Summer is the time for outdoor barbecues, playing in the sprinklers, and working in the garden. Unfortunately, these pursuits can be uncomfortable to downright dangerous if wasps take over your backyard. Unlike bees, which are beneficial pollinators that usually won't bother people, wasps can become quite aggressive and attack for purely territorial reasons. Combine this with the fact that a wasp can sting multiple times, and there's little doubt that you will want to eradicate them. The following tips can can help you avoid wasp problems.
Tip #1: Get Rid of the Food
A steady source of food can attract wasps. Most food enjoyed by people and pets will also attract wasps. This means you should keep pet food inside, providing nothing more than a water dish outdoors and providing all feedings indoors. Make sure you clean up after barbecuing so that no crumbs or food spills remain. This includes scrubbing down the grill. Use drink and bowl covers so wasps can't access food before it's served or when it's sitting unattended. Finally, make sure all garbage containers are tightly sealed so the wasps can't find a free meal.
Tip #2: Remove Nests
Many wasps build nests in the fall. This is where the eggs are laid, which will become next year's wasp population. You can often find these nests under the eaves of your home, under patio overhangs, or in the rafters of a garage. If you aren't allergic to stings, you can knock down small nests as soon as you notice them, using a broom handle, and then squash the nest to kill the inhabitants. For larger nests, wait until night when the wasps are less active. Then, spray the nest with a wasp killer and vacate the area for a few hours so the killer can destroy the pests. You can remove and destroy the nest the following day.
Tip #3: Look Underfoot
If you have trouble finding nests, the wasps may be building ground nests. If you see wasps skimming near ground level or if mowing seems to aggravate the pests, chances are you have ground nests. These usually look like small round holes. A single hole leads into a narrow tunnel, which then leads to a large underground nest. The simplest way to eradicate this nest is to sprinkle a wasp control powder down the opening. This will kill all the occupants.
Wasps can be hard to locate and destroy. If you need help, contact a local pest control company such as Fowler Pest Control.