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How to Get Rid of Wasps and Hornets

Wasps are a pesky summer insect that can make outdoor life uncomfortable. But fear not, we’ll show you how to identify them, kill them and remove their nests to keep your home wasp free in this handy guide.

Skill Level: Beginner
Time:
  1. Step 1 Identify the Right Insect

    A wasp sits on a leaf.

    Though bees and wasps may look similar, they’re quite different. The body shape of a bee is a bit more bulbous and hairier, while wasps are much skinnier with a shiny appearance. Beehives are honeycomb-shaped while wasp nests are round and made of fibres and saliva.

  2. Step 2 Get Rid of Wasps and Hornets Nests

    A wasp nest under the eaves of a home.

    First things first, never swat a nest down or try to hit it off of your home. It’s best to leave wasp nest removal to professionals, but if you attempt it, be sure to do so at night when wasps are less active. Wasp traps can also be effective to capture and kill them while they’re out hunting. Wasp sprays are a great option as well but be sure to use them in well ventilated areas.

  3. Step 3 Keep Wasps and Hornets from Invading Your House

    A wasp nest under an awning outside.

    Use wasp traps to help prevent them from building nests. If you can find one with the attractant already included that’s great, otherwise, bait them with sugar water or juice. You can also purchase fake wasp nests, as they’re territorial and seeing an existing nest in the area can be a deterrent.

  4. Step 4 Safety tips

    A wasp close-up.

    If you encounter a wasp, be sure to avoid aggressive movements like swatting or attacking it. If one lands on you, simply remain calm and brush it away. Do not squish it near you or on you as the they release a pheromone that can attract other wasps.

  5. Step 5 How to Treat Wasp Stings

    A parent consoles a child that has been stung by a wasp.

    Wasp stings can be painful, but they’re easily treatable. Some of the symptoms they can cause are:

    • Confusion
    • Local pain
    • Shock
    • Vomiting
    • Welts
    • Decreased blood pressure
    • Difficulty breathing/dizziness
    • Inflammation/itching

    To treat them, be sure to wash the bite area with soap and water. Cold water or ice can help with the pain. If you’ve got swelling, allergy pills can help and calamine lotion can help relieve itching.

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