Got wasps? So do 90% of Calgary homes it seems! This year they have been particularly bad due to the extremely hot weather that we are experiencing, in between tornado warnings. Wasps become much more aggressive in hot weather and they thrive due to the increase in other insects, aka their food. It’s a vicious cycle- and when they can’t find insects to eat, they find humans. If you spot a place where they seem to be settling into a home, there are a few ways you can go about getting rid of wasps from your yard, without using harsh chemicals.
Hang a fake wasp nest
Wasps are like dogs, they are extremely territorial and they like to mark their spot. Hanging a fake wasp nest in your yard will tell roaming wasps that there is already a colony living in this area and they will likely move on. It is important to do this at the beginning of the season before a nest has already formed in your yard. You can hang a fake nest once they are there to try and get rid of them, but the chances are it won’t be as successful- this is more of a preventative remedy not reactive. Fake nests can be found at Home Depot, Canadian Tire or Rona.
Spray the nest (when it is visible)
You have two options to spray the nest with if you are choosing to go the natural route:
- Hot water and dish soap
- Non-Toxic organic sprays (Can be found at your local Natural Supermarket)
Fill up a hose-end sprayer with either of these two options, stand a good distance away and blast the nest making sure to cover the entire area. The soap or spray will drown a majority of the wasps and the ones that survive will move on to settle somewhere else. It is important to wait until nighttime to spray the nest, as most of the wasps will be home and they are less active then. Be sure to wear protective clothing that covers all of your body.
Block off entrances
If the nest is in the ground or hiding behind some stone on your house, blocking all of the entrances will trap the colony and kill them. You can fill the holes with a non-toxic sealant or use a bowl to block them if the entrance is on a flat surface. Filling the hole with either of the two liquids mentioned above before blocking it, will kill the wasps off faster and less will survive to relocate somewhere else in your yard.
Wasps are very attracted to meat products and foods that are high in sugar. Putting either of these two items in a bottle will lead the wasps down to the food item and will trap them. However, this will capture stragglers, but will not be successful in getting rid of an entire nest.
Keep them out for 25cents
If you have a wasp problem at your home, the chances of them slipping into your home when you are not looking, are high. Hang a Ziploc bag full of water and a quarter above the entrances to your home. The reflection of the quarter is too bright for their eyes and the water will look like a spider web to them.
Call an exterminator
Exterminators in Calgary have been at an all time high in demand this summer, so trying some of the above options before you call for help may be a faster solution. If it is a problem that is too big for you to take care of yourself there are plenty of companies in Calgary that do a fantastic job at getting rid of the nests in one fell swoop. Check out Who to Call for exterminator companies that have received 5 star reviews from previous homeowners, simplifying your search for a reliable professional.
Make sure you are 100% sure that the nest you are dealing with is a wasp/ hornet nest and not bees. Honeybees are beneficial to the environment and bumblebees are a predator to wasps- neither of these are usually a threat, or aggressive to humans if left alone. If it is a wasp problem, it is important to not leave any food outside and make sure your compost and garbage bins are completely sealed, as wasps are highly attracted to food. You will also want to avoid wearing anything scented or bright colors, as this will make them think you are a flower and will draw their attention to you.