It’s summer! Time for fun in the sun, barbecues, outdoor activities, and wasps. Yes, wasps.
Wasp populations peak in the summer with an increase in temperature, and this can put a real damper on summer events, as wasps can be a nuisance, and their sting can strike fear in the hearts of grown men. Despite their legendary aggressive behaviour, these territorial pests can be beneficial to the eco-system and your garden.
What do wasps do for the environment?
Wasps live in colonies, each of which can consist of hundreds or thousands of workers or drones, and a much larger queen, whose primary responsibility is laying eggs. These little engineers construct their nest from wood fibres chewed with their saliva to make a paste-like paper mache structure.
Wasps are carnivorous predators. They play a vital role in controlling the pest population of caterpillars, flies, aphids and beetles, which in turn can serve to protect crops. Their thirst for sweet liquid makes them valuable pollinators as they drink nectar from flowers.
Wasps are territorial and are less likely to occupy a space if there is another nest close by. Being proactive and hanging a decoy wasp nest may prevent a wasp invasion in the first place. But if you already have wasps on your property, here are some things you can do:
Leave them alone
If wasps are in an inconspicuous part of your property, it might be best to leave them alone. Minimize the risk of attracting them to your home by sealing trash cans, cleaning up fallen fruit or clearing any containers of water around your house. If you are having outdoor activities, keep food and sugary drinks covered.
Get in Gear
If the wasps on your property are a nuisance, your first strategy is finding their nest and evaluating the size. Wasps can have their nests in gardens, trees, undercrofts, and even in the ground. No matter the size of a nest, suiting up in protective gear is a priority. Ensure to cover as much surface area on your body as possible. Wearing a netted hat, long sleeves, gloves, and goggles, and tucking your pants into your socks is recommended. If a netted hat is not available, cover your hair and face with a handkerchief.
If you find the nest, do not swat! Wasps give off pheromones when threatened, signalling to other wasps close by to join in on the attack. Also, when inspecting a nest, do it at the coolest time of day – early morning or night. At that time, wasps will be less active, and most of the colony should be in the nest.
Soap them out
An easy non-toxic way of killing wasps is by mixing a solution of two teaspoons dishwashing liquid and one quart of water. The soap will clog their spiracles, the pores wasps use for breathing, thereby suffocating them.
Using peppermint is a natural, eco-friendly way of wasp control. Peppermint is repelling to wasps and is effective for killing larvae and eggs.
Soaking cotton balls or tissue in peppermint oil and placing them close to nests or parts of your home and garden will keep wasps at bay. You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to water and spray their nests. Adding peppermint plants to your garden will also help to ward off wasps.
Use chemical sprays
Pesticides may be used as an effective measure of wasp control. Chemical sprays, however, can be harmful to the environment, human beings, plants, and pets. They can contaminate the air you breathe and, if not used properly, can cause health issues.
Tackling a wasp nest on your own is possible. However, there is a great risk of being stung. Although being stung by a single wasp is typically not dangerous, being stung by many could result in serious harm. If you are allergic, even a single sting could be detrimental.
Professional pest control services maybe your best option for wasp nest removal.
Do you need help with wasp control in Vancouver?
At Pest Detective, you will find pest control experts who are committed to your satisfaction. Let us help you enjoy your property and entertain friends and family with the peace of mind our pest control services provider.
Call us today to request a free estimate for wasp nest removal.