With the weather warming up, many of us are preparing to arm ourselves against the usual mosquitoes and ticks. Many of us forget, however, that wasps, especially social wasps like yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps, can pose a special threat as well. They become aggressive when their nests are threatened, and their stings can be very painful—even fatal for those who are allergic to wasps stings. Because there are certain steps you need to take if you want to keep you and your family safe from wasps, here is a brief guide to keeping wasps away from your home.
Never provoke wasps.
This tip won’t necessarily keep wasps away from your home, but it’s the number one tip that you and your family should keep in mind as you see wasps in and around your home. Wasps tend to be harmless to humans unless provoked. Once provoked, however, they may sting, and that sting can be very painful, even causing a deadly anaphylactic reaction in some who have allergies. Be sure to teach to your children never to come in close contact with wasps or wasp nests when they see them.
Hire a pest control specialist.
A pest control specialist can help you control existing populations of wasps while also preventing future wasp infestation. Be sure to look for a pest control specialist who will do a thorough sweep around the home, even targeting the eaves of your home as this article mentions. You also want to look for a pest control specialist who uses home-friendly products that will not harm your family or pets. Many specialists offer natural products as well for those who are looking to cut down on chemical usage in and around the home.
Remove all wasp attractions.
Wasps are attracted to anything sweet, including fallen fruit from fruit trees, fruit juice, and open soda cans. Be sure that and your family are doing what you can to remove these types of attractions. Keep lids over all trash, recycling, and compost tightly closed, and do not leave food out in the open outdoors for an extended period of time. Things like bird food, sweet perfumes, and lotions can attract wasps as well, so be sure to keep that in mind.
On a related note, because wasps are attracted to fallen fruit from fruit trees, it’s a good idea to always wear shoes when walking near a fruit tree that is bearing fruit.
Repair your home’s exterior.
Keeping the exterior of your home in good order is another great way to prevent wasp infestation, as wasps often build nests in open crevices and holes in homes. Look along the exterior of your home for any holes or crevices that could be sealed, such as broken siding panels or gaps in soffits. While you’re at it, check for any unoccupied rodent burrows as well, as wasps often build homes here as well. Fill any holes and make any necessary repairs to eliminate these potential wasp nest locations.
Build a wasp trap.
If you see an area around your home where wasps are especially active, you can always place a wasp trap to help eliminate them. You can build a basic wasp trap using an empty two-liter bottle. Simply cut off the top fourth of the bottle and then invert it on itself. Tape the two pieces together with duct tape and pour some sweet liquid such as soda or juice inside. Wasps will fly in to get to the sweet liquid and then be unable to fly back out.
You can always purchase a wasp trap as well if you would rather do that. If wasps seem to be an ongoing problem on your property, be sure to consult a pest control specialist who can offer a more long-term solution for the problem.
Use wasp deterrent spray.
You can also make a simple wasp deterrent spray on the exterior of your home to deter wasps from building nests there. Create a simple mixture of water and dish soap in a spray bottle, and add a few drops of clove, geranium, and lemongrass essential oils. Then spray this mixture liberally on popular wasp nest areas like under the eaves, in crevices, under porch roofs, etc. Pay extra attention to areas that have seen wasp nests before, as wasps tend to build new nests in the same locations over and over again.
Invest in a wasp deterrent.
Did you know that you can invest in decorative wasp deterrents for your home? These inexpensive, bulb-shaped decor pieces mimic the look of wasp nests, thus deterring wasps which tend to be territorial. Simply install one or two wasp deterrents to keep wasps from building their nests nearby.