Wasps are dangerous, especially if you get in their way. But the question, how do you keep out of their way when they’ve taken over your space? As far as you’re concerned, they’re the intruders and so they should just buzz away and leave you in peace, right?
Well, not quite. If you don’t take practical steps towards eradicating them and keeping your space free of them, you might as well get used to living with them.
But you probably know that these stingy creatures don’t enjoy much of human company and so the only option you’ve got is to look for ways to get rid of them. But before we get to that, here are a couple of important facts you need to know to deal with these small beasts more efficiently.
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Why Do Wasps Get Into Your Home?
Wasps could be getting into your home because it makes a suitable nesting place. It all starts with one wasp flying in and out of your house. Are you wondering what makes your home a suitable place for them to nest?
Wasps like places with overhangs, eaves and ceilings. They tend to strategically build their nests around corners where it’s easier to protect them. There’s a species of wasps, paper wasps, that builds its nests using wood fiber.
So if your home has that, it makes sense why they’ll want to pitch camp there. The queen mother is the one that scrapes on the wood to get the wood fiber, which it chews with saliva to get the paper pulp. After that, it will spit the pulp in the desired location to make the nest with time.
Wasps feed on other smaller insects, which is why they’re classified among the beneficial yard insects. That means that if they’re getting into your home, they’ve already surveyed and thus, they know there’s a sufficient supply of their food in your yard.
Does Vinegar Help to Get Rid of Wasps?
Yes, it does. You can take advantage of this cheap option to get rid of the wasps from your home by mixing vinegar with water then spraying them with the solution.
Another solution is to make a simple water trap using dish soap placed in water. As soon as the wasps come into contact with the mixture, they’ll be immobilized.
Does Bleach Kill Wasps?
Bleach mixed with water can be a good solution against the offending wasps that are giving you sleepless nights.
After making the solution, you need to place the wasps and their nests in there. But you should be ready for retaliation as the wasps will not die immediately. As soon as you’ve put them in, take a step back so that they don’t get you off-guard. Another option is to put the solution in a spray bottle and do the spray from a safe distance.
6 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Wasps
Now let’s look at six cost-effective and simple ways you can use to make your house or yard less attractive to wasps.
1. Wasp Traps
The traps will use things that wasps love, such as sugar water and other types of treats, into the containers made to make it possible for the wasps to escape. It’s easy to make these containers as it takes roughly 5 minutes. The materials you’ll need are also available and so you won’t have to incur extra expenses.
Take a 2-liter bottle and cut its top quarter. Next, invert the bottle inside out or cut small holes on the mouth so that it’s possible to pass a thread or small wires through them. You’ll then need to take a sizable wire and fasten it through the holes you’ve made in a manner that makes it possible to hang the trap in the area that the wasps frequent.
Next, keep the trap in a sugar solution or any other treat you’re sure wasps can’t resist. But whichever solution you prefer, ensure it’s sticky enough not to allow the wasps to escape.
But if you feel that this is too much work, you can opt for the ready-made ones available in varieties. Even those made of glass and so you’ll easily mistake them for patio decor.
There’s only one challenge with this solution, though. You’re likely to catch the wasps that are only passing through your yard, which still leaves the real resident culprits to have a field day. For this reason, you should try and move the trap as close to the problem nest as possible so that you increase your chances of nabbing the target wasps.
2. Ensure Waste Bins are Properly Sealed
A study by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, yards with plenty of food sources tend to have more wasps than those with less or without. The most frequent food sources that attract wasps include recycling bins, composting food matter and garbage bins.
The strategy here is simple; keep the garbage bins tightly sealed so that the wasps have nothing that attracts them in your yard. Another option is to compost indoors if you think the outside compost pile is the source of all the problems.
3. Geranium-Lemongrass Oil Blend
A recent study found that lemongrass, geranium and clove essential in repelling wasps. The study, whose findings were published in the Journal of Pest Management Science, argues that you can get rid of wasps simply by using a mix-up of several droplets of the respective oils with water. Put the resulting solution in a spray bottle and then the areas in your house or yard where the wasps like putting up their nests.
