Although the sight of wasps and their nests can be alarming, they normally do not sting unless disturbed. When they do decide to stiing, wasps inject their victims with venom that can cause pain and itching. You will need to be proactive to prevent wasps from hanging around your home and garden.
Destroy wasp nests when you see them, especially those that are in the early stages. The best way to prevent wasps from invading various areas of your home is to destroy nests whenever you notice them. A small wasp's nest with one or two wasps is usually manageable. Large nests with swarms will require a pest control professional. Ask your local council's pest control department for advice and a quotation.
Spray an elevated wasp nest with a wasp spray to kill any wasps inside of the nest before knocking it down with a broomstick, securing it in a bag and throwing it in the rubbish. The best time to attempt this is in the evening when the wasps are less active. Projectile sprays usually spray at a distance of 8 metres, giving you the advantage of killing the wasps before they have a chance to react. Underground wasp nests require a non-projectile wasp spray. An insecticidal dust works best and will kill the wasps inside the nest in one to two days.
Cover up areas that wasps tend to frequent. Wasps favour building their nests in eaves, under ceiling beams, inside attic supports and in the ceiling corners of sheds and garages. Cover these areas with an insect mesh that will deter wasps from building their nests. Insect mesh is made of wire or fibreglass, which contains tiny holes. Once the wasps have been extinguished with the projectile spray, the mesh can be cut the required size and stapled or nailed into place; preventing the wasps from infiltrating the area again.
Keep a light on if wasps like to nest in the eaves or crevices around your front or back door. A low wattage light, such as that used in a porch light, will deter wasps from hanging around. Wasps prefer to have a rest period in the evening; the light will interfere with their rest. Use a yellow light bulb instead of white. White bulbs attract moths and beetles.
Cover abandoned rodent holes that are in your lawn. Wasps that nest in the ground will favour these areas for their nests. Fill in the holes with dirt and pack it down to make the holes less attractive to the wasps.
Plant fruit-bearing trees and succulents away from your home. Wasps enjoy the sweet nectars that fruiting trees and succulents produce. Set up wasp traps if you already have these trees and plants growing close to your home. You can create a simple, but effective wasp trap with a plastic bottle. Unscrew the bottle's cap and throw it away. Use a sharp knife to cut off the triangular top and neck of the bottle where it meets the sides. Fill the bottle with 5 cm of fruit juice, and place the top back on in the inverted position. Tape the inverted top to the sides to secure it. Place the wasp trap in the area of the fruit trees or succulents. The juice will attract the wasps, but once they enter the bottle, they will not be able to find their way out.
Practice good sanitation and place all rubbish in bins with secure lids. Wasps love to hover around rubbish, so if you do not have any laying around, wasps will have no reason to hang around.
When you are attempting to take down a small wasp nest, wear loose-fitting long sleeves and trousers. Loose-fitting clothing is more difficult for wasps to sting through than those that fit close to the body. A pair of thick rubber gloves will protect your hands from angry wasps and a bee hat and goggles will protect your eyes and face.
Do not remove large nests yourself. If you notice a large wasp nest with many wasps flying around it, call a professional to come in and remove it. Wasps can sting more than once and a swarm of wasps can be dangerous.
Tips and warnings
- When you are attempting to take down a small wasp nest, wear loose-fitting long sleeves and trousers. Loose-fitting clothing is more difficult for wasps to sting through than those that fit close to the body. A pair of thick rubber gloves will protect your hands from angry wasps and a bee hat and goggles will protect your eyes and face.
- Do not remove large nests yourself. If you notice a large wasp nest with many wasps flying around it, call a professional to come in and remove it. Wasps can sting more than once and a swarm of wasps can be dangerous.