What Homeowners Should Know About Wasps Removal
As it heats up between spring up until it starts cooling down in the fall, you’ll likely see stinging insects, like bees or wasps hovering around at some point. They usually fly away from their nests, 300 to 1000 yards away, as they forage for food and water. There’s a better chance of seeing them around your pool, hovering and skimming around the surface of the water.
But you might see more and more throughout the sweltering summer months. This is the time of year when wasps and other stinging insects really thrive. Wasps and other stinging insects are often attracted to the food from cookouts, to swimming pools, and to other sources of water. Maybe they can smell the sweet soft drink you left near the pool’s edge, and just want a sip.
As summer progresses through July, August, and on into the fall, wasps will begin fattening up their colony’s queen(s) to get ready to overwinter so that she can begin a new colony next spring. Wasps love any foods or drinks with plenty of sugar: Fruits, desserts, soft drinks, etc. Even if they have to go find it in your trash can.
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Wasps are instinctively territorial and aggressive, and they go immediately on their guard if they feel their nesting areas are being threatened. They get even more protective of their queens as summer and fall progress. Unless you happen to stumble onto the area near their nest, whether intentionally or accidentally, wasps remain oblivious to the existence of humans and animals. But as soon as they feel their nest and/or queen is being intruded upon and threatened, they will attack, swarm, and viciously sting you (several times, if they get the chance). Most people will have a normal reaction to the painful, burning stings of wasps, but if you happen to be allergic to wasp stings, being stung can prove fatal. So watch out!
Let’s take a moment to clarify something the use of the term “wasps.” Wasps can refer specifically to Paper wasps, but in the general sense, the term can also be used in reference to other “social wasps” such as hornets and Yellow jackets, and also to a less social, less aggressive types of stinging insects known as the Mud dauber.
Why Do Wasps Follow You?
Always keep in mind that wasps will leave you alone and will not chase or attack you unless you come near their nesting area and they feel threatened by you. Wasps do not lose their hind ends when they sting you, and they do not die after stinging you, like bees do. Which means wasps can sting you multiple times in sequence. To make matters worse, when a wasp stings you, they mark you with a pheromone odor, that alerts other wasps that there may be an enemy in the vicinity. Yellow jackets and Paper wasps are two of the most aggressive wasp species, so if you’re dealing with these wasps in particular, and you’ve intruded on them near their nest, there’s a good chance you are going to get stung.
Another thing to keep in mind: Paper wasp nests usually don’t have more than 75 to 100 wasps in the colony, but Yellow jackets (who often nest in the ground or in tree hollows) can have as many as 5,000 stinging insects in their colony. A record-breaking Yellow jacket colony containing 100,000 residents was discovered once!
If an intruder is near to the colony/nest, one wasp stinging you will call in several other wasps to swarm and attack you, as well. If you try to run, they will chase you (and easily catch up to you). If you haven’t attacked or destroyed their nest, however, they probably won’t chase you very far. Just remember, if you’re retreating from a wasp nest, DO NOT flail your arms around or swat at them. This will only anger them and provoke them to sting you or continue stinging you.
What Are Wasps Attracted To?
It depends on the time of the season. Earlier in the season (spring/early summer) wasps are craving more proteins, so they will hunt other insects as a major part of their eating regimen.
Later in the season, through July, August, and early fall, they start seeking out sweets, as mentioned, and they become noticeably more territorial and more aggressive. Beware of leaving out open containers of fruit juice and soft drinks. Even fallen fruits from trees in your yard can prove to be a big draw for wasps.
Does Killing a Wasp Attract More Wasps?
When a wasp is killed, it emits a pheromone odor to alert other wasps from its colony nearby that there is danger in the area. Killing wasps only angers nearby wasps that could end up swarming and attacking you.
What Kills Wasps Instantly?
Soapy water kills wasps by suffocating them, and bleach water has a similar fatal effect on them. Unfortunately, unless you are a safe distance away, or have implemented some sort of safety measure, it’s not safe to get close enough to wasps or their nests to apply your soap/bleach water solution. There are several other reliable products labeled to kill wasps, as well as other common household/garage products that get the job done.
