When dealing with those flying, buzzing yard pests, you have to make sure you know what you are battling. Honeybees are actually an asset to your garden and they typically won’t bother humans or animals unless they are threatened. Wasps and yellow jackets are a different story!
I don’t mind wasps, just not near my house. We’ve had some very interesting “ideas” or solutions on naturally keeping wasps away from the house. Have you ever heard of any of these?
- Paint your soffit a light blue they won’t build nests = no nests no wasps;)
- Hang a CD disc that really shines and moves with very little breeze…works great.
- “Baggies filled with water and pennies, hung about every 4ft around patio cover. Not 1 wasp has breached that barrier which is totally unbelievable. I had been going though 1can of wasp spray every 3 days! Also no flies!” via Facebook
- “If you can safely reach the nest, put Vaseline over the spot (WD-40 works too). They won’t rebuild there!” via Facebook
Those are a few “interesting ideas” but there are other natural steps you should take, to ensure you are not actually attracting them, and get rid of them once and for all. Read more below…
Wasp stings can certainly hurt, and if you are allergic to them they can be quite dangerous. Even so, fearing and hating wasps is not necessary.
While they are not as remarkably beneficial as bees when it comes to pollination, they are pollinators.
Wasps are also predators, so they help keep the populations of pest insects under control. For example, some types of wasps use grubs and caterpillars to feed their young.
There are also wasps that help keep the outdoors clean and tidy. Yellow jackets, for example, are scavengers. They use dead insects to feed their young.
There are even types of wasps and hornets that assist in the production of wine grapes. They feed on the late-season grapes that are filled with wild yeast.
When they feed their queen, the yeast stays with her through the winter and then is carried back to the grape plants by new wasps in the spring time.
Although many people believe that wasps are just aggressive and will attack for no reason, this is really untrue. Wasps simply seek to protect what they consider to be their territory.
Generally speaking, if you behave in a calm and quiet manner around wasps and don’t bother them, they will not bother you.
Be that as it may, sometimes wasps set up their nests in very inconvenient places where you cannot avoid encountering them.
What can you do about this? Here are a few natural and mostly humane ways that you can deal with wasps.
Spray Wasp Nests With A Non-Toxic Wasp Killing Solution
Using pesticides around your home is never a good idea. No matter what you are targeting, you are almost certain to kill or negatively impact innocent bystanders such as beneficial insects, your pets, your children and yourself.
Luckily, it is not necessary to use deadly poison to deal with wasps. Like most insects, they are very sensitive to dish soap. Spraying with a solution of dish soap and water will kill them off.
Depending on the location of the nest, you can deliver your dish soap and water mixture using your hose and garden sprayer or a spray bottle. Be sure to do this at night when the wasps are all on the nest and asleep.
Wear protective clothing (long sleeves, gloves and pants tucked into your socks or boots). Stand well back, and be ready to run just in case they wake up and come after you. This is unlikely to happen because wasps are generally very deep sleepers.
Move An Occupied Wasp Nest
It is possible to move a wasp nest, but it must be done very carefully. It’s best to do this early in the spring when the weather is cool and the wasp nest is not very big or populated yet.
To relocate a wasp nest, wait until it’s full dark on a cool evening and sneak up on the nest armed with a plastic container that has a tightly fitting lid.
You will also want a stiff piece of plastic or a very thin spatula.
Your plastic container (e.g. large yogurt tub) should be big enough to fit over the wasp nest securely. Put it in place and slide your thin piece of plastic or the blade of your spatula between the top of the tub and the surface that the nest is adhered to.
This should break the connection between the nest and the surface. Move the tub away from the surface just enough to slide the lid on and make sure it’s on good and tight.
Carry the tub far, far away from your house and set it down. Leave it alone for about an hour and then go back and take off the lid.
The next day the confused wasps will wake up and go about the business of building a new nest someplace else.
Doing Away With Underground Wasp Nests
Some types of wasps live underground. To do away with them, you must locate all of the entrances to their colony and block them off.
You can do this with bowls, plates, tiles or other solid items that will block the holes.
Be sure that whatever you use is large enough that it will prevent the wasps from simply digging around the item and getting away. Press the bowl, plate or tile into the ground deeply to make it difficult for them.
You can also pour some soapy water into each hole before putting the block in place. Be sure to carry out your scheme at night when the wasps are asleep.
How to Prevent Wasps Building a Nest in an Inconvenient Place
Naturally, If you remove a wasp nest, you do not want the wasps to come right back to your house and build a new nest. For this reason, you must make them think that “someone else” has already beat them to it.
In order to do this, you must put up a fake nest in place of their old nest. You can actually purchase ready-made fake wasp nests online, or you can make one yourself.
This is easy to do. Just take a small, brown paper bag and crumple it up. Wrap some twine around it and hang it up where the old wasp nest was.
This will prevent wasps from building or rebuilding in this location.
Wasps are also repelled by the site of a plastic sandwich bag full of water and a single penny.
This is a combination that is apparently offensive to other insects as well. It will also repel mosquitoes and flies.
Just put this contraption together and hang it up anywhere you do not want insects to congregate.
It’s hard to say why this works. Some people say that, to insect eyes, this looks like a spider web.
Others say that the reflections from the water are too bright for insect eyes. Either way, it does work!
To keep wasp populations down, be sure to patrol your property in the wintertime and look for empty wasp nests.
It’s easy to take these down and follow the prevention steps listed above to keep the wasps from setting up housekeeping again.
Be Careful Not To Attract Wasps
Wasps, flies and other insects are attracted to garbage and food. Be sure to keep your garbage can lid shut and don’t leave food lying around.
This is even true of kibble for your dog or cat. Just feed your pet the amount that he or she will eat in a single sitting rather than leaving food out continuously.
Wasps may also be attracted to hummingbird feeders. For this reason, you should place these feeders far away from your home.
When you are outdoors, avoid wearing light, bright colors such as white and yellow as these seem to be attractive to wasps.
Be aware that floral scented care products such as perfumes, shampoo and conditioner may also attract wasps.
Aim For Coexistence
It really isn’t hard to live with wasps as long as you keep a cool head. Having a nest or two located in out of the way places can be beneficial to your yard and garden.
As long as you avoid running around screaming and waving your arms in the air, you shouldn’t have problems with a small wasp population.
If you do have problems with a badly located wasp nest, follow the suggestions presented here to eliminate, relocate or discourage wasps naturally.