How to Prevent Wasp Nests On & Around Your Home

wasp nest

During mid- to late summer, wasp activity, along with the temperatures, begin to heat up. If you notice wasps and wasp nests are showing up around your home during the summer months, you don’t have to be a prisoner to the threat of these pesky flying pests. While we cohabit with nature and many of nature’s creatures, wasps can pose a threat to our well-being if left unchecked. For this reason, it’s important to level up your knowledge of wasps and take a few easy steps to keep them at bay. Of course, if you are having a wasp invasion that’s gotten out of control, it might be a prudent move to call in an expert to help you rid your area of these stinging insects. If that’s the case, contact your local Spring-Green pros to find out if they’re offering wasp services to assist you. For the rest of us, let’s get prepared by exploring how wasps get attracted to your home, what the early signs of a wasp nest invasion looks like, as well as how to remove wasps and their nests when they do pop up.

Before the Sting: Preventative Measures to Keep Wasps at Bay

Get to Know Your Enemy

Wasps are most attracted to sweet foods such as open cans of pop, fruit juice, fallen apples underneath fruit trees, among others. It’s best to clean up quickly after your outdoor BBQ and not leave these sweets out for long.

Aside from understanding what attracts a wasp, you must also learn about where they like to make residence. Wasp nests vary based on the stinging insect that makes its home there. So, let’s start our wasp-related learning quest with a quick primer on the types of wasp nests:

  • Yellowjacket Nests – Yellowjackets usually seek out abandoned rodent homes, old logs, or any empty hollow structure to build their nests. It’s possible that a yellowjacket will build a hanging nest off the ground on occasion as well. This type of wasp nest will have a thick protective layer and one point of entry.
  • Hornet Nests – The European Hornet is the most common type of hornet. Their nests also consist of the outer protective layer with tiers on the inside. They are most commonly found above the ground in tree cavities or other raised empty spaces, typically at least six feet above the ground.
  • Paper Wasp Nests – The nest of the Paper Wasp will not have the protective outer layer like the hornet and yellowjacket.  This nest will have open cells that look like an open umbrella.  Paper Wasps craft their nests under roofs, up in tree branches, and in the overhangs of sheds, attics, and garages.  
  • Mud Dauber Nests – Mud daubers are loners, so they build homes for themselves only. Their nests are made up of their own saliva mixed with soil to make mud that is molded into a nest that can appear on the side of a building or a hole in the ground.

The Case for Getting Rid of Wasps is Strong

So, if we want to coexist with the natural world and try to reduce our carbon footprint, can’t we just leave wasp nests alone? The answer, in this case, is no. The reality is that most wasp nests grow in size and become a risk to you and your family. To put things in perspective, a Yellowjacket nest can contain thousands of wasps. If disturbed, an attack can cause them to become aggressive and attack – causing pain, possible allergic reactions, and potentially serious health threats.

wasp

Avoid Attracting Wasps to Your Home, Obviously

By understanding what places attract wasps to build their nests at, you can actually prevent the problem before it begins (best case scenario). Here are some tips to keep the wasps from feeling compelled to make nests on your home:

  • Clove-Geranium-Lemongrass Oil BlendA combination of clove, geranium, and lemongrass essential oils has been successful in keeping wasps away. You can spray the mixture in areas where you know wasps might want to build their nests like under eaves, porch roofs, as well as ledges and crevices.
  • Wasp Traps – Another option to keep unwanted visitors from setting up home base on your property is wasp traps. They lure the wasps in and then trap them inside. They can be purchased at the store or easily made yourself.

  • Close Gaps – Now that we know the places that wasps like to settle in, you can certainly make some small improvements and cleaning efforts to keep the nesting at bay. Sealing up cracks and tidying up debris can reduce the places for wasps to make their nests.
waspnests

Safe Removal of an Existing Wasp Nest

Safely removing wasps’ nests near your home or in your yard is not easy. As you can imagine, the wasps can be aggravated when you start to mess around with their home. You have a couple of choices here: you can go it alone and get rid of the wasps yourself, or you can call in a professional to do the work for you. Here are some tips and help in making that decision:

  • The Do-It-Yourself Wasp Removal Strategy – If your wasp’s nest is not overly large and not overly populated, you may be able to get rid of it yourself. If there’s an exposed nest near your home, you may choose to use a wasp spray. Be sure to wear gloves and protective eye wear along with long pants and sleeves when you apply the poison. The best time of day is early morning when most wasps will still be inside the nest with minimal activity. Also, be sure you can back out of the area quickly after you bother the wasps. Leave the area for a day or two and then check for any signs of wasps still lingering, in which case, you may need to repeat. If the wasp’s nest is tucked behind a wall or deck, it’s much harder to get rid of. You may need to drill holes and apply a dust insecticide through the holes.
  • The Time to Call a Pro – If you have an extremely large (in size or quantity) wasp presence or if the wasps are deeply embedded into a structure, you may be better off calling professionals to assist.

Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care partners since 1977, also specializes in pest control that includes wasp removal and prevention services. From pesky biting mosquitoes to wasps making their nests on and around your home, Spring-Green is here to help with your pest control needs. Not all pest services available at all Spring-Green locations. Please contact your local Spring-Green professional to check if these services are available in your area.

Contact Spring-Green Today!

Have You Reflected on Your Lawn and Landscape Yet?

reflected on lawn and landscape for next year

It is at this time of year that I start to evaluate how well my plants grew this past summer. My tomatoes did not get enough sun to produce much fruit, so those will have to be moved to a new location next year. The Variegated Ribbon Grass that I planted several years ago is spreading out way too much as it has aggressive underground roots called rhizomes. If I don’t cut it back every couple of years, roots and all, it will overtake the garden in a couple of years.

Changing up your plants

Changing up your plants for next year

I plant several hundred annuals every year and most of them do okay. With all the humidity and rain, we had to endure this past summer, Botrytis Blight ran rampant through the alyssum that I used as a border plant this year. I will probably switch to a different border plant next year. It is not that I don’t like alyssum, but part of keeping a disease in check is through sanitation. The spores of the disease will remain in the soil and can attack the plants again next year. A good practice is to change a plant the following year if it has been ravaged by a disease.

Taming overcrowding

Sometimes you decide that you planted too many plants into too small of a location for any of them to do well. I have a tendency to do this with some regularity. It does look nice for a time, but eventually the “survival of the fittest” kicks in and one plant often dominates.

Diagnosing diseases and damage

diagnosing diseases and damage at the end of the year

I also look for signs of disease and insect damage. The number one disease on the plants growing in my yard is Powdery Mildew. This will also develop in my lawns, but it is not as big of a problem as it used to be as I have been overseeding with shade-tolerant grass over the last 25 years. If I see an abundance of Powdery Mildew on some of my plants, I know not to plant the same ones in the same location next year.

Dealing with insect damage

Probably the largest pest in my gardens is not a disease or insect, it is the slug. I have used the Ortho product called Bug-Geta and it has done a fairly good job in areas where I have used it. The one thing that I do each fall is to remove as much of the spent green material on the plants at the end of the year. This is especially true on the hostas I have growing around my lawn.

Tracking changes

Keeping track of all the things I want to change the following year has always been a challenge, especially as I get older. This year, I am going to take pictures of everything I want to change. At least I will have a picture that may rattle loose a thought that I had when I look at the picture.

If you have any questions or concerns about your landscape, contact your local Spring-Green for more information.

The Importance of Regular Lawn Care Service

End Of Season

It’s a relatively common misconception that after several years of yard service, a lawn can become “numb” to the care and results become stagnant. It’s not necessarily a question of a lawn becoming unresponsive after several years with a professional lawn care service. Rather, it may be that results are not as dramatic or impressive as they were when service first started.

Our goal as a lawn care service is to get your lawn to a point where it is green, healthy and consistently looks good. We’ve done our job if the lawn’s appearance is healthy and doesn’t change much from month to month.

Lawns respond to whatever inputs you provide. Lawns themselves are not naturally occurring by default. So they need to be maintained to thrive and stay alive. If you choose to stop lawn service to let your lawn “rest” a year, the density will start to decline and the root system will diminish. Also, weeds, damaging insects, and lawn diseases can increase.

Turfgrasses grow best in well-drained soils that are rich in nutrients and organic content. Most home lawns do not have the best soil for turf to grow and thrive. Lawns need additional food, water and proper maintenance practices to make up for the poor soil on which they are expected to grow. That is why we recommend such additional services as core aeration to help root systems expand.

Careful fertilization, mowing, watering and reseeding decisions need to be made in order to maintain a lawn, and are determined by the type of turf you have and the weather conditions your particular lawn faces.

A healthy lawn, well-maintained by a lawn care service, will recover faster from the effects of adverse weather conditions as well as attacks from insect and disease infestations. If a lawn remains fallow for a year, it is less likely to have the ability to come back from these pressures. Therefore, you should continue with regularly scheduled applications of fertilizer on your lawn every year.

Contact your local Spring-Green lawn care service provider to discuss which lawn care services are right for your yard.