Wasps have very painful stings that can kill. Everybody knows that. So, let’s hop straight to how to get rid of them.
In this article, you will learn the most effective natural and home remedies you can use to get rid of wasps permanently. We also explained how you can use these methods both indoors and in outdoor places like the backyard.
How to Identify the Wasps That Troubles You
In the world today, there are over 75,000 species of wasps. Each one with a unique quality.
Some wasps are cool. Others are downright aggressive. And a few of them, like mud daubers, can kill other insects like spiders.
So, there are different strategies you need to get rid of them. And that’s why you need to know the wasps that you’re dealing with. Here’s a list of some common wasps and what they look like:
1) Yellow Jackets.
Yellowjackets look more like bees.
However, yellow jackets are wasps with peculiar black-yellow markings on their bodies. In terms of size, yellow jackets reach 5/8 of an inch.
Often, yellow jackets are seen in the South-eastern United States. Although, they are found all over the world. They sting and they eat pests like caterpillars and flies.
When the opportunity arises, yellow jackets sting humans. Their venom is very painful. And in case of allergy, their sting may land you in a hospital wing.
Unlike yellow jackets, hornets are much bigger than yellow jackets. They are mostly black and sometimes striped.
This stripe can either be yellow or white. Often, hornets are very social. They build hives from wood pulp. And they don’t sting unless threatened.
3) Paper Wasps.
Paper wasps can grow up to one inch. In terms of color, they come in black or brown. Sometimes, their black bodies may be marked red or yellow.
Unlike hornets, paper wasps don’t build their nests on trees. Instead, they construct their own colonies near buildings.
4) Mud Daubers.
Paper wasps and mud daubers have relatively the same size.
Like yellow jackets, they have black bodies with yellow stripes. But these markings are restricted to the leg and chest regions.
Mud daubers are quite special. Because, for one, they don’t live in groups like other wasps. Instead, they live in mud nests built only for themselves and their young ones.
Then again, mud daubers are not that aggressive and they don’t swarm.
Difference Between Wasps and Bees.
Yes, bees and wasps belong to the same order of insects. And they both produce pain stings. The following features can help you tell the difference.
- Wasps are very aggressive.
Some wasps even sting without being disturbed. This isn’t the same for our dear old bees.
- Bees can only sting once.
Once they produce a sting, bees eventually die. This is because their stingers and intestines are pulled out when they try to retrieve themselves from the victim.
However, wasps can sting as much as possible. And some species like yellow jackets do it aggressively when threatened.
- Bees are very crucial to the environment.
So, we recommend you leave them be. Although, some wasps like yellow jackets also help to keep pests away from gardens. But then, they cause more harm than good.
How to Get Rid of Wasps Naturally and with Home Remedies
In most cases, wasps are best killed using commercial products meant to eradicate them. In the next section, we will talk more about some of the best wasp killers out there.
But here, we will talk about some natural and household agents that can either kill or repel wasps. Note this, though; some methods described below have not been scientifically proven.
But people use them often. So, you can also try out your luck.
1) White Cider Vinegar.
Vinegar has always been a multi-purpose house agent. One thing it can do is repel insect pests.
So, even if it may not kill all of your pesky wasps, it would at least produce scents that repel them.
To use white cider vinegar to kill or repel wasps, you need to make a spray out of it. To do that, mix water and vinegar in equal ratios.
Then, bottle the mixture up in a can and spray it as needed. However, make sure you wear protective clothing while spraying at night. That’s when wasps are least active because they are diurnal.
2) Dish soaps.
Besides vinegar, dish soaps are also great repellent. To use them against wasps, mix any dish soap like Dawn with an equal amount of water.
You can add any essential oil (we’ll talk about this later), bottle up the mixtures, and spray as needed. But don’t forget to follow the same instructions we mentioned earlier.
3) Essential Oils.
Out there, you will find several essential oils like Peppermint, mint, clove, geranium, and many more. These oils are well-known insect repellents. They also repel rodents like raccoons.
To use essential oils to get rid of wasps, you will need over one kind of essential oil. We recommend oils of clove, geranium, and lemongrass.
You can mix these three in a spray can. Then add a few tablespoons of dish soap and an equal amount of fill the rest of the water.
Afterward, you can apply this solution directly to any established wasp nests. Make sure you protect yourself, though. Wasp stings can induce nasty pains.
4) Wasp Traps.
Wasp traps lure them into a liquid attractant kept inside a large, transparent bottle and then kill them by drowning.
To make one, get a large transparent bottle. Mark off a region near the neck and cut it off.
Afterward, you can bait the trap with food that wasps like. But you should note that fresh food attracts wasps at different times of the year.
For instance, in spring and early summer, proteins are the major attractants for wasps. While in early fall and late summer, you will need more sweets.
In this article, we recommend you make the wasp trap during spring. By that time, you can use a hamburger and add small amounts of vinegar.
