How to Get Rid of Wasps in Your Home:
A Detailed Guide
There are more than 30,000 different species of wasps, but most of them are non-stinging and don't live in colonies.
Wasps are also an important part of the ecosystem. They eat troublesome pests like flies, ants, and spiders which protects our crops and gardens from damage.
But, that doesn't mean wasps are welcome in your home. If left unchecked, wasps can infest your house and sting you if they feel threatened.
Luckily, there's a few things you can try. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of wasps in your home.
How to Tell the Difference Between Wasps and Bees
The bodies of most wasp species have three distinct sections: the head, the thorax, and the lower abdomen. Wasps have a pointed lower abdomen and a narrow waist, while bees have rounded one-section bodies.
You can also identify a wasp by its nest. Wasps nests look papery, whereas bees nests are waxy. Wasps chew up wood and turn that wood pulp into a nest.
The most common types of bees you'll see are black and yellow, but they can also have white or blue coloration. Bees are also hairy.
Wasps are hairless and can range in color from yellow and black, metallic blue or green, and even red. But, the most common varieties you'll find are often yellow and black or brown and black, which is why they're often confused with bees.
Common Types of Wasps
Paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets are the three most common varieties you might find in and around your home. It's important to know which type you're dealing with, as they have different behaviors.
Paper wasps are small and can be black and reddish-brown or black and yellow. Their nests look like upside down umbrellas made of hexagonal boxes. You might find a nest on a roof overhang.
Yellow jackets are black and yellow and have a shiny coating, so they're often confused with bees. They're aggressive and build nests in home attics, crawlspaces, and in the ground. Their nests have different floors (like an office building) that are all covered in a paper coating.
Hornets have larger bodies and have black and white or reddish brown and orange colorations. Their nests are often ball-shaped and hang from tree branches. But, they can also form nests in attic spaces or holes in the wall.
How to Get Rid of Wasps: General Safety Tips
All wasp species build nests, even if they don't form colonies. The best way to get rid of wasps is to destroy the nest. But, you should never knock down a nest, burn it, or spray it with water.
When a wasp gets killed, it releases a pheromone that alerts other wasps. That means that if you kill one wasp, more may follow or even swarm.
Make sure to wear long sleeves, pants, close-toed shoes, eye protection, and gloves if you're attempting to deal with a wasp nest. One wasp can sting multiple times, so it's important to use as much protection as possible.
Wasps are less active in the early morning and at night, so try to address the problem then. If you need to use a flashlight, cover it with red plastic because wasps can't see the color red.
Use a Wasp Trap
If you notice a few wasps around your home, but don't have a major nest, you can try a wasp trap. It's most successful for yellow jackets.
You can DIY a trap using a plastic soda bottle. First, remove the plastic cap and cut off the top third of the bottle. Then, add some dish soap, vinegar, and water to the bottom part of the bottle.
Invert the top part of the bottle so the cap side is sitting in the liquid. Then, tape the two pieces together. Replace the trap when there are several wasps in the bottom.
Drench the Nest with Insecticide
If the nest is outside your home, you can try insecticide. After you've identified the species, find an insecticide spray at your local hardware store.
Make sure to cover your skin and spray it from as far away as possible. Completely cover the nest and spray any wasps that fly out. If you think all the wasps are dead, you can take down the nest and destroy it.
Then, make sure to dispose of the nest so other wasps aren't attracted to the area.
If the nest was outside of your home, you can also spray the perimeter of your home. Focus on the eaves and soffit to keep other wasps from coming back.
Dust the Nest
For a safer alternative to spraying the nest, you can try dusting it with a powdered version of insecticide. You can also find this at hardware stores.
Put on your protective gear, sprinkle the dust on the nest, and quickly walk away. You'll need to do this multiple times, but the wasps will die out over time.
When to Call a Pest Control Expert
If the nest is inside your home or you can't get rid of wasps on your own, you should hire a professional. Residential pest control services have the right tools, products, and experience to remove the wasps.
If the wasps are inside your home, find a company that uses environmentally-friendly products like https://affinitypestcontrol.com/. These products are often pet and kid-friendly too, so your loved ones will be safe.
There's also the issue of wasp allergies. If you or a family member have an allergy, attempting to get rid of wasps on your own can be life-threatening. If you're concerned, don't hesitate to call in a professional.
Prevent Future Wasp Infestations
After you've dealt with the infestation, the next step is to prevent another one from happening in the future.
Make sure to clean up any spilled food or soda, since the sweet smell will attract wasps. You should also keep a tight lid on your garbage cans and make sure they're emptied.
Check for any holes or openings in your home's exterior. Patch up any gaps in siding or insulation and check the caulk around doors and windows. You can also spray insecticide on problem areas outside your home.
Make sure to wait until the wasps are gone to patch up these holes. If you plug entry holes before the wasps are gone, some species will attempt to chew their way out. That can put your family at a higher risk of getting stung.
Solve Your Wasp Problem Today
If you're wondering how to get rid of wasps safely, try setting a trap or using insecticide spray or powder. If you have wasps inside your home, call a pest control company or exterminator as soon as possible.
To learn more about home maintenance, check out our blog.