Early spring is upon us, and while most of us welcome it with open arms, it is also the time of year when dreaded wasps return. While they are now recognised as pollinators and valuable to their ecosystem, they are a source of annoyance and anxiety to many people in the UK. And when there is a nest nearby, it can pose a serious threat.
Always leave a wasps nest alone, as they are likely to attack if disturbed. To get rid of a nest, call a pest controller, as they have the expertise and equipment to dispose of them safely. To trap or deter wasps in the garden, use natural materials, like fruit, herbs and sugar water.
There are thousands of wasp species in the UK, and they are somewhat unavoidable during wasp season. But there are ways to deter wasps naturally, and there is no need to despair if you encounter a nest.
Please read on for PMP’s guide on how to get rid of wasps and what to do if you encounter a wasp nest. If you have a wasps nest on your property in Kent and London, please get in touch for a pest control quotation.
What is the most effective way to get rid of wasps?
When we say “get rid of wasps”, we’re essentially talking about three different scenarios:
- deterring wasps so you can enjoy your garden
- getting rid of wasps nests
- preventing wasps from nesting in future
When it comes to dealing with a wasp nest, you most definitely require the assistance of a professional pest control company.
First, let’s look at some natural ways to keep our stripey foes from making a nuisance of themselves in the garden.
1) How to get rid of wasps in the garden
Understandably, many people are reluctant to use insecticides in a domestic setting, especially if they have children or pets. At PMP, we advocate the use of natural deterrents and pest control methods wherever possible.
Wasps are determined when it comes to feeding, so even the most tried and tested natural methods won’t always work. But when the threat is low, i.e. a few solitary wasps and no signs of a nest nearby, there is no harm in trying the following ways to discourage wasps when you’re in the garden.
Remove food and food waste
A freshly laid picnic or alfresco dinner is a surefire way to attract wasps, so try to keep food and drink covered up when you’re outside. They will only become aggressive if attacked, which you will know if you’ve ever tried to swat wasps away from your fruit salad on a sunny afternoon.
It’s also essential to keep bins secure and emptied regularly, as rotting food will prove too much of a temptation and will soon attract hordes of wasps.
Natural wasp traps
To draw wasps away from where you are, try using overripe fruit or a glass of orange juice as a lure. Or, try homemade sugar water (two parts sugar dissolved in one part water) poured into a shallow container. But be cautious – if left out for long periods, foodstuff can attract insects and rodents.
Use essential oils to deter wasps
If the thought of dead wasps accumulating in traps is unappealing, try using essential oils as a deterrent when trying to enjoy the garden this summer.
Some swear by plants like lemongrass, geranium, thyme and eucalyptus. Basically, any aromatic herb with a strong scent can be effective in keeping wasps out of your immediate environment. The Journal of Pest Management Science cites peppermint oil as the most effective.
Try a few drops on cotton wool balls dotted around the patio, or plant mint and other aromatic herbs strategically around your garden. Similarly, other pungent substances scattered in flower beds and pots, like ground coffee and tomato stems, will deter most wasps.
If you’ve got a sensitive nose, a more appealing way to discourage wasps is to burn citronella candles. This can also be effective at deterring other pests, providing there is no wind.
Plant dummy wasps nests
There are lots of dummy wasp nests on the market, with varying reviews. Wasps are hugely territorial, so the idea is that they will see the dummy nest, assume it’s an active nest, and buzz off. While there’s little proof decoy nests work, there’s no harm in trying one along with other natural methods to help keep them at bay.
Unfortunately, while these natural methods may help to keep individual wasps at bay, they are not an effective solution when it comes to removing or preventing wasp nests. For that, you need a skilled pest control specialist, like Project Multi Pest.
2) How to get rid of wasps nests
Far from being just a nuisance, when wasps begin to nest in your garden or – heaven forbid – inside your home, they can prove a real threat. Here’s what to do if you find one. Click here for more information on how to detect a wasps nest.
What do you do if you encounter a wasps nest?
When encountering a wasp nest outside, the best thing to do is to leave it alone if you can. Worker wasps only live a few days, and queens around a year. They only use a nest once, and most nests start to wind down in the late summer. Come first frost, they should all be gone.
If you find nesting wasps inside your home, be extremely careful not to disturb them and contact a pest control expert as soon as you can. They will remove the nest safely and can help to prevent future infestations.
How do you get rid of wasps nests?
The simple answer is don’t try to remove a nest by yourself. A professional pest controller, such as PMP, can remove all the wasps and their nest safely from your home, business premises or garden.
Our pest controllers wear protective clothing and can reach nests in seemingly inaccessible locations. We use professional-grade insecticides that are powerful (yet safe for humans and pets) to remove the entire nest and colony. Treatment is fast and effective, taking around an hour if the nest is within easy reach.
3) How to prevent a wasps nest from forming
To prevent wasps from settling and building a nest inside your property, seal off any potential entry points, such as the roof and porch roofs using caulk or foam. In the garden, fill any holes in the ground, especially near entrance points.
Be sure to seal wheelie bins securely and empty them regularly. Cover your food when dining outside to remove the temptation and as some wasps are omnivorous, avoid leaving barbecues and pet food unattended.
Finally, although it’s difficult when the temperature rises, try to keep the windows and doors closed as much as possible or use fly screens to keep wasps and other insects out.
Call Project Multi Pest for wasp control in Kent and London
If wasps were a specialist subject on Mastermind, Project Multi Pest would win, hands down. The familiar black and yellow jackets are rife in the UK in the spring and summer months, so we know their behaviour very well. We have extensive experience in removing infestations for customers throughout Kent and London.
We will work quickly and safely to remove wasp nests from your property, to keep you and your family, employees or customers safe from the threat of painful stings. In addition, we can rid you of other insects, such as flies and cockroaches, as well as nuisance birds, like pigeons and seagulls.
Frequently asked questions about getting rid of wasps
From natural remedies to professional services, we hope we have covered how to keep your home and family safe from the dangers of wasp infestations. Please check out our FAQs here:
Should you kill wasps?
Killing wasps is a bad move, both from an environmental and safety point of view. Contrary to popular belief, wasps are useful to the ecosystem and are (albeit accidental) pollinators. From a safety point of view, dead wasps, or those that have recently stung, let off a pheromone to warn other wasps, so you could soon find yourself surrounded by an angry buzzing crowd.
Should you be worried about wasp stings?
While wasp stings can be initially painful, then itchy and sore, they are not usually a serious health concern unless you have an allergy. Symptoms of a wasp sting allergy include itching, breathing difficulty and dizziness – in which instance you should seek urgent medical attention.
What does bleach do to wasps?
Bleach will kill almost any living organism, including wasps, but it is not an effective way to deter them. PMP doesn’t advocate the use of bleach as a form of pest control, as it can irritate the skin and eyes of anyone who comes into contact with it. If you want to get rid of wasps, the best solution is to call a professional pest controller.