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A Step By Step Guide On How To Kill Wasps

Updated on September 14, 2012
Wasp nest under a fence
Wasp nest under a fence | Source

Where I live in California (San Jose; in the south San Francisca bay area) I’ve always had I huge problem with wasps and their nests wherever I’ve lived. When I was 14 years old in 1989, the day before high school started, I walked into our living room and it was swarming with hundreds (if not thousands of wasps). For weeks before, there was a constant humming or buzzing noise coming from the ceiling. We had simply thought it was the electrical hum of the powerlines outside. In fact, it was a horde of wasps ( two huge nests of them were in the attic) burrowing their way down through the sheetrock into the house. We had to close all the doors to the room (luckily it wasn’t the kitchen that they decided to dig into) and figure out the best way to deal with the horde.

When I was in my late twenties I shared an apartment with my brother. The apartment complex apparently had a problem with wasps and their nest all over the grounds. When we first moved in we found there was many of the store bought wasp-catching funnel traps in various places (and they were overflowing with captured dead wasps). However; this didn’t completely end the problem, because the wasp problem got so bad that we actually got wasps inside the apartment even though we had every window and door closed (even in the summertime, which was horrible, because in the summer of 2007, it would be 88-90 degrees outside at 10:00 at night and worse inside). We never knew how they got into the apartment.

When I was at college, at the news room where I had my journalism class, there was a huge wasp nest the size of a football right above the door. We just called the extreminators (becasue it was school property). When I rented a room in south San Jose, there was a large nest right outside the front door as well (my landlord simply took a plastic bag and wrapped it around the nest and torn it down--not the best idea; however, it did work). Then, years later when I moved back into my family home, my father had a horrible amount of wasps and wasp nest (quite large ones) all around the house. Even at my girlfriend house, there are a number of wasps and their nest hiding in little fun places, like on the underside of the fences and the garage awnings.

So, I’ve had the wonderful misfortune to have knowledge of these pests and the experience of dealing with them. The following are some steps and instructions for dealing with the wasps and their nests in a cautious and safe way.

Some Steps for dealing with Wasps

1. When the wasps burrowed into the house, what we did was place two store bought bug bombs in the attic where the two nests were and two more in the living room where the hundreds of wasps were buzzing around. We set the bombs off and left the house for a few hours to let the poison kill the wasps and the nests. Afterwards, we aired the house out and collected up all the wasps and placed them in plastic bags and threw them away in the outside trash cans.

2. When the wasp were at the apartment, we killed the inside wasps with fly swatters. The apartment management constanly sprayed insecticide in the corners of the roofs and set out more of the funnels traps. (These traps are good to use around the oustide of the house.)

5. When the wasps were, once again, at my dad’s house, I used a combination of wasp spray and proper timing to knock the nests down. They are less active at dusk (because the wasp are getting ready to sleep). afterwards I would stamp out the nests and throw them away so that they (or the material used to make them) could not be used again.

Now, these examples are not the only way the deal with wasps, but there are a few of these steps that have very useful and safe for my exprience.

A small wasp nest under the outside of the house can grow to very large over a short peroid of time if not dealt with.
A small wasp nest under the outside of the house can grow to very large over a short peroid of time if not dealt with. | Source

Common Mistakes That People Make Dealing With Nests

There are a few things that people have a habit of doing when it comes to trying to kill wasps and their nests that are very dangerous:

1. Shooting the nest with a water hose. This might knock down the nest, but it doesn't kill any of the wasps, and can break open the nest and release angered wasps which can swarm and attack you.

2. Using a pole or basball bat on the nest. Similar to using a hose, but hitting it with a stick or bat is even worse because you are so close to the nest that there is a chance that it can fall on top of you.

3. Trying to deal with the nest during the daytime. this may seem trivial, but wasps are very active during the day collecting pieces of wood pulp to build the nest, the sunlight and heat during the day allows the pulp to dry. Trying to deal with a nest at the height of the day or even in the morning (or early afternoon) have a great chance of retaliation by the wasp trying to portect their home.

4. Simply ingoring them, if they seem to be in a inaucpious place. This simple allows them to continue building, and they will reproduce and then you'll have a larger wasp problem.

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Important Things To Remember About Wasps

There are some important issues that need to be followed when it comes to dealing with wasps that will make destroying them and their nests easier and safer.

1. They are very active during the day. It is best to wait until dusk before acting, that is when they are the most inactive while there is still daylight to use.

2. They build their nest on areas that are dry and shaded (overhangs, , awnings and patios). Sadly they are usually right where the most human traffic is.

3. They are not like honey bees that die after one sting, they can sting and still live to sting again. Also, they can swarm.

4. Their stings can have an allergic reaction that can be very serious if you have certain allergies or if you are very young (keep the children clear).

5. There are many spray and bug bombs available at Ace, Home Depot and Orchard Supply or any of the other local gardening / lumber yard / home improvement stores.

6. When using the sprays, the best thing to do is properly follow the directions. The contents are poisonous to people as well; also standing at least 10-15 feet away from the nest is highly recommended.

I hope that these few steps are helpful to anyone who has had problems with wasps and ever wondered how others have dealt with them. Remember, these are my steps from my experience with wasps. If you have more in-depth questions about wasps, call an exterminator for professional advice or assistance; your safety and that of your family is paramount. You should take every precautious when dealing with poisonous insects or other pests. Good Luck, and Be Safe!

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    • unvrso profile image

      Jose Juan Gutierrez 4 years ago from Mexico City

      Great tips to deal with wasps. My grandfather used to have wasp nests, and me and my cousins were once chased by the wasps all over the place. Unfortunately, the wasps were my grandfather´s source of income.

      I liked your hub! Voted up!

    • Edgar Arkham profile image
      Author

      Edgar Arkham 4 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Thank you for reading! I agree that there are few things worse than a swarm of incests when you're a kid.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      They try to build nests on my balcony several times in the last few years. Wasps are a problem here in N. C. as well. I can tell when they start building a nest because they stay in that spot continuously, even overnight -- that's when I know to get a can of Raid (the kind with the 20 foot foam spray) and spray them. It kills them on the spot.

      Three times this summer wasps have tried to build and I had to get rid of them. Last Fall they tried to build 2 times and I had to get rid of them. They also can get inside the fireplace and I had to seal it with a plastic sheet.

    • Edgar Arkham profile image
      Author

      Edgar Arkham 4 years ago from Modesto, CA

      Thank you for reading.

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