Whether or not you are highly allergic to wasp stings, the thought of being harassed by them is enough to make most people cringe. I prefer to not have to even worry about the chance of being stung by a yellow jacket. The 8 tips on getting rid of yellow jackets I have listed below will help you to get rid of these pests, hopefully for good.
8. Locate the Nest during the Day
It might be difficult to locate a yellow jacket nest, unless you know where to look. Most wasps place their nests high in rafters, along the eaves of houses, and in old trees. Yellow jackets are ground dwellers, so you will need to look along the ground for wasps that are foraging. They don't swarm like bees, which might make the entrance a bit more difficult to find. Since wasps aren't nocturnal animals, you can't wait until nightfall to try and find the nest. Find it during the day and attack it at night.
7. Pour Soap at the Entrance to Their Nest
There is generally a single entrance to a yellow jacket nest. Pouring liquid soap down the entrance to the nest will usually eliminate wasps from coming and going. This method might deter the wasps for a while, but it generally doesn't completely eliminate them. These little bugs are hardy and can go without food for quite some time. All they have to do is wait for the soap to dry out a bit and then crawl out of the nest. Sometimes yellow jackets will move out of a nest that has had soap poured down it, so you might luck out and at least get them to move.
6. Don’t Leave Pet Food outside for Long Periods of Time
Yellow jackets like the protein contained in animal food. They like anything with protein in it. Take in bowls of cat and dog food after your pet is finished eating. When kibble is left out, yellow jackets are attracted to it. Once they locate a food source they will keep coming back. If the pet food bowls are located by a doorway, then you run a high risk of getting stung. These wasps will sting for any reason they feel necessary. They don't have to be provoked at all.
5. Treat the Nest Site with Aerosol Insecticides
Two prime examples of aerosols that really get the job done are PT 565 Plus XLO and CB 80. Both of these contain .5 percent of Pyrethrins but the CB 80 is faster working. They are both also safe to use around areas where food is served. I recommend reading up on both and seeing which one you might prefer to use. Each of these insecticides is sprayed into the nest opening and the fumes will penetrate all crevices within the nest.
4. Dump Boiling Water down the Nest Site
I know this may sound like some type of medieval tactic, but it might be one that helps you to get rid of a yellow jacket nest. Be prepared for some retaliation on the wasps' part. I would make sure that no skin is exposed if you are using this method for getting rid of yellow jackets. It's also a good idea to pour the water fast down the nest entrance and then run away. You can check on the nest the next day to see if there is any sign of movement.
3. Keep Garbage Covered
Remember that these wasps seek out protein, which is found in most foods. They will scavenge what they can from food waste. Even the sugars in foods attract them. Just as with pet food, human food also attracts yellow jackets. The smell of food garbage is usually strong enough to attract more than only a few wasps. Making sure that garbage is properly bagged or that there is a lid available to place on top of the trash can will lessen the chance that yellow jackets become intrigued by the smell.
2. Purchase Traps Specifically for Yellow Jackets
Traps for yellow jackets are sold in most stores. Some contain the wasps and kill them with an insecticide that is inside the trap. Others simply attract the yellow jackets and trap them inside where the slowly die. I'm not much on killing things as it is, but this second form of wasp trap sounds a bit inhumane.
1. Make Your Own Wasp Trap
Cut the top off of a 2 liter soda bottle. You want to give yourself enough material to make it easy to staple the cut off cone and the rest of the bottle together, so make a mark right above where the label begins and cut here. Flip the funnel-shaped part of the bottle upside down and staple it in place inside the lower portion of the bottle. Now you should have something that resembles a minnow trap. Pour some old soda pop or sugar water in the bottom of the bottle and set the trap in an area where yellow jackets frequent. They will crawl into the bottle and not be able to fly out.
These 8 tips on getting rid of yellow jackets are quite the assortment. There should be something you can use. It's hard for me to kill bugs that are just trying to survive, but when my family is threatened with venomous stingers I know I have to do something. Have you had to devise your own method to get rid of yellow jackets or wasps of any sort? What did you find to work the best?
Top Photo Credit: rimblas