Have you ever been stung by a wasp? Ouch, it hurts, really hurts and worse, does so for hours. Plus, they create an annoying buzz. So if you are scared of wasps you probably wandering how to get rid of wasps.
Most likely you plan to squish them all or squat them, right? Wrong, if there’s one thing you shouldn’t be doing is squishing them.
Wondering why? We’ll tell you that and all the tips and tricks you need to get rid of wasps in the garden. Let’s dig straight into it.
Table of Contents
Kind of Wasp
Wasps are predatory insects that eat many other insects. They are members of the Hymenoptera class and the Apocrita suborder and are closely related to bees.
Wasps and bees differ in more ways than only their physical makeup, including their personalities. Wasps have a strong sense of ownership and aggressively defend their nests when needed.
Around the world, there are over 30,000 different species of wasp. However, given the limitations of virtual space, we are only listing the top 10 typical wasp species found in gardens and yards.
|Bald-faced hornet||Throughout the US||1/2″ to 5/8″|
Queen – 3/4″
|Yellow Jackets||North America||3/8″ to 5/8″|
Queen – 3/4″
|Northern Paper Wasps||Midwestern states||5/8″ to 13/16″|
|European hornet||North America, especially in Eastern states||1″ to 1.5″|
|Mud Dauber||Throughout the US||1/2″ to 1″|
|Blue-winged Wasp||Throughout the US||0.51″ to 0.98″|
|Thread Waisted Wasp||Throughout the US, Mexico, southern Canada, and south to Central America||0.62″ to 2.16″|
|European Paper Wasp||North America||Up to 0.8”|
|Cow Killer Wasp||Throughout the US||0.59″ to 0.98″|
|German Yellow Jacket||North America, majorly in California||1/2″|
|Spider Wasp||Throughout the US||Up to 2”|
What Attracts Wasps to Your Yard?
Have you recently considered getting rid of wasps? But have you ever considered the factors that consciously or unconsciously draw wasps to your yard? Wasps protect your plants from pest infestations by acting as beneficial predatory insects that feed on various pests.
However, if there are more wasps than expected, you may have a wasp infestation. And this is not good news. So, here are the top elements/ factors that act as attractions for wasps in your garden.
- Insects: If your yard is lush with foliage and pests, bugs will undoubtedly be an issue. So wasps being predatory insects, get attracted to these pests like beetles, grubs, etc. So, where there are pests/ bugs, there will be wasps. Although wasps can be an excellent pest deterrent, if they discover that your home provides a steady food source, they may decide to make it their nest.
- Fruit Trees: You could get some nutritious treats from the fruit trees in your yard. However, they are just as alluring to you as they are to wasps. Surgery foods are quite attractive to wasps and other insects.
Therefore, in addition to picking up rotten fruit that falls to the ground as soon as possible, you should also avoid leaving any sugary food outside in your yard unattended. Furthermore, avoid throwing away sweet foods or fruits in open garbage cans because wasps can quickly get to them.
- Flowers: Those vibrant-hued flowers do more than simply brighten your yard—they also lift wasps’ spirits! Therefore, if your garden has a lot of brightly colored blooms, you can be sure that you will be hosting these six-legged predatory insects.
Having said that, two explanations exist for why wasps enjoy flowers. They are first drawn to flowers by their nectar, followed by their smell. Therefore, you may never realize that wearing a lovely floral perfume may attract wasps.
- Open Trash Cans: Be cautious not to open your trash can if you don’t want wasps to infiltrate your yard. Why? Because these predatory insects are always in the food search, and as stated before, wasps love sweet foods. They will visit your yard more frequently if they have ready access to their favorite meal in the garbage can.
- Unpainted Woods: Do you know how wasps get the pulp for their nest? They get it by gnawing up untreated or unpainted wood. So, although unpainted woods offer your home a rustic appearance, they can be major wasp attractors.
The easiest way to keep wasps away is to paint or stain the wood on your property. And if you prefer the rustic look, you can also paint the wood brown.
