Summertime is back, which means a lot of time spent enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Unfortunately, it also means that we will be having some uninvited guests to the party. An no, I’m not talking about annoying neighbors, I am referring to wasps.
We have all had our run ins with wasps at some point and, although they provide benefit to us by killing other summer time pests, they are not fun to be around. Their annoying buzz as they fly by puts us all on alert to avoid their painful sting. So how can we ensure that our summer isn’t ruined by these unwanted pests?
In this article we will give tips on what you can do around the home to reduce your run-ins with wasps, and what to do if a colony decides to build a nest on your property.
How To Make Your Property Unattractive To Wasps
The best way to prevent wasps from bothering you in the summer is to understand what they are attracted to and make every effort to eliminate these sources from your property. Even if you do this, however, it is unlikely that all your neighbors will do the same, but these tips should ensure, at the very least, that wasps won’t find your home a suitable place to build a nest.
Get rid of attractive wasp food
Wasps don’t come to your yard just to annoy you, although it may seem that way sometimes. They just want to eat and, more often than not, homeowners in Toronto make it very easy for them to do so. Depending on what point of the season we are in, wasps prefer different meals.
In the summer, wasps are looking for protein rich foods to gain strength for the long summer ahead. They are mainly attracted to our homes due to bbq scraps, pet foods and other protein rich foods that we normally put in our green bin. As long as you clean up immediately after a bbq and throw all the scraps in a tightly sealed compost bin, wasps will have a difficult time sniffing your yard out.
Later on in the summer they are more attracted to sweet foods. If you can clean up any fallen fruits and wait until recycling day to take your recycle bin out, sweet scents will be significantly reduced on your property, eliminating another reason for them to visit your property.
Scare them with a fake wasps nest
Anyone who has been stung by a wasp knows that they are territorial creatures. If you place a fake wasps nest somewhere on your property early on in the season, there is a very small chance that a real wasp colony will move in as this can mean an unnecessary war with many casualties.
You can find a fake wasp nest online or at most hardware stores, and it is a great eco-friendly wasp control solution.
How To Get Rid Of A Wasp Nest
Having wasps fly through your yard here and there is annoying, but it is tolerable. When a wasp colony decides to build a nest on your property, however, is a completely different story and you should do whatever it takes to get rid of it.
The method for getting rid of a nest depends on where they built it. Wasps usually build nests buried in the ground or high up in the air hanging from a tree or under your eaves trough. The first thing you need to do then is find exactly where the nest is.
Please make sure, wherever it is, you fully cover and seal your whole body with thick clothing and only proceed at night when they are less active to avoid getting stung multiple times by an entire colony of angry wasps.
Finding a wasp nest
To find a wasp nest is quite simple. If you pay attention to a wasps flight pattern, especially if you see two going in opposite directions, you will notices that sometimes they fly in a random pattern, often stopping at flowers along the way, or they are flying in a straight line clearly on a direct path. Well the latter is a clear indication that the wasp is heading back home. If you follow a wasp flying in a straight line it will lead you right to the nest.
How to remove an aerial nest
Get ready for one of the scariest things you’ve probably ever done in your life. Here is what you will need to get the job done:
- -a ladder
- -a cloth bag with a draw string
- -a bucket of water large enough to fit the nest inside
- -a brave helper to shine a flashlight on the nest
- -protective clothing for you and your helper
Climb the ladder up to the nest with cloth bag in hand. When you get to the nest, quickly and carefully place the cloth bag over it, sealing the drawstring so that the entire nest is inside the bag. quickly put the nest inside the bucket of water, killing all the wasps inside.
How to remove a ground nest
Following a wasp to it’s aerial nest is pretty straightforward, but when they have a nest in the ground it becomes a little more difficult. To make matters even more difficult, they usually have more than one entrance to their ground nest.
The trick to getting rid of a ground nest is quite amusing. All you have to do is place a clear bowl face down over the entrances you find. This will confuse the wasps by letting them see the entrance but blocking them from getting in. As a result, they will not try digging a new hole and instead will die off without their queen, while the ones trapped inside will also die.