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Wasp Control in Your Yard

Wasp problems can be really serious. In Syracuse, they come out in the spring and don’t leave until early fall. That means they’re a big problem during the sunniest times of the year when everyone wants to be outside and play in the yard.

These are a few tips you can implement to rid your home of wasp problems and reduce the likelihood of stings.


Make your home less appealing to wasps by removing potential food sources. Cover compost piles, garbage cans, and any food brought outside, especially soda and other sugary foods. Wasps sometimes look for standing water as well, so make sure your yard drains properly.

Since some wasps are territorial, they won’t build a home near another wasp nest, even if it’s fake. Fake nests called wasp decoys are great to use against paper wasps, certain types of yellow jackets, and a few other wasp species. You can buy decoys online, or you can make your own. Stuff plastic bags inside a white paper lunch bag and draw a black dot the size of a quarter on the bottom corner. Close the top with rubber bands or string and hang one on every corner of the house, under the eaves, and anywhere wasps commonly build nests. This will only work in early spring, before the queen wasps establish a nest. After the nest is established, the wasps will be very reluctant to move.

Other wasps build nests underground, especially certain kinds of yellowjackets. They look for abandoned burrows left behind by moles, gophers, or other rodents and fill them with their own nests. In early spring, look for these holes and fill them right away.

Fortify your home by replacing or repairing the screens over windows or doors and sealing any spots where wasps might make nests. To avoid sealing wasps inside, which can cause all sorts of problems, it’s best to do this in early spring or late winter. Wasps that are sealed in the walls of the home without an exit have been known to burrow toward the inside of the house, burst through the walls, and fly around the rooms, angry and ready to sting, so be careful when sealing wasp entry points.

Remedies for Wasps

Decoys don’t work for some kinds of wasps, like bald-faced hornets and ground wasps, so you’ll need a deterrent to use as a backup.

Before you try to treat wasps on your own, determine whether you’re allergic to stings. The risk of getting stung is very high when you try treating a nest on your own, and those with allergies are at risk. Always call the professionals for help if you are allergic.

If you’re completely certain you aren’t allergic to stings and still want to take on a nest by yourself, you must wear protective equipment. Goggles, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes, a hat, and a scarf or bandana that covers the neck all the way around are the bare essentials, even on a hot day. You can also purchase a bee suit, but these are often expensive. No matter what you use as protection, there is always a possibility of getting stung, so use caution.

You can make your own wasp repellent with essential oils. Peppermint, geranium, clove, and lemongrass are all proven wasp repellents. Mix 1 drop of oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. You can use any or all of these oils, but just make sure you’re using essential oil, not extract.

This mixture is safe to use around your family, so you can spray it on your kids and pets. Spray it on areas of the house where you don’t want wasps to come snooping. Spray it in the eaves or other areas where wasps like to hang out.

Essential oils are good as a repellent, but they are unlikely to kill wasps on contact when they attack or while you treat a nest. Mix grease-fighting dish soap or insecticide soap in a hose attachment or high-powered sprayer. Spray the nest with the hose from a safe distance away and watch it take down the wasps. If it doesn’t work quickly, you can increase the amount of soap in the water. Remember, there’s always the possibility of getting stung, so be careful and wear protective clothing.

There are also over-the-counter (OTC) products available that you can use against wasps. Buy these online or from the hardware store. All products have a label with use instructions. Follow those directions carefully to avoid harming yourself or the environment.

Professional Pest Control

The next step is to call pest control if you’ve done all these things and the wasps keep coming back. You’ll want a company you can trust.

In Syracuse, choose Fox Pest Control. Our Pest Pros are thoroughly vetted and trained through the rigorous Fox Process.

With our Home Protection Plan that covers wasps, crawling insects, and rodents, you can call us back any time if problems come back — free of charge. Restore your peace of mind with our products that are family-safe, pet-friendly, and environmentally responsible. Our customers always come first, so when you call Fox, you’re joining a family that cares.

Because No Bugs is Simply Better.

Posted on May 25, 2020.

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