Summertime calls for sunny days at the pool and outdoor evening parties. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, these nasty little wasps show up to ruin your summer. Wasp nests can contain over 3,000 to 5,000 individuals, and pest control can get difficult.
If you are tired of your daily scuffles with these wasps and wondering how to stop wasps from coming back, here we discuss different methods to end your misery.
- Wasps may return to look for other surviving members of their colony or because of lingering pheromones.
- To prevent wasps from returning, inspect and seal off any possible entry points, avoid bright-colored flowers, and grow strong-scented plants.
- Other effective methods include using essential oils, a soap and water solution, wasp traps, keeping food and trash covered, and professional pest control.
Why do wasps keep on coming back?
You must have thought that knocking down a wasp nest and killing all the wasps can get rid of them for good. But wait a few days, and you’ll see some new wasps lingering around the same spot where the nest was previously there.
So, even after their colony is wiped out, why do wasps keep coming back? One of the reasons is that they return to look for others belonging to that colony that may have survived. Once gathered in a group, they start building their nest again.
Another reason for wasps returning is pheromones. This chemical tends to linger at that spot. Destroying any lingering pheromones that mark the nest’s location can prevent wasps from returning.
How do you prevent wasps from returning?
It is not enough to just destroy a wasp nest. Here is how you can prevent them from coming back.
1. Home inspection
Start by looking at every nook and corner of your house to find possible holes and passages through which wasps can enter. Loose sidings, broken panels, and cracks on doors and windows are some things to watch out for. Do not leave out your house’s basement and garage, as these places are likely to be infested by wasps.
2. Yard inspection
Look for holes in the yard that may have wasp nests and cover them with soil if they are in burrows.
3. Do not use bright colors in the garden
The bright flowers in your garden aren’t attractive to you alone. Wasps are also huge fans of those brightly colored flowers. So if you are dealing with regular infestations, you might want to skip out on those bright-colored flowers for wasp prevention.
4. Grow strong scented plants
Certain plants with a strong scent like fresh mint, lemon grass, eucalyptus, and thyme can effectively keep the wasps at bay. So growing strong scented plants is one of the simple ways to keep wasps from building nests by keeping them away.
5. Essential oils
Surely you didn’t think that essential oils could be the answer to how to get rid of wasps around the house! The Journal of Pest Management Science in 2013 featured a study that showed that peppermint oil could effectively keep wasps away.
Simply add a few drops to cotton balls and place them in areas where you suspect that wasps might gather. A combination of geranium, clove, and lemongrass essential oils also make great wasp repellents for decks.
6. Soap and water solution
Chris Walker is a wasp removal expert in Southeastern Pennsylvania who suggested using soap and water solutions to kill wasps. Walker mentioned that the breathing pores of wasps get clogged with the soap, and they die almost instantly.
The solution is eco-friendly and super easy to make as it only requires two tablespoons of dish soap and water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use it to handle small hanging nests.
7. Wasp traps
Although it may not be as effective for large infestations, wasp traps can work well for a few wasps. You can lure the wasps inside a container by keeping a treat like sugar water and then prevent their escape.
The sticky mixture of sugar and water can also attract the wasp, and as they crawl further inside the mixture, they will likely get stuck there and die.
8. Keep food and trash covered
If you are wondering how to keep wasps away from the deck, the best way is to keep your food, especially sugary beverages, indoors or well-covered, and keep the trash sealed properly.
9. Citronella candles
If you are an outdoor person and love your evening meals in the yard, citronella candles will keep you guarded not just from wasps but also from other insects.
If the scent is too strong for your liking, you can also keep them in small terracotta plant pots and place them around your dining area.
10. Avoid leaving the outside lights on
It is always best to leave outside lights closed if they’re no longer needed. Bright lights tend to draw insects to them, which in turn attracts the wasps who feed on them.
11. Professional pest control
Killing a wasp should be avoided if not the last resort because when they are squashed, they release a chemical alarm that sends a signal to the other wasps to attack, which is not a situation you would want to face.
However, if you have tried all you can to stop wasps from building nests but have failed, then it is best to request an appointment with professional wasp control as there might be a nest that would require drastic action for its removal.
You need a long-term solution to keep wasps away
It is not enough to just kill wasps or destroy their nest. If you want a permanent solution to prevent wasps from building nests, you need to remove every trace of its remnants and take measures to keep them away from anywhere near your house.
Simple methods like inspecting holes and repairing cracks in the house, keeping your food covered, and switching off the lights outside can ease your burden of wasps. Also, growing strongly scented plants and using essentials keeps wasps away and can be therapeutic.
If, however, it is a large and persistent infestation you are dealing with, do seek professional help rather than taking things into your own hands.