How Can I Get Rid of Wasps in My Trees?

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The presence of a wasp nest in a homeowner's tree can cause alarm. Wasp stings, including yellow jacket wasps, paper wasps and hornets, may cause swelling, discomfort and even allergic reactions and other medical problems. In addition, due to the colonising nature of wasps, a wasp sting may cause other wasps from the same colony to swarm around the victim and sting too. When a homeowner finds a wasp nest in her tree, she should take immediate action to get rid of the wasps.

Act quickly in the spring when wasps build their nests. Keep protein foods away from areas where the wasps can reach them. Wasps want to settle and build their nest where a food supply exists, so remove the foods that they look for to prevent them from building their nest in a nearby tree. Possible sources of these foods may include picnic scraps, pet food, open garbage containers or open compost piles.

Make a simple water trap to catch the wasps and diminish their population in nearby trees. Cut open a plastic soda bottle about one-third of the way from the top. Fill the bottom with water and place the top, inverted, back in the soda bottle. Tape the two layers of plastic where the inverted bottle top meets the open bottle bottom. Cut holes on two sides through both layers of plastic and hang it in the tree. Spread jam or honey on the inside of the inverted bottle top where it dips into the bottle's neck. The wasps, attracted by the sweet treat, will fly into the bottle and through the bottle neck funnel, becoming entrapped in the bottom area where the water sits. They will eventually drown in the water. Add vinegar to the water to prevent bees from becoming trapped as well. Empty the trap daily.

Destroy the wasp's nest. Locate the nest by observing where the wasps enter and leave the tree. Wear protective clothes, including gloves and a facial covering, along with several layers of clothing. Tape cuffs closed at the wrist and ankles. Remove the nest at night when the wasps don't react quickly. Shine a flashlight on the nest and, for an aerial nest, cover the nest quickly with a cloth bag and close and tie the bag quickly. Place the entire bag in a pail of water. For a ground nest, block the nest with a large clear bowl at the nest entrance, ensuring that no exit holes remain. For an underground or wall nest, don't take any chances--call a professional. Request that he vacuum out the nest, an ecologically sound alternative to spraying the nest.

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