Summer always comes around again, and with it come the animals and insects, both beneficial and harmful. If you end up with wasps or yellow jackets as some call them, they often form infestations that may be quite dangerous. When this happens, it is when it is beneficial to know how to get rid of wasps.
There are many methods to use to control a wasp problem. However, it is always safer for nature and people to focus on techniques for getting rid of wasps naturally.
Another positive is that these methods are often DIY solutions that please the budget. Below we have guidelines listed for ways to get rid of wasps, all of the natural remedies that you can take care of yourself.
Getting Rid of Wasps Naturally
When following any of the methods here to get rid of wasps, stay safe by wearing protective clothing, like long sleeves, long pants, and goggles to protect from wasp stings.
Be extremely careful, especially if you have allergies since stinging insects can often cause an allergic reaction. Read on for the ways to get rid of wasps and keep you and your family safe.
Ways to Get Rid of Wasps
When going up against hornets or wasps, it can feel like going to battle. Unlike honeybees, wasps sting without being provoked as they are a predatory insect.
Figuring out what keeps wasps away should be the first step for maintaining a safe backyard. It is better to do it earlier in the year, as the population hits its peak during the late summer.
Find the Nest
It is essential to know that wasp colonies work to build nests. The wasp nest should be the heart of the attack, so try to find that first.
It will often be under overhangs on the house, but some species may make a ground nest. Look in crevices around the yard as well. Be careful not to disturb the nest until you are ready for battle.
Identify the Species of Wasp
The next step that helps to make pest control easier is to identify the type of wasp. Different wasps react differently to specific control methods. Some species are also much less aggressive than others and may not need to be dealt with as harshly.
Regarding these species, in a large acreage, it may be beneficial to look into cohabitating as they might be better predators against harmful insects than dangerous to people.
Social wasps are the types of wasps, such as yellow jackets and paper wasps, that build nests in colonies. All of these species build paper nests in trees and may be dangerous.
Don’t Attract Them
If it isn’t too late, a suitable prevention method is to know what attracts wasps and avoid those things. For instance, don’t wear very bright colors out in your yard frequently. If you have any sort of party or meal outside, clean up immediately and very thoroughly.
Refuse like this does not attract beneficial insects, only annoying or dangerous ones. Specific planters or a hummingbird feeder may attract wasps.
If this is a problem, take it down and plant bright bushes and flowers that attract them instead. These plants are better for pollinators all around anyway.
Destroy the Nest
Once the problem is no longer avoidable, it is time to try to get rid of the insects. If you know a beekeeper, or can contact one, they may be able to help outfit you and give you more helpful advice regarding wasp control.
If the problem developed recently, the nest might only be small, meaning it is still possible to knock down a hanging nest and destroy it safely. Take great care by wearing extremely protective clothing.
Knock it down with a broom handle and work to destroy it quickly. Do this during the coolest time of the day, generally very early morning, when the wasps are their most sluggish.
Once they wake up, they send danger pheromones out to the entire colony and rapidly begin to swarm. When you destroy the nest, throw it in one of your garbage cans and get out of the area. Stay clear until they have calmed down and moved elsewhere.
Eliminate Wasps with Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is one of the best ways of getting rid of wasps naturally and one of the smells that bees hate. Using this or other essential oils with water makes an effective wasp spray as well as a repellent.
To make this simple DIY wasp killer spray, mix the white vinegar and the water in a 50/50 ratio. Measure the solution in ounces and add 20 drops of peppermint oil per ounce. Add one tablespoon of dish soap per cup of the mixture. Pour all this into the spray bottle or other sprayer.
After dark, when the wasps should be asleep or at least more sluggish, copiously spray the nest. This mixture kills them as well as repelling any left alive. Once they are gone, knock down the nest and respray the area to keep them away.
If you don’t find as much success as you would like, keep in mind there are other hornet sprays on the market, although they probably will not be natural.
You can also add this mixture to a spray bottle and spritz carpenter bees for effective carpenter bee control.
Trap the Wasps
Making wasp traps is an effective way to kill wasps. They are attracted to sugary liquids, so using a sugar and water trap works like a dream.
For this way to get rid of hornets or wasps, use the drill or a knife to make a hole in the top of the jar. The opening should only be the size of a pencil – just right for the wasp to fit inside. Fill the container with an inch of water and then stir in several tablespoons of sugar.
Coat the inside of the lid with jelly and put it back on the jar. Set it out near the wasps’ nest. Kill ground wasps or those with an overhead nest. When they crawl into the hornet killer, they can’t escape. Once the jar begins to fill, it is time to empty it and start fresh.
If you need to know how to trap a carpenter bee, there are special traps you can make or purchase that draw the bees in so they can’t escape. The traps do not attract other types of bees.
Another affordable spray to try is simply a mixture of soap and water. Fill a spray bottle up with the soapy water and douse the hornet nest during the early morning or late at night. It almost immediately kills the wasps that it covers.
Bait the Wasps
Another bait trap that is effective for attracting wasps but doesn’t attract beneficial insects such as honeybees is a mix of sugar and apple cider vinegar.
Mix the vinegar and water, add the sugar to the mix, and stir it to dissolve. Blend in the dish soap. Before using it, make sure the sugar dissolves. Set this up in a jar, similar to the process above. Set it outside where the wasps travel.
Use a Fake Wasps’ Nest
Setting up fake nests works as a wasp repellant since they are territorial and will find a different site for their new nest.
Create fake nests by wadding up and inserting the plastic bags inside the brown paper bag. Crinkle it up and tie it off at the top to make it resemble the overall shape of a wasp nest.
Tie it with string to any area where you have had trouble, such as an overhang or porch railing. This way to repel wasps encourages them to go elsewhere as they will not go into another colony’s territory (they think).
Carefully Move a Wasp Nest
Small nests made from early on infestations can be relocated. You may want to get a professional to do it. However, here is a short guide if you’re going to give it a try.
You can use something like a large yogurt container with an easily fixed lid. The covering should be something larger than the opening. After it is dark, quietly move to the nest. Slide the container around the nest, cradling it.
Move the cover over the top of the container, severing the thin stem that affixes it to its place. Cover quickly with the lid. Take the container carefully to an area more suited for the wasps. Take the lid off and move away rapidly.
Keep a wasp population under control by using powdered deterrents. These work better for nests that are harder to reach or are underground.
To deter yellow jackets, first, find the area where the wasps come in and out of their hidden cavity. To remove a hornet nest in ground, sprinkle your powder of choice on the ground around the opening. Cinnamon and talcum powder deter the wasps and encourage them to relocate.
Diatomaceous earth takes care of killing hornets by desiccation, and boric acid poisons them. Continue to sprinkle it in the openings until they are no longer coming in and out.
Keep Them from Coming Back
After using powder on the ground wasps and they abandon the nest, seal the hole with rocks or dirt and spray it with peppermint spray to keep them from returning.
At the end of all of this, you should no longer struggle with a wasp infestation of any kind unless you decide to cohabitate, of course. Keeping wasps out of the yard does help protect anyone spending time in it.
We hope that after reading our post that you picked out a solution or a combination that works for you. If you liked some of these ways to get rid of wasps, please share our natural wasp control article on Pinterest or Facebook.