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Many wasps live solitary lives and go unnoticed by people around them. Other species, known as social wasps, live together in colonies that can number in the thousands. These wasps build papery nests in ground cavities or tree hollows, and some enter homes to nest in attics or walls. Some stinging wasps become aggressive, particularly when they scavenge around food and drink served outdoors. An active wasp nest near doors, walkways or outdoor entertainment areas presents a hazard to people and pets nearby.

Wasp Identification: Many native and nonnative wasp species exist in the United States. Their appearances vary considerably. Many of the most troublesome stinging wasps, including numerous species of yellowjackets, resemble honey bees. However, wasp bodies are hard and shiny with few or no hairs, while bees are covered in fine fuzz. Common stinging wasps range in length from 3/8 to 5/8 inch long. Depending on the species, their bright yellow-and-black bodies carry different markings, from jagged bands to spots and triangles.

Signs/Damage of Wasps: Wasps become problems when they nest too close to high traffic areas. You may see their papery nest, encounter wasps themselves, or discover a ground nest as you mow. Social wasps are very protective of their nests. Come too close, and stings are likely.

How to Control Wasps: To reduce the likelihood of stings, treat wasps during late evening and early morning, when they're less active. Always wear protective clothing. GardenTech® brand offers several highly effective options to kill wasps by contact and keep protecting for up to three months. These non-staining products treat lawns, edibles and ornamental gardens. They can also be used on your home's foundation up to a height of 3 feet:

  • Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Spray attaches to a regular garden hose for simple, thorough coverage. The product measures and mixes with the hose water automatically as you spray.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Concentrate, used with a pump-style sprayer, simplifies targeted treatment for wasp nests, ground cavities and other areas where you see wasp activity. The easy-to-use measuring cap makes it simple to measure just the right amount into your sprayer. Then add water, and mix well.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Use is ideal for direct, small-scale treatment. Set the adjustable nozzle to “stream" for precision spraying or to “spray" for broader coverage. 

Tip: If you find a large wasp nest, consider hiring a professional to remove it rather than trying to remove it yourself. These pests are typically aggressive when threatened.

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully, including pre-harvest intervals on edible crops.

GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc. 

Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

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