Many wasps live solitary lives and go unnoticed by people around them. But 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.
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 yellow jackets, 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 or Damage of Wasps
Wasps become a problem when they nest too close to high-traffic areas. You may see their papery nests, 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 two 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 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 Spray attaches to a regular garden hose for simple, thorough coverage and easy application. This convenient product measures and mixes with the hose water automatically as you spray.
Wasp Control 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 thoroughly and follow instructions, including guidelines for listed plants and pests, application frequency and pre-harvest intervals (PHI) for edible crops.
GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.
Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.