Several species of wasps can create nuisance nests on properties. While wasps help prevent infestations from other pests, their stings are painful and can pose serious health risks. Here are some preventative tips for managing wasps.
Common Wasp Species
Yellowjackets are known for their trademark black and yellow markings and will nest in holes or voids in structures. Their stings are incredibly painful.
These wasps build those open-comb nests commonly found under ledges. They are bright red in color and are generally not aggressive unless defending a nest.
These wasps are jet-black in color and are not known for stinging, however, the mud nests they create on walls and rafters can cause serious structural damage.
Fill small holes in walls, screens, soffits, and windows that wasps use to enter structures and build nests.
Wasp repellent spray or DIY essential oil mixes can be sprayed around potential nesting sites to discourage wasps from making themselves at home.
Knock Down Early Nests
Look for the start of new nests in spring and early summer and remove them before they can grow into large colonies.
Limit Food Sources
Manage open compost piles, ripe fruit, and other wasp attractants. Use covered bins for trash disposal.
Outdoor Lighting Choices
Use yellow bulbs for exterior lighting, as wasps are drawn to white incandescent lights. Another strategy that can deter wasps is using lights that are directed downward toward the ground.
Professional Wasp Treatments
Nest Removal and Treatment
For advanced nests, professionals have protective gear to safely remove nests and apply targeted pesticide treatments if necessary.
Exclusion after removal
Seal up any openings wasps were using after nest removal to prevent new nests in the same locations.
Late summer and fall is the optimal time for professional wasp control when nests are largest before newly mated queens overwinter elsewhere.
Removing foot attractants, sealing up access, and knocking down early nests are the best prevention methods for wasps. If you notice large active nests around your home, contact a pest control professional.