Wasps can turn your yard or patio into a battleground over territory, and often the wasps win because few people want to hazard a painful sting. Fortunately, you can combat the wasps and come out ahead if you know the right tactics to win the battle.
Destroy Their Nests
Most wasp species begin nesting in spring and early summer. This is the time to act, before the population begins to grow. Check for papery wasp nests under your eaves and patio awnings, as well as in cavities on building walls and along the underside of tree branches. If you spot one, knock it down with a broom handle and destroy it. Take care, because there are usually wasps inside the nest or hovering nearby, and you don't want a surprise sting. Acting at night, when the pests are less active, is advised.
Wasp nests in spring are often filled with larvae, so destroying them as soon as you spot them can control much of the population.
Set a Trap
Wasp traps are readily available at most home and garden stores. These traps use a chemical attractant that draws the wasps in, and then they can't escape. One benefit of these traps is they only attract wasps, so honey bees and other beneficial insects are safe.
Hang the traps from trees or eaves where wasps are a problem. You will need to replace the attractant every few weeks, and empty the trap when it is full.
Insecticides are available for wasps but these should be used cautiously. Insecticides can be toxic to children and pets, and they can kill beneficial insects along with the wasps. Limit insecticide use to treating visible wasp nests only, just to be safe. Alternatively, call in a pest control professional if insecticide seems like the only option. They will be able to apply it in a way that harms as few innocent insects as possible. For more information, call a professional like Aardvark Pest Control.
A Note On Bees
Don't make the mistake of lumping wasps and bees together. Wasps have thin bodies and small waists, along with a relatively smooth skin. Bees are rounder and appear fuzzy. Bees are extremely beneficial and necessary for much of the plant pollination that occurs. In recent years, the bee population has been on the decline. If you find a bee nest on your property, call someone with experience moving the nest to a safe location instead of destroying it or killing the bees.