As soon as the weather gets warm, you’ll also find that the familiar constant buzzing and rattling sound returns to the yard. The bugs are back, including the stinging varieties. One bite is enough to develop a healthy respect for hornets, wasps, and yellow vests. Therefore, it is important that there are no stinging insects in the open air and that it is safe to play.
Read on for tips on how to rid your yard of wasps and hornets, and check out our guides on the best Wasp Control In London products to help with other household and garden pests you might be fighting this summer.
What’s the difference between a wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket?
While they are often confused, they do differ in several ways. The first is size: the wasps are smaller and the hornets are larger (one to one and a half inches in length). Unlike bees, which are important pollinators (find out the best flowering plants here to attract bees!), Wasps and hornets are carnivores; they prey on smaller insects such as aphids and houseflies (so they are useful in their own way). Wasps love your sugary drinks and may hover over your picnic pack hoping to try it.
While wasps, hornets, and yellow vests can be disposed of on your own, remember that they can be dangerous, especially in large quantities, so it is best to seek professional help when in doubt.
How to get rid of wasps
First: don’t hit them! Swapping a wasp causes it to release pheromones that will make other nearby wasps perceive you as a threat, something you don’t want.
If you are proactive and trying to prevent nesting, you can try building an artificial nest to keep the present from forming (wasps are territorial). If you already have a nest that you need to get rid of, you first need to estimate the size of the nest. Is it small (from several to ten cells)? If so, you can get dressed (long sleeves, trousers tucked into socks, head netting, gloves) and knock down the nest in the coolest part of the day and destroy it. If it’s larger, set up some wasp traps a good distance from your home and follow the directions on the trap.
Or you can make a DIY trap by cutting the 2 liter plastic bottle above the label in half. Turn the top of the bottle upside down and place it on the bottom of the bottle. Glue the edges together. Place the trap further away from your home (say 20 feet away). When it’s full, freeze it to kill the contents, which can then be composted.
If your hornets’ nest is located on your property where it is safe, and you will not disturb it, you can leave it alone. Just make sure there are no fruits or debris in your yard that could bring them closer to your home.
How to get rid of yellow jackets
Yellow jackets can build their nests both above ground and underground, making them a particularly annoying pest. You need to hire a professional if you are dealing with a large nest or one underground (don’t pour anything into it! You could pollute the groundwater). Small nests of the yellow jacket can be removed in the following way:
- When handling wasps, wear protective clothing as described above.
- When working during the coolest part of the day, spray the nest with a wasp killer from a safe distance.
- Wait a day or two for the yellow jackets coming in and out of the nest to have ample exposure to the poison.
You can remove the nest and discard it if you no longer notice any activity.