You’ve probably spent hours of your life trying to get rid of wasps. Yellow jackets, ground wasps, red wasps, and hornets are everywhere.
The problem is that commercial insecticides don’t distinguish between wasps and other flying insects. After all, there are many species of beneficial insects that call your property home, too.
Commercial wasp killers are full of harmful chemicals, and they don’t discriminate. If you use a powerful pesticide to clear out a wasp nest, you also run the risk of contaminating nearby food sources.
So, can you do pest control yourself? Are there natural ways to take care of your wasp problem without harming beneficial insects or pets? Is there a DIY yellow jacket killer or wasp repellent you can make?
Fortunately, there are many environment-friendly natural wasp killers and methods. Read on to learn our 11 homemade wasp killer tips and recipes.
1. Make Sure You Have Wasps, Not Bees
It’s not always easy to tell one species of flying insect from another. It’s easy to mix up yellow jackets and honeybees, for example.
Honeybees are relatively harmless. Bee stings can hurt, but honeybees help us by pollinating flowers and garden plants. Yellow jackets also pollinate, but as a University of Oregon report notes, they bully and predate honeybees. If you see a beehive, leave it alone (..).
If you want to repel wasps from your house without harming them, there are some very effective methods.
2. Fool Them With A Brown Paper Bag
Believe it or not, a brown paper bag can keep some wasp species and other flying insects off your property.
A bald-faced hornets’ nest looks like an inflated brown paper bag. Inflate and place a paper bag in an area where you’ve seen wasps. Some flying insect species will think it’s a hornets’ nest and will steer clear.
3. Spray the Wasp Nest with Peppermint Oil
Another great non-lethal solution is to spray the wasp nest with peppermint oil. Wasps can’t stand the smell of peppermint oil. A few applications should drive the wasps away without harming them.
Combine the peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle. Don protective clothing. (Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants tucked into your socks.) Only approach the nest after dark to ensure that the wasps are at their slowest. Spray the nest thoroughly. Repeat this daily until the wasps abandon the nest.
4. Spray the Wasp Nest with an Essential Oils Mixture
If peppermint oil spray doesn’t get rid of your stinging residents, there are other essential oil recipes to try. This recipe, like the peppermint oil recipe, should repel wasps without harming them.
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. As when using the peppermint oil, don protective clothing. Only attempt this when the wasps are sleepy, after dark. Approach the nest, and spray the nest thoroughly. Repeat this daily until the wasps abandon the nest.
5. Knock The Nest Down (From a Safe Distance)
This is a wasp-friendly method. If a wasp nest falls, the wasps will abandon it. There’s a good chance they will change locations to avoid similar issues in the future.
Stand at least 20 feet from the nest. Adjust the sprayer to emit a single solid stream. Aim at the base of the nest, where it attaches to the house. The nest should soften and fall in a short amount of time.
Lethal Options To Kill Wasps Safely
If you want to kill the wasps, there are some excellent home remedy options for a natural wasp killer.
6. Kill the Wasps with Lemon Extract
There are also many home remedies to kill wasps. Lemon extract makes a dynamite natural wasp killer. Best of all, lemon extract spray won’t hurt the environment or your pets.
Combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle. Don protective clothing. Spray the wasp nest at night, when the wasps are slow and sluggish.
The above recipe should kill any wasps you spray directly, and the smell should drive the rest away. To dilute the spray to non-lethal levels, reduce the extract amount to a single tablespoon. You can spray the diluted mixture on any surface you want to keep wasp-free.
7. Build Your Own Wasp Traps
You can remove wasps without attacking the nest, and all you need are a few household items.
Remove the top third of the plastic bottle. Smear a dollop of jam on the inside bottom of the bottle, sprinkle the sugar over the jam, and pour the water over both.
Then, flip the top third of the bottle upside down, fit it in the lower two-thirds of the bottle, and secure the pieces together with staples or tape. Wasps will drop down to feed on the sweet bait and will fall into the water.
You can use an apple cider vinegar/sugar mix in place of jam and water. If your local wasps aren’t taking the bait, try baiting a trap with cat food and water. Some wasp species prefer a high-protein diet to sweet food.
8. Try Drowning Them
Sometimes, the easiest and safest solutions are the best. If the wasp nest is in the ground or an enclosed space, it’s worth using water to try and drown the nest.
Make sure to check the nest periodically. If it has natural drainage, it might need another soaking. But stay alert. Any former residents will try to chase you, given the opportunity!
9. Destroy the Nest With a Plastic Bag
If you want to destroy the wasp nest and all its inhabitants, you can always suffocate the nest.
Wait until the wasps are at their quietest in the middle of the night. Carefully secure the bag around the nest. Seal it entirely with industrial-strength duct tape. Keep the nest sealed for at least a day. This method should kill all the wasps and allow you to remove the nest.
10. Spray the Wasps With Soapy Water
Soapy water makes an excellent homemade wasp spray. It’s easy to make and is a much greener solution than commercial wasp sprays.
Pour the water into a plastic spray bottle, add the dish soap, close the bottle, and shake. Spray any wasps you encounter. The soap will weigh them down and suffocate them.
You can also use this method to kill stink bugs!
11. Pour Soapy Water on the Nest
If you want to upgrade a notch or two from plain water, use soapy water to take care of your wasp problem.
Combine the water and soap in a bucket, and pour the soapy water onto the nest. As always, be sure to don protective clothing before approaching the nest.
Best of all, you can use the soapy water for all sorts of other things once you’ve taken care of flying creatures. For instance, you can mix in bleach to create a deck cleaner!
Wasps and other flying insects can be a real pain to deal with, as most of us have discovered. They can take over whole areas and make us reluctant to set foot on our own property.
We hope that this guide has helped you gain the confidence to remove any wasps and take back your home.
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