When you have a wasp nest in your yard, it can be a major nuisance for various reasons. If you have children or pets, it is unsafe for them to play where there is the threat of a wasp nest in the ground, especially if they are allergic to their stings.
Wasps are aggressive and territorial, but they can be removed from lawns safely with the proper precautions. In this article, we will provide tips on how to get rid of a wasp nest in the ground carefully and effectively. We'll also discuss some prevention methods so that you don't have to deal with this problem again in the future!
First, let's go over some basic information about burrowing wasps or ground-digging wasps and cicada killers as they are commonly called.
Wasps are typically black and yellow in coloration and have a narrow waist. Some species of wasps, like paper wasps, are primarily brown and build their nests in above-ground spaces.
Burrowing wasps head underground to hunt buried cicadas. Unlike most wasp species, these pests are solitary predators and do not nest together. You’re more likely to see a single wasp exit the nest instead of multiple insects.
Yellowjacket wasps similarly build their nests underground but are a social species. These pests are highly aggressive and territorial. They will exit their nest in droves to protect themselves against predators.
Burrowing wasps aren’t as aggressive as other species, and will typically try to avoid confrontation. Yellowjackets, however, are more likely to attack if you stray too close.
Many wasps are omnivorous predators, feeding on other insects (including other pests) in addition to nectar from flowers and other sugary substances. However, burrowing wasps prey on cicadas to provide for their young.
Most wasp species build their nests out of chewed-up wood pulp, which is why you'll often see them near wooded areas or trees. However, wasps will build their nests just about anywhere - including in your yard! If you have a wasp nest in your yard, it's important to take care of it as soon as possible. Not only are wasps a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous if you're allergic to their stings.
There are a few different methods you can use to get rid of a wasp nest in your yard. We'll go over some of the most popular methods below:
- Use a store-bought wasp spray: There are many different types of wasp sprays available on the market. You can find these at most hardware stores or home improvement stores. Simply follow the directions on the label and spray the nest from a safe distance. Be sure to wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, when using sprays!
- Smother the nest: If you don't want to use chemicals, you can try smothering the nest. This can be done by placing a large pot or bucket over the nest and securing it in place. The wasps will eventually suffocate and die. Pouring hot water into the hole can be a good way to accomplish this, but be careful. Any stragglers outside of the nest won't be too happy with you!
- Use insecticide dust: It’s difficult to use a wasp spray on underground nests. Covering the nest might not work either, as these submerged colonies could have multiple entry points. Try using a wasp powder instead! At night, thoroughly dust the opening of the nest with the insecticide. As the wasps enter and exit the nest, they spread the poisonous powder, contaminating others deep inside the nest.
- Knock down the nest: Another option is to knock down the wasp nest with a long pole or broom handle. Be sure to do this at night when all of the wasps are inside the nest! Plan out an escape route beforehand, too. You may encounter a few angry wasps as they leave their nest.
Once you've taken care of the wasp problem, it's important to take some preventative measures so that they won’t come back. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your yard clean and free of debris: Wasps, as well as many other pests, are attracted to yards that are messy and cluttered. Be sure to keep your yard clean and free of any wasp attractants, such as food scraps or rotting fruit.
- Remove wasp attractants: As we mentioned before, wasps are attracted to certain foods. Be sure to remove any wasp attractants from your yard, such as garbage cans, pet food bowls, or compost bins.
- Adjust the location of flowering plants: Wasps aren’t expert pollinators like bees, but they still enjoy a flower’s sweet nectar and ripe fruits. If wasps are building nests in your yard, move gardens or flowers away from your home. Of course, you can’t easily relocate your flowering foliage, but be aware that blooming plants will attract many stinging insects to your property.
- Control their food population: Wasps will take up residence in your yard if there are ample food sources. Try cutting down the number of caterpillars, crickets, and other garden pests to drive the wasps away. Many pest control services can make a dent in the number of common pests on your property.
- Promptly seal holes in the ground: Cover up open areas in your tard to prevent wasps from creating underground nests. Queen yellowjackets will hide in safe spaces and slowly begin building a nest as the weather gets warmer in the spring. Try filling up any hole you see in your yard to deter wasps and discourage other pests from burrowing on your property.
By following the tips above, you can get rid of a wasp nest in your yard safely and effectively. You can also take some preventative measures to keep them from coming back in the future!
However, if you still have trouble, you have another option. Wasps are a dangerous pest to handle, and a quality pest control service can take this problem off your hands.
Contact Zunex today if you have a wasp nest in your yard. Our trained technicians can safely dispose of the nest and protect your family from wasp stings!
Written by Bridget Ambrose