps that arrive. They will then continue the construction of the nest, and work to expand it. This is how a colony of wasps manages to grow in a few months. They will develop from spring to summer, and reach their peak in August, with the last brood of wasps being born at the end of summer. This is when male wasps and the next year’s queens are born, so the colony becomes very protective of them and more aggressive towards anyone approaching the nest. This is why the best time for destroying a nest is earlier in the spring, when its size and inhabitants are not so dangerous. If you do not find the nest until late summer or the beginning of fall, keep in mind that the freezing night-time temperatures will naturally kill the colony, and you can simply dispose of the nest after this happens. Tackling it when the colony is at its peak is quite difficult and dangerous.

Getting rid of wasps with chemicals

The best season for removing nests, as already established, is spring. But when it comes to the moment of the day, the best time to do it is at night, as that is when wasps are least active, less aggressive and have a slower reaction time. Avoid lighting your way with a flashlight, as that bright light will only attract them towards you. Better use a red or amber coloured light in order to have safe visibility when applying a type of treatment or control method at night, on a wasp nest. Make sure you also have a safe route to escape the area, in case the wasps do attack. Make sure there is no one else outside, and you have a clear path to get to safety, as once you spray the nest, for example, the wasps will become agitated and might start to swarm towards you.
The main way of dealing with a wasp nest is normally spraying it with some type of aerosol insecticide. Most wasp poisons kill on contact, but it is better to check the exact products you plan to use, before applying them, to make sure they are applicable or not. The difference in the type of aerosol insecticide you use comes from the type of wasps you are facing.

For the ones that have underground nests, such as the yellow jackets, you can use a spray that is not labelled as a projectile spray. For the nests that are elevated, you will need to use a projectile spray that will ensure a stream of insecticide of 20 ft in length, to be able to allow you enough distance, to make a quick escape.
When applying the insecticide, target the bottom opening of the nest, to make sure it spreads quickly inside the nest. Leave the area and let the spray take effect during the night. The next evening you can repeat the process, if you still see activity around the nest. Once you are no longer seeing activity around the nest, you can carefully approach it and knock it down with a long stick, just to be at a safe distance. Break the nest and soak it up with insecticide, and then dispose of it and the dead wasps immediately.

Aerosol insecticides for Wasps control:

Fogging concentrated insecticides for Wasps control:

You can also use insecticidal dust, especially when it comes to underground nests. If it is properly applied, it can be quite effective against the wasps that tend to nest underground. A hand-duster can be used and disperse some puffs of insecticide dust in the nest opening. This type of treatment should also be applied late at night, as a yellow jacket nest is less active then. Be careful when approaching such an area and wear protective clothes as yellow jackets are extremely aggressive when disturbed. After applying the dust, do not cover the opening of the nest. Leave it open and allow the wasps to enter and exit freely. By doing this, their body will get coated with the insecticide dust and they will also carry it to the centre of their nest, contaminating others as well.
Insecticide dusts will deter wasps or hornets from returning the following season and kill emerging wasps. It will continue to kill for 6 months or more in areas where the dust is protected.

Dusting insecticides for Wasps control:

If you prefer to use less invasive solutions, you can use a mixture of water and dish soap and apply it as a spray. It is said that this mixture is quite effective against wasps as it coats their wings with soap and prevents them from flying, while also clogging their breathing spores and killing them quickly. Make sure the mixture comes in direct contact with the wasps. It might be necessary to repeat the process, be certain that all the wasps have been removed.

Getting rid of wasps naturally

When it comes to pesticide free ways of deterring away wasps, you can use the classic smoke method. You can build a fire beneath the nest and the smoke that rises and enters the nest will suffocate and kill the wasps. You can combine this method with another one, such as the dish soap and water one, to make sure you cover and eliminate all the wasps in the nest. After leaving the smoke to rise for a few hours, you can apply the mixture and only later knock down the nest and dispose of it. Make sure you use the smoke method only for aerial nests hanging from branches or other exposed areas. It is not a suitable removal method for nests that are located in doorways, eaves or anywhere else closer to the house.

Drowning aerial nests is also a possibility, but again, you need to be careful when approaching it and always wear protective gear. Place a cloth bag over the nest and tie it at the top. After doing this, pull the nest from its location and place it in a bucket of water.