It is recommended that you let a professional pest control expert remove any wasp nests on your property, especially if it’s a large one, but if you are comfortable doing so (and if you’re not allergic to wasp stings), the best time to treat a wasp nest is in the evening/night when they are more sedated and grouped inside their nests. If you are using soapy or bleach water to treat a nest, make sure that you can spray it using a bottle from a safe distance. If you’re using another reliable wasp and hornet killer, again, make sure you can apply it from a safe distance.
Leave the nest alone for at least a month before attempting removal to ensure lingering wasps know that the nest is dead. They will not return to a dead, previously occupied nest.
If you’re treating a Yellow jacket nest in the ground, do so in the evening/night, and make sure you screen over the entrance to their nest before applying the treatment. Remove the screen following the treatment so that wandering Yellow jackets can still get back into their nest to expose themselves to the pesticide or other product.
What Smell Do Wasps Hate?
There are specific smells that repel wasps because they can’t stand them, including mint, eucalyptus, and wormwood. If you’re grilling and eating outside, you can always place a mint or eucalyptus plant as a centerpiece, and try dribbling a little eucalyptus or mint essential oil on your table’s corners.
What Colors Do Wasps Dislike?
Wasps are drawn towards most bright colors, especially yellow and white. But they can’t actually discern red as a color, and will usually ignore it. Wear anything red, and wasps may not even notice you!
Will WD-40 Kill Wasps?
Yes! There are many products labeled to kill and repel wasps, but there are also many common, handy household and garage products that will also do the trick. WD-40 happens to be one of them. WD-40 is oil-based, and when a wasp (or just about any other stinging insect or pest) is sprayed with it, they get suffocated by the oil. Remember, however, to spray them from a safe distance away. Do NOT get up close!
How Do You Keep Wasps From Coming Back?
Once a wasp nest has been evacuated, wasps may rebuild a new nest nearby if the location is sheltered and safe, but they will never go back to a “dead,” abandoned nest to re-inhabit it.
In the springtime especially, unoccupied nests can be safely torn down.
Here are some other steps you can take to help ensure that wasps won’t visit (or revisit) an area.
1. Don’t leave fruit lying out in the open in your kitchen. Keep it in your refrigerator. This strategy can also help you cut down on fruit flies.
- Spray an effective pesticide labeled for wasps, hornets, or other flying insects underneath the eaves of your home, and underneath your wooden decks early in the spring and then again in the autumn. Coat the eaves’ undersides thoroughly, as well as downward a bit to cover some of the siding below the eaves. Also spray the corners of roofed outdoor areas like patios and porches.
This won’t repel wasps, but will kill them shortly afterward when the pesticide takes effect.
- Install wasp traps around your home and yard, particularly around windows and doors. You can even make your own wasp trap by mixing pieces of fruit and some jam into a mixture of beer, orange juice, and water into a container with a cover you can cut a hole into. Cut a hole into the lid of the container (about the size of a quarter), and place your traps accordingly. Wasps will climb in, but won’t be able to climb back out, and eventually, they will die.
- Spray an aerosol pyrethrin on your plants and mulch around your birdbath and/or pool or hot tub. The more frequently you spray such areas where wasps are likely to go in search of a water source, the more effectively you’ll keep them away. You can always use a timed mister to apply the pesticide to areas around your home or patio, even as often as once weekly, to help keep them from building a nest.
Do What You Can to Prevent Wasp Stings
You can help keep wasps away from your home and avoid stings by doing a combination of things including: better sanitation, better environment modifications, and implementing smart dress and grooming tips. Fewer wasps out in your yard will guarantee fewer to no wasps in your house. Remember, wasps are also beneficial pollinators, but can be very dangerous to you, your family, and your pets.
- Make sure that all garbage cans have tight fitting lids.
- Seal up cracks and crevices around your home and make sure all door and window screens are in good repair. Screen over vents and pipe/utility entry points into your home.
- Carefully dispose of all food and drinks, especially soft drink cans.
- Avoid strong perfumes/lotions and bright clothing.
- Protect your feet with closed-toe shoes.
- Clean up any spills, food crumbs, and garbage around your home.
- When outdoors, keep food and drinks covered. Check for wasps before drinking.
- Rinse out garbage cans with bleach frequently (this will help cut down on fly, roach, and ant activity, too).
- Keep your yard clean, mowed, and de-cluttered.
- Dispose of fallen and rotting fruits and vegetables.
- Use home pest control products to kill wasps and then knock-down nests (after about a month).
FullScope Pest Control can help with all your home pest control needs.