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Getting rid of wasp nests without poison?

 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 703
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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We have two wasp nests in the garden and were stung several times. One is on the border to our neighbour and I must get rid of it urgently.
I went to the local hardware and they had only one poison and it seemed too scary for me that I would ever touch it. Any ideas?
The wasps are not overly aggressive but there are thousands of them so I must do something now!
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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It's tricky. I got some good advice in this thread about wasps and yellowjackets
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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A pump sprayer with a heavy dish detergent/water mix will drop them on contact and kill them. Just make sure you hit them quick and don't get them PO'ed.
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 703
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Thanks good idea with the pump sprayer. Some good ideas in the other thread.
Mint does it really work? Dishwashing liquid? I must try.
We tried actually dishwashing liquid yet but not sprayed only poured in. Didn't work. Maybe we
should have used hot water. Then we stuck a garden hose in and tried to drown the nest didn't work either.
 
Dave Miller
Posts: 409
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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Are you sure they are wasps? Perhaps they are hornets? Yellowjackets? It is important to know what you are battling.

Paper wasps are generally harmless, the only time I have been stung was when I accidentally knocked some of them down the back of my shirt - I cannot blame them for being unhappy about that.

I have no experience with hornets, but they also make a (usually large) paper nest above ground. I believe they are more aggressive than paper wasps.

Yellowjackets nest underground, and are aggressive when disturbed. I disturbed a yellowjacket nest once and got stung by 10 of them.

If you must knock down a wasp or hornet nest, do so when the weather is cold, and preferably at night. They will be sluggish and thus unlikely to sting you.

I would imagine that you could pour a bubbly soap solution into a yellowjacket nest. But I shudder to think what might happen if you missed the hole or something.

If you know where their nest is, keep everyone away from it. Also don't leave attractants laying around (anything that is like meat or rotting fruit - i.e. meat, sugary drinks). Ensure that your garbage can lid fits tightly. These guys have an important role to play in your yard (e.g. eating pest insects), if possible you should try to coexist with them. But that means you need to understand what they are and what they want.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Soap.

The all purpose cleaner in a pump bottle from the dollar store that squirts out a stream is the harshest "poison" you need to use.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1570
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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If they are in a hole and you can't reach the nest to spray, then carbon dioxide can work wonders.

You can use a CO2 fire extinguisher and blast it in, or you can buy dry ice, tip it in the hole and close the hole off with some soil. It suffocates them without poison.
 
Ludger Merkens
Posts: 171
Location: Deutschland (germany)
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what about resettlement? (The wasps - not you)
Most wasps are very beneficiary insects to your garden. So keep them as close as you can tolerate them. If you really need to get rid of a wasp nests, try resettlement. If you have easy access to the nest, wait for a cool and dark evening, where almost all wasps are at home.
Take a bucket with a well closing lid (but not airtight - puncture some small holes into it, if necessary). Use a sharp knife to cut the entire nest from the ceiling and drop it carefully into the bucket. Take the bucket with the wasps and put them at a place, where there is at least some weather protection for the wasps. If you like your wasps, build something similar to a bee bait box, where you glue the nest to the top of the box and place the entire box where it doesn't bother you.
You should wear gloves and some protection, like a bee keeper does.
No poison, no dead wasps, problem solved

good luck
Ludger
 
chip sanft
Posts: 331
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Ludger Merkens wrote:what about resettlement? (The wasps - not you)


This was my thought too -- those nasty wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, etc can be predators of unwanted insects. Though it sounds like Matu's problem isn't amenable to most easy methods.

When I got stung just sitting (and drinking beer -- maybe they were puritanical) near a yellowjacket nest, I convinced them to move by letting the hose run on the nest for about a half hour two days running. That had the advantage of letting me maintain a distance when the disruption started.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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Paper wasps sometimes nest in metal grid beam if the tubes stay dry. If you store your sticks outside, handle them cautiously until you make sure they’re not inhabited. We’re not into killing wasps — they destroy garden caterpillars and other pests — but if you must remove them, a spray of anhydrous (water-free) isopropyl alcohol kills them on contact, and leaves no toxic residue.


Jergenson, Phil; Jergenson, Richard; Keppel, Wilma (2008-06-01). How to Build with Grid Beam: A Fast, Easy and Affordable System for Constructing Almost Anything (Kindle Locations 1091-1093). New Society Publishers. Kindle Edition.
 
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