As with any other pest, sanitation around the house is very important. Wasps can be attracted to foods that are rich in sugar, but also meat and pet food. Make sure you do not dispose of these types of food outside, without throwing them and properly sealing them inside a garbage can. You can also grow plants that deter wasps around your house. Wormwood, eucalyptus, mint and citronella are natural wasp deterrents, so planting them around the house will be quite useful. Such plants are also useful in the form of essential oils. Peppermint oil, as well as a blend of lemongrass, clove and geranium essential oils can be used to keep wasps at bay. Applying them on cotton balls and placing them in strategic locations, where wasps would normally build their nests, will protect your home, as the insects will now avoid the area.
Using fake nests is also a trick that can keep the wasps away. As they are known to be very territorial, they will avoid your property, if they think another colony is already established there.

Traps for Wasps control:

Traps are used to monitor or reduce the population of insects or other pests. They can be used against crawling, flying insects, mice, rats, cats, dogs, snakes, etc., and depending on the type of action of the trap, there are several classifications.

Using traps can be an effective method of control. You can make your own with just a 2 liter plastic bottle and some water and sugar mixture. By cutting the top from a two-liter bottle and inverting it inside the bottom, you can create such a trap. Remove the bottle and place the mixture inside. You can also use soda, beer or any other sweet liquid, as the wasps will be attracted by it. Hang your trap and wait for it to fill with wasps, and you can them dispose of its content. As the wasps are attracted to the content, they get inside the trap, but are unable to exit. If you also add a bit of dish soap to the mixture, it will also render them unable to fly. There are also attractant traps on the market, should you prefer to buy an already built one.

Spraying concentrated insecticides for Wasps control:

Sprayers used for Wasps control:

  • birchmeier sprayer garden star - 1, small

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    • 20 liters
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    • 5 liters
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    SG 71

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    409

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    456

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    461

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    462

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    475

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    • 12 liters
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    • 10 liters
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    Micronizer M2000

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    ES 5 M

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    ES 10 M

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    • 10 liters
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    505T Profiline

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      Type of Apparatus:

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    • 5 liters
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    Classic 1200

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      Type of Apparatus:

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      Manufacturer:

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      Tank Capacity:

    • 12 liters
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    Classic 1800

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      Type of Apparatus:

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      Manufacturer:

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      Tank Capacity:

    • 18 liters
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    Hobby 10

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    Prima 5-42E

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    • 5 liters
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    Prima 8

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    • 8 liters
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    Pro 10

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    3594P Resistent Plus

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      Type of Apparatus:

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      Tank Capacity:

    • 4 liters
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    3592P Resistent Extra Plus

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    €201.81

      Type of Apparatus:

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      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 liters
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    3615G Inox

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      Type of Apparatus:

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    • 10 liters
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    3552 RS125

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    €114.87

      Type of Apparatus:

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    • 12 liters
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    3232R Flori

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    €27.48

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      Type of Apparatus:

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    3541G Stabilus

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    475 Comfort

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      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

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    • 15 liters
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    Hobby Star 5

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    • 5 liters
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    458

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    • Solo

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    510T Profiline

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    • Mesto

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    • 1.5 liters
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    3132Gr Bugsi 360

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    • Mesto

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    • 1.5 liters
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    REC 15 ABZ

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    • 15 liters
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    Vario Gun

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      Type of Apparatus:

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    • Birchmeier
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    424 Nova

    €94.64

      Type of Apparatus:

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    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 16 liters
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    3595F Inox Plus

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    €233.35

      Type of Apparatus:

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    • Mesto

      Tank Capacity:

    • 6 liters
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    Spray-Matic 5 S

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      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 liters
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    Maxi 1.0

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    • 1 liter
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    404

    €10.95

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 2 liters
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    Micronizer Jolly M5V35

    €90.25

      Type of Apparatus:

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      Manufacturer:

    • Volpi

      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 liters
  • eu birchmeier sprayer fogger bobby 0 5 - 7, small

    Bobby 0.5

    €30.27

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Birchmeier

      Tank Capacity:

    • 0.5 liters

An integrated approach is always the best solution when it comes to fighting wasps. By applying a variety of control and prevention methods, you are sure to reach the successful result you want. Whether you choose to use mechanical or insecticidal controls, physical removal or traps, or whether you modify the area around your home in order to make it unsuitable for wasps to build nests, make sure you always wear protective gear and clear the area in case there are allergic persons around.
No matter what deterring method you choose, keep in mind that prevention is also important, if you want to avoid future issues with other such infestations. Check out our article regarding ways in which you can ‘Prevent infestation with Wasps’, and see what type of sanitation and exclusion methods can be applied.

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