While at it, you should remember those specific areas in a home that the wasps have a particular preference for. Therefore, double-check these areas: porch roofs, under eaves, crevices and other ledges.
As you must be thinking, it’s practically impossible to cover all these areas with essential oils comprehensively. And you’re right, which is why when you’re doing the coating, target areas where you’ve found the nests before. Wasps tend to go back to the same areas they abandoned. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service study looks at the paper’s survival techniques and how they interact with their environment.
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4. Plain Water and Soap
Chris Walker is an eco-friendly wasp removal expert based in Southeastern Pennsylvania. According to him, it’s possible to get rid of wasps by using soap and plain water. Mix two tablespoons of dish soap with water and put them in a spray bottle.
“The soap clogs their breathing pores (called spiracles) and they die almost instantly,” Walker says.
5. Repair Any Cracks
Wasps love places that look like they’ve fallen out of repair. Such places are usually characterized by cracks and dirt, both of which will quickly attract them. Walker recommends that you exercise preventative measures instead of trying to battle with the wasps after they have come.
Start with sealing up all the cracks, such as those found around the siding edges and the power lines enter the house. Also, check and fix any holes that you might find in your window screens.
Walker recommends that you carry out these repairs and clean-ups during the late stages of fall. Around this time, most worker wasps would have died and so you’ll have an easier time removing the nests before they become active again.
The mistake you shouldn’t make is to seal the nests inside the wall, thinking that the wasps will just die off. “They’ll find their way out through vents or even chew through drywall,” Walker adds.
6. Peppermint Oil
This oil has also been previously reported to be effective when it comes to repelling wasps. According to the same study by the Journal of Pest Management Science, out of the 21 essential oils tested, 17 of them showed significant power to repel and repulse yellowjacket and paper wasps.
You can purchase peppermint oil from your local store. However, it’s important to ensure that you don’t get confused by the wrong type of oil since not all of them will work to get rid of wasps (it should be mint-based).
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Other Quick Tips to Bear in Mind
- Minimize outdoor water points – As they say, water is life and wasps need it to live. Take time to check around your home to see if any standing water points need to be eliminated, especially during the summer season.
- Keep the areas around fruit trees clean – As the summer fades away, wasps tend to change their diet from protein to sweets. You’ll find them scouting your yard for fallen fruits which happens to be their favorite and cheaply available food source. If you have a fruit tree in your head, it’s a good idea to ensure that the area stays clean all the time.
- Avoid bright or floral decor near your house. If wasps are deprived of food from all their other favorite sources, they tend to turn their attention to nectar from flowers. They’ll naturally start their search around areas with bright or floral prints. That’s why you shouldn’t run the risk of putting these near your house.
- Use pest control treatments. Regular pest control treatments should be your ultimate line of defense, especially if the other options aren’t turning out as you’d expected. Calling in an expert might be a good idea, primarily if the nest is located in a place that’s not easily reachable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long are wasp infections likely to last?
In most cases, wasps last no no longer than one year. That’s because they establish a new colony during the season of spring and when it’s done, they’ll also disappear. When the next spring season comes, it’s very unlikely that they’ll set up a colony next to the one they abandoned the previous season.
Are there any purely natural remedies for getting rid of wasps?
Yes. There are a couple of natural options you could use. The most common ones include putting herbs with strong and repulsive smells near the windows or on your patio. The best herbs to use include eucalyptus, spearmint, citronella and thyme.
A wasp infestation isn’t something anyone should take lightly. It poses a danger to the safety of your entire household, including toddlers and pets, especially if there are family members who are allergic to their stings. That’s why it’s recommended that you use the techniques we’ve discussed here so that you remove or prevent them from taking over your home.
And if you feel that you don’t have the time to carry out the measures we’ve recommended personally, you can always call in pest control experts so that you’re leaving nothing to chance. If you or anyone else in the family is allergic to the wasp sting, it’s not a good idea to take the chance of confronting the wasps without the necessary protective gear.