Controlling wasps

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Wasps are beneficial insects preying mainly on other insects, many of which are pests, but are a real nuisance when nesting near homes, interrupting outside dining, crawling over food and inflicting a painful sting.
 
If you know where they are, try not to eat and drink near their nesting places, but when this isn't practicable these few simple precautions, may help. 
 
Using pesticides to control wasps can be effective, but most chemicals are harmful to the environment, so try these suggestions to prevent wasps buzzing around your head and into your house.

Wasps sting TIP avoid wearing bright colours or floral patterns. If you look like a big flower, you may be attracting the curious wasp looking for nectar

Wasp control tips

Prevention
  • Remove food sources such as pet food, picnic scraps, open rubbish sacks, open cans and fruit juice. 
  • Cover drinks and open food containers when picnicking or having a BBQ.
  • Swatting and squashing wasps is not a good Ideal, when a wasp is squashed it releases a chemical which attracts other wasps.
  • Stop wasps getting into your house, by sealing entry points like vents, cracks around windows and door frames.
  • Ddaily sightings may mean they have already built a nest.
  • You may be able to locate the nest by watching the wasps flying  in and out of their nest.
  • Once you have found the nest, most councils will help remove and dispose of it, or put you in touch with a professional pest control company. 
 
Removing a wasps nest.
  • Protect yourself from wasp stings, before  trying to remove the wasp nest yourself, make sure you are wearing protective clothing.
  • The best time is late evening or at night when the wasps are drowsy and slower to react .
  • Have someone to hold a torch for you, so both hands are free. 
  • If you can see and get to the wasp nest easily, place a cloth bag over the nest and  tie it  tightly, making sure its well sealed, then pull the nest free.
  • Drop the bag straight into a bucket of water and keep it fully submerged with a heavy stone. 
  • Leave it under water until you are sure all of the wasps are dead, this could take a couple of hours.
  • Dispose of the bag.
  • Underground or wall nests are difficult to remove, and should be left to the professional.
Trapping wasps
 
Trappings in spring is effective, because in early spring wasps are usually queens and  each trapped queen produces thousands of worker wasps in the late summer. You can buy purpose made wasp traps or follow these instructions and make your own, simple and effective wasp traps. 
  • Water Trap. Cut the top from a 2-liter plastic  bottle, take off the screw top. Fill about halfway with water. Coat the neck with jam, turn it over and fit back on the bottle. Wasps will go down the funnel to get the jam, but will find it difficult to get out and drown.
  • Jam-jar trap. Pearce holes in the lid just big enough for wasps to get through, half fill with jammy water and replace the lid. Wasps will crawl through the holes to get to the jam and get trapped in the jam-jar.