How To Keep Wasps Away From Your Home
Wasps can be a nuisance to humans, but they do benefit the yard and garden because they prey on other insects that can destroy landscaping. However, if you are allergic to their venom, or if they get too close for comfort, wasps can become a problem. While there are no surefire techniques to prevent wasps from building a nest, you can take steps to discourage nest building near your home this spring:
Search your home for open entry points. Check for cracks in door frames and window frames, unsealed vents and torn screens. Paper wasps can build nests inside your walls, so use a sealant to close off all possible means of access.
- Buy a garbage can with an airtight lid. Wasps will forage for food anywhere, and if discarded food is easy for them to find, they are likely to build nests nearby.
- Wipe any spills and clean up any crumbs after eating outdoors. If wasps find anything worth eating on your patio, they will come back. In late summer and early fall, the food preference for wasps turns to the sweet. Their behavior is also more aggressive. Open cans of pop, fruit juice, fallen apples beneath fruit trees and other sweet food sources will attract wasps. Remove any fallen fruit rotting on the ground.
- Place decoy wasp nests around your home. You can buy them at a gardening supply store or online. Wasps tend to avoid other wasp nests, so the fake ones will trick them into staying away. Decoy nests are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to using pesticides.
- Hang clothes dryer sheets around your home. Dryer sheets seem to repel wasps.
If you feel you must spray store-bought chemical pesticides around your home, keep pets and small children away from the areas you spray. Protect your eyes, mouth and skin from the chemicals with goggles, mask and gloves.
If you are stung, the wound should be washed with water which helps remove some of the venom, and treated with an anti-sting product or antihistamine cream which can reduce the pain and spread of the venom.
If the sting is in the throat or mouth, or if an allergic reaction occurs, seek medical treatment immediately. Anyone with a history of hypersensitive reactions should have a sting emergency kit available. High-risk persons should wear a medical alert bracelet.