When the warm weather begins to show its face, there is much anticipation. Green things are sprouting and it’s time to plant gardens and have barbecues. However, warm weather also means that insects are out and about, including pests like wasps. Wasps are usually more bothersome than bees, who usually leave you alone if you don’t disturb their nests. While bees usually nest far away from homes and people, wasps are notorious for building nests right above doorways and in sheds. Wasps can also sting multiple times, making them especially dangerous for pets and children. There are several ways, however, to easily get rid of wasps and their nests.
Find the Nest
The first thing that you need to do when getting rid of wasps is to find their nest. The best place to look is in eaves, above doorways and on tree branches. Wasps may also build nests in the open rafters of a shed or barn. These are the most common locations for wasps nests. While you can certainly bait and kill wasps as they are flying about your property, dealing with them at the nest is quicker and much more efficient. Wasps nests are usually made of a paper-like material; some wasps build nests out of mud. Wasps nests are small to medium in size and have distinct chambers where the insects enter and exit. If you are unsure of what you are looking for, observe the nest from a safe distance, watching for the wasps to go in and out.
Dealing With the Insects
There are several ways that you can get rid of wasps at their nest. Regardless of which of these techniques you try, always proceed cautiously. It’s a good idea to wear heavy clothing, including a long pair of rubber boots and rubber gloves that go well above your wrist. A wasp’s stinger can go through even heavier cotton or wool fabrics. It’s best to stay out of the line of fire, but have some protective gear in place in case you have to get in close.
One of the quickest and most effective ways to get rid of wasps is to use fire. This can be done in one of two ways. First, if you happen to have a portable propane torch on hand, fire that up and aim the flame right at the nest. (These torches are often used by construction crews for various tasks, including heat, so ask your neighbor if they have one around if they happen to be in that field of work.) The torch will burn the wings off the wasps as they leave the nest, making them unable to swarm or attack. If the flame doesn’t kill the wasp, the smoke will. This technique allows you to stay at a safe distance and there is little risk of being stung if you do this correctly. If you don’t have access to a torch, you can light a fire directly underneath the wasp nest and wait for the smoke to suffocate the insects. Be careful when placing and lighting the fire, however, as the wasps will be capable of swarming. It’s best if you do this task at dusk or dawn, when the insects are more docile.
If your nest is located underground, different methods must be used. Diesel gas or kerosene oil are widely used to suffocate underground wasps nests. Find the hole where the insects are going in and out and pour the liquid in the vicinity. Quickly plug the space with a wet cloth to ensure that the fumes stay in the nest area and no wasps escape.
Getting rid of wasps nest isn’t particularly difficult. Once you have used one of the above techniques, be sure to completely remove any nesting material that remains. This will make it more difficult for another colony to set up house in the same place.