How to Get Rid of Wasps from Your Garden

Although wasps play an important role in our gardens, through their role in pollinating our plants. Wasps in large quantities very quickly become a nuisance especially if you have small children or pets. 

Wasps seem to be more of a problem coming into the summer months when you and your family want to spend more time outside. In summer, the size of the wasp’s nest increase as more wasps are added to the colony. One single nest can hold up to 5,000 wasps.

The hot weather encourages breeding and means there is more insects around for the wasps to feed off. Which is why wasps become more of a problem heading into the summer months. 

It is important to always treat wasps with caution as they have painful stings which for some cause deadly reactions.  But there is so many myths out there regarding pest control and the best ways to get rid of wasps and their nests it’s hard to know what is to believe.

Firstly, in order to get rid of wasps it is important to understand more about the different types of wasps and how to identify them. Wasps seem to thrive in New Zealand’s climate, with very little competition and predators, and an abundance of food sources. 

NZ has four main types of wasps, Australian wasps, common wasps, paper wasps and German wasps. Australian wasps and paper wasps are smaller and thinner with long legs, they build small honeycomb looking nests in trees and other vegetation. Meanwhile common wasps and German wasps are short and stocky and usually nest in the ground.


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Use Prevention Methods

Whether or not you’ve had to deal with wasps in your garden already, stopping them from coming in the first place is much easier than removing a large wasps nest. There are various prevention methods you can put in place to deter wasps from building their nests around your home. Such as making sure rubbish is kept in bins with tight fitting lids, so wasps are not attracted to their contents. Also, making sure to always cover sweet drinks and proteins such as pet foods, as there are very attractive to wasps. 

Wasps are also attracted to water sources, so one easy way to prevent wasps is to not leave water sitting around. You can empty water from bird baths, pet dishes, and other items that collect rain water and be sure to cover your pool when it is not in use. 

It is also important to keep trees and foliage well-trimmed, as this is often where nests are built. As through doing this you can keep your eye out for newly built nests, as nests are much easier to remove if spotted early, as the wasp numbers are much lower.

The best way to prevent wasps from nesting in your backyard is to make them believe that there is another colony of wasps living in the area already. You can do this through buying a fake wasps nest, or replicating one using papier-mâché, or a brown paper bag. 

If you hang this ‘fake nest’ in a tree is your backyard. Wasps will see it and be deterred from your yard. This is because wasps are extremely territorial, and will attack wasps that invade their territory.

Always Wear Protective Gear

When trying to kill or get rid of a wasp’s nest in your home it is always important to consider you and your families safety first. It is important to be sure that you are not allergic to wasp’s before carrying out do it yourself wasp control. As if allergic even a single sting can be very dangerous or even deadly.

But even if you are not allergic it is still important to remember is to always wear protective clothing that covers the whole body when dealing with wasps and their nests. Protective gear includes glasses, covered in shoes, gloves and long sleeves and pants. It is also a good idea to tuck sleeves into your gloves so that you are sure wasps cannot make contact with your skin.

 Never Squash or Swat Wasps

Often a common and natural reaction when you spot a wasp is to swat it or squash it. Although this is not a good idea! Generally, if you do not hurt wasps they will not hurt you. But we understand that in large numbers wasps can be a nuisance to your family. 

 But you need to resist the urge to squash or swap when a wasp flies up to you. As when a wasp is killed it releases a ‘pheromone’ that acts as an alarm to signal the other wasps from the colony that there is danger. This causes many more wasps to swarm to the area, angry and in defence mode. This is why it is dangerous and not a smart idea to swap even a single wasp as it will make an even bigger problem to deal with. And remember unlike bees, wasps are able to sting multiple times!

Deal with the Problem at the Source 

Anyway if you are seeing wasps around your home it is likely they are nesting nearby so killing one wasp, will not solve your problem as there is many more nearby in the nest. The best way to deal with wasps in to find the source of the infestation, the nest. Although it is not recommended to deal with a wasp nest yourself, as it can be extremely dangerous.

The best way to deal with a wasp nest yourself at home is through the use of a pesticide spray. These can be readily purchased in stores, they need to be sprayed directly on the bottom of the nest to be effective. So be sure to wear all protective gear and make sure you have a clear escape route, for it wasps start to vacate the nest.

It is always recommended to carry out wasp control either first thing in the morning or at night as at these times the wasps are less active. Once applied leave the spray on overnight and check from a distance the next day to check that the product has been effective. When you notice there is no more activity from the nest you can knock it down from its location and dispose of it and all dead wasps safely.  

Although it is not always easy to safely remove wasp nests yourself as they are often up high and in hard to reach locations like trees. This is why it is always a lot safer to call in a professional wasp exterminator to deal with the nest. As they are trained and have the correct equipment to safely remove the whole nest from your home. They can also give you advice to help prevent wasps nesting on your section in the future. 

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