After baiting, place your trap in areas rich in wasp activity. Wasp traps are best for outdoor uses. And they are better off when hung.
So, you can make a wire handle on the trap and hang the trap on a tree or in any place where wasps would normally make their nests. You can also watch this video to learn more about making wasp traps.
However, using traps comes with one problem; they compile dead wasps already drowned in the trap liquid. That means you would have to replace the liquid often.
Best Commercial Sprays for Killing Wasps
1) The Terro Wasp Killer and Hornet Killer.
This product contains an active ingredient called Pyrethroid. These pyrethroid-based compounds are well-known insecticides. So, other products out there use them as well.
However, the terro wasp killer, which kills hornets as well, delivers the insecticides in thick foams. It can kill both the wasps and wasp nests within minutes.
Besides that, the thick foam also blocks the flight path of the wasps and covers about 15 feet between you and the wasps. So, there’s less chance of you getting stung.
Moreso, the Terro killer is not odorous, as compared to other products. And it is well-capped that a little kid would find it difficult to open for a tad bit. So, it is quite safe.
In our perspective, and according to the New York Times, the Terro killer is the most recommended wasp killer out there. But if you can’t find it, the other sprays on this list may come in handy as well.
2) The Ortho Home Defence Wasp Killer.
This spray is specifically good for killing yellow jackets and hornets.
The only thing that makes the Terro Killer better is that the ortho killer creates less space between you and the wasps. So, your chances of getting stung increase.
Besides that, the cap is not as well-fitted as in the Terro killer. So, make sure you keep it away from small kids and wear protective clothing while using the spray.
3) The Bonide Wasp and Yellow Jacket Killer.
The Bonide spray would have been our best pick instead of the Terro killer. This is because the foam it makes creates more distance between you and the wasps. It is safer to use compared to the Terro Killer.
However, the Bonide spray is not easily available in hardware stores. Besides that, the cap is not that secure.
4) The Bayer Delta Dust.
Like the others on this list, the Bayer Dust is an insecticide made to kill wasps of any kind. However, it is specifically good for yellow jackets on the ground and wall cavities.
Normally, sprays are not very effective against the wall and ground wasps because the wall cavity protects them. This Bayer Dust is a slow killer, and it comes with a squeeze bottle.
With that bottle, you can slowly sprinkle the dust at the entrance of the wasp cavity. On contact, this treated dust is brought into the nest on the body of some of the member’s yellow jackets.
There, the Delta dust does its work. It is waterproof and it can remain active for about 8 months. However, you can only use it indoors. So, it is our most recommended product for killing yellow jackets and for getting rid of wasps on walls, on the ground and on houses.
How to Get Rid of Wasps and Wasp Nests in Backyards.
- Wear protective equipment.
Wasp stings can kill; if you’re allergic. So, before you do anything to the wasp or the nest, protect yourself.
You can wear goggles, gloves, a white overall and anything that helps.
- Spray the Wasp Nests.
Using any of the homemade or commercial products above, spray the wasp nests. But don’t get too close.
If you use the Terro killer, you can maintain a distance of about 15 feet away from the nest.
If you choose a homemade spray instead, you need a very long nozzle. So, instead of making the mixture in a small spray can, you can use a backpack sprayer instead.
While spraying, some wasps may emerge. Make sure you spray them down as well. But note that you may need to spray the nests continuously for a few days before the nest will die off completely.
Besides that, ensure you close all doors while spraying outdoors. Keep your kids and pets far away while spraying as well. Safety is very important!
- Get Rid of the wasp nests.
Once the nest is dead, approach it around night-time. Then, cover the nest with your trash bag and pull it from the tree (or anywhere else) as calmly as possible.
Afterward, empty the trash bag into a trash can that shuts well.
- Prevent future nesting.
There are several ways to do this. But let’s break down the most effective methods in tandem:
- Spray all old wasp nesting areas with a cocktail of white vinegar, dish soap, clove, geranium and peppermint. Besides that, spray potential areas as well. Note that commercial repellents work too.
- Hand decoy wasp nest at the spot of the old colony. Try to spray repellents on the decoy nests. Note that decoy nests work because wasps are territorial. So, they hate building nests near one another.
- Remove all attractants like food such as berries, ripe fruits, food scraps, sweets and any leftover proteins.
- Install window and door screens. Seal all wall cracks. And grow repellent plants like mint.
In this article, we clarified that hornets and yellow jackets are also wasps.
To kill yellow jackets that often build their nests in the ground and walls, you can use the commercial product called The Bayer Dust. Other products for other places are in this article as well.
Likewise, we discussed some common household agents good for repelling and killing wasps. Some of them include essential oils like clove oil and peppermint, white vinegar, and dish soaps.
About how to use them, we’ve explained each one; section by section. You can simply find your way to the section you need. That said, see you in other articles.