Getting Rid Of Wasps: Social And Solitary Wasps

There are basically two types of wasps. As the names suggest, they can live and move alone, or in a swarm. The solitary kind rarely sting, and being ecologically beneficial – they help keep the aphid and beetle populations down – as well as docile: They seldom need to be dealt with unless they build their nest where there's high human traffic, where there's a good chance someone will get stung. By and large they keep to themselves. The truly dangerous types are the social wasps. These usually pose a bigger problem since they can and will sting repeatedly (their stingers aren't like bees', which are barbed and break off), and their nests are usually near human dwellings. Their favorite places are attics, the roof peak, porch and garage ceilings, and under the roof.

Commercial Repellents: Effective Wasp Control

There are two types of commercial wasp repellent available – the projectile spray and the normal spray. The projectile spray type can be used from a distance, and is useful for hard to reach places, and those times when you may need to make a quick getaway before the wasps start to swarm - it's an expected reaction when you're trying to poison the entire nest. It is ideal for aerial nests. The normal non-projectile sprays are perfect for underground nests. However, even with the most effective sprays, there will be a few escapees so make sure you repeat the process at least two or three times until you're certain that all of them are either dead or have abandoned the nest permanently. As soon as you're sure you've got them all, destroy the nest if it's an aerial one, or fill it with sand or gravel if it's an underground one. Wasps will generally not return to the location of a once-poisoned nest to rebuild. That means, until the next migratory cycle begins, you're home free – or at least your home is wasp-free.

Get Rid Of Wasps Without Killing Them

If you're particularly humane and don't like to kill to protect yourself, there are other options you can use. Smoking them out is a good way to empty the nest. For an aerial nest, simply build a smoky fire under it and wait until the nest is evacuated. Take all precautions possible and stay indoors or far away because otherwise you'll have a whole bunch of angry wasps to deal with. Once you're sure the nest has been vacated completely, again, destroy it by knocking it down and breaking it up. Even if the wasps do come back to the exact same spot, you'll have time to use repellent spray on the old spot and other potential real estate, to discourage them from rebuilding. A similar approach can be used for underground nests but instead of building an open fire you need to use a commercial smoke-maker or 'smoker'. This is basically a bellows – controlled container with a chamber inside for making and keeping a source of smoke. These are effective in that they don't irritate the wasps (there's very little heat generated unlike an open fire) and there's less of a chance that you will get stung. However, when eliminating wasps' nests of any kind, it is advisable to wear protective clothing made of rubber, as the stingers can easily make their way through natural fibers like wool and cotton.


Once you've cleared all possible locations of the wasp menace, you might want to do something to prevent another colony from settling on your property. The solution is simple yet brilliant. Paint all ceiling surfaces like the porch or garage with sky blue paint. Amazing as it sounds, this will trick the wasps into thinking that there's nothing but clear blue sky there so naturally, they won't even bother trying to build a nest there. This last piece of information is from a mostly reliable but hard-to-verify source, so be sure to check with a professional before you run out to buy a can or two of sky blue.