How to Get Rid of Wasps in the Garden?
When you know the cause of a problem, then you are better equipped to deal with it. So, here are the solutions to deal with wasp in your garden. Scroll to read below.
1. Never Leave Food in the Garden
Do you love cakes, jams, or juices? Just like you even wasps have a sweet tooth.
So if you have decided to have your evening tea/coffee or breakfast in your garden but forgot to pick up the leftovers, you just invited trouble. In case you are short on time, the least you should do is cover it.
Another thing you want to avoid is having bins in the garden but if you do not have an alternative, make sure you empty them every day and give them a deep clean once in 4-5 days.
2. Grow Smelly Plants
If you have read our articles on companion planting you’d know we suggest growing smelly plants like radishes, garlic, or even herbs like mint, thyme, etc. And that is precisely for the reason that they keep out pests and insects like wasps.
In case you do not have a dedicated planting area in your garden, no problem; growing these smelly plants in pots does the trick as well.
3. Bright Flowers are a big NO
Flowers add vibrancy and contrast to the garden which makes it eye-catching but if you have wasp trouble then it is best to avoid flowers like marigolds and dahlia.
But if you love them too much, then we’d suggest you go with companion planting to keep the wasps out.
4. Use Peppermint Spray
Peppermint spray is one of the most effective ways to keep wasps away. You can easily get this on Amazon or any garden related site. All you have to do is place some cotton or cloth balls around the plants with a few drops of the spray. You can also use this method in other places around the house like the kitchen, the bedroom, etc.
5. Bait them
We already told you wasps love sweet things and baiting them with sweet things keeps them off your plants. All you have to do is put the sweet in some secluded corner of the garden and voila, the wasps will be drawn to it within minutes allowing you to enjoy your dinner or breakfast in peace. The sweets can range from overripe bananas, orange juice to even sugar water.
6. Light up some Citronella Candles
You might do this for the wasps, but it also keeps other insects and bugs at bay and works in a way similar to companion planting since it relies on the smell created by the candles. These candles are readily available, both online and in the supermarkets.
Keep in mind this candle has a slightly stronger smell and if you do not like that then throw in some tea light candles around the table to balance it out.
7. Do not Leave Lights on
If you have ever left lights on in your garden or bedroom, you know how much they attract insects. So if you do not need a light in your garden, make sure you aren’t leaving it on.
8. Have Sugar Water Traps Around the Garden
One of my favorite solutions is placing sugar water traps around the garden and in the house to keep the wasps busy. While the smell attracts the wasp inside it isn’t able to leave, in turn dying after a few hours.
But if you do not want to kill them, you can simply take the bottle and let it out. Oh, but the wasp will be pretty mad so make sure you do not stick around for too long.
I prefer colored open bottles for these as they add to the decor as well.
9. Use Soap Water
Believe it or not, there’s a wasp killer right in your kitchen. Yup, dishwashers are another effective tool and readily available to anyone and everyone (works way better than squishing). It kills the wasp because it isn’t able to breathe as the soapy water clogs the spores.
This works amazingly well with nests too. All you have to do splash some soapy water on the nest which you can easily do with the help of a hose pipe.
10. Call in the Experts
If none of the above methods seem to work for you and you think the number of wasps is increasing day by day, it would be best to call in some professional help. This would be our go-to method if you have big or multiple wasp nests around the house.
These professionals have the right chemicals that will instantly kill off any wasp without hurting your plants and you. Some of them even rely on smoking to remove the wasps from their nest.
Something you shouldn’t be trying out on your own as it requires you to be near a ton of angry wasps.
How to Get Rid of Wasp Nests?
A Wasp nest is an unpleasant thing to have in and around your property. And while you gear up to repel wasps, repelling their nests is also important. If the nest is small, you can proceed to remove it yourself.
However, do not go by the size of the nest; if the wasps see you dismantle their home, they will attack in retaliation with their powerful stings. And yes, they will also sting you to protect their Queen, who is the key to their colony’s survival.
Yet, if you really want to take things in your hand, you can follow the steps below.
- Approach during the night when wasp activity is less
- To protect yourself against wasp stings, put on the appropriate personal protective equipment.
- To exterminate the wasps, use a pesticide.
- Cover the wasp nest carefully with a rubbish bag.
- Take the wasp nest away from the wall or tree.
- Seal the broken nest to the garbage bag.
- Put the bag in a trash can with a lid.
- Keep the garbage bag away from the house, please.
- Pick up any dead wasps that may have fallen to the ground after being exposed to pesticides.
Caution: Never set a wasp nest ablaze. The wasps will become aware of your actions and attack you in return by stinging you. Also, keep children and pets at a safe distance if the wasp nest is inside your yard and you intend to use insecticides close to the nest area.
We always advise getting in touch with experts who can precisely diagnose your issue, inspect the region, and use the most precise and expert wasp nest removal technique. Professionals are better equipped to assess whether the nest is bee or wasp-related and how to handle a wasp nest. Additionally, they can offer advice that can assist you in preventing future wasp nests in your home.
How to Get Rid of Wasps – FAQ:
Squishing isn’t exactly our most recommended option. Not only does it leave a mess you have to clean, but wasps release a certain smell that tells other wasps to attack (not the kind of situation you want to be in, right?).
Wasps can sting and thus, you should stay away from them, but they are a boon to your garden since they are excellent pollinators.
Wasps can be promptly killed by mixing soap dishwashing liquid with water. Combine these two elements, then mist the mixture onto the wasp nest. The mixture will prevent the wasps from breathing and instantly kill them.
You can use essential oil to keep wasps at bay. These predatory insects detest the scent of the following essential oil.
• Geranium, etc.
Several home remedies can keep wasps at bay. You can read the post above to learn about them. Here, however, we are listing some of them for your quick reference.
• Lemon extract
• 2 cups of vinegar+2 cups of sugar+1 cup of water concoction
• Liquid dish soap
• Essential oils
• Wasp repelling plants- mint, sage, lemongrass, etc
Here are some tips for preventing wasps from landing on your porch.
• Do not leave any open food, especially the sweeter ones
• Identify if there is any wasp nest nearby. If you find any, call professionals to remove them.
• Seal the garbage cans
• Clean the trash regularly
• Use peppermint spray around your porch
• Light citronella candles nearby
• Switch off the light on your porch when you are not there
You can spray essential oils or light citronella candles to keep wasps at bay.
There are several effective wasp deterrents. The spray made with vinegar and water is our favorite. In a plastic spray bottle, combine equal measures of vinegar and water. Use the mixture to clean outdoor furniture, porches, patios, and other surfaces. However, this blend of wasp repellant will lure wasps away without actually killing them.
Wasps may gather inside and around your home for several reasons.
• Keep exposed food outdoors.
• Have a lot of flowers in vibrant colors in your garden or patio.
• You’ve kept an open garbage can close to your home.
• You might not have seen potential wasp nests nearby, etc.
There are several reasons why wasps might return to your property. Read on to learn more about them.
• If there is a source of fresh food and water on your site
• If there are sources of sweet food
• Wasps will return to your house if they can find a protected area.
• If pheromones are there, a chemical that designates their nest location, wasps may track back to your house.
Few things to NOT DO when dealing with wasps
- Never try to hit the nest or break it unless you have protective gear, trust me, the result won’t be pretty.
- Avoid using flammable liquids for ground nests as these aren’t effective and only end up polluting the groundwater which is detrimental to the plants.
- Your vacuum isn’t the savior you thought it could be so DO NOT
- Boiling or cold water is just as ineffective.
Having wasps in your garden is both a blessing and a curse. Yes, they help with pollination but at the same time, one sting can leave most of us running all over the house.
With the above-mentioned remedies, you have all the tips and tricks you need to get rid of wasps in your garden and your home.
If you have been using some different methods and have been successful in driving wasps away, do let us know about them in the comments section below.
In case you have questions about wasps, our experts are always at your service so feel free to shoot them anytime.