WASPS AND HORNETS Home Treatments
Due to me retiring partly due to non paying customers, which forced me to leave some very loyal customers, I have closed my pest control academy and am offering you the knowledge based upon my experience on how to treat wasps and hornets yourself and save money.
As per normal the expert information and knowledge is offered to you from my personal lifetime experiences in various trades and have been compiled as a short tutorial about the easy way to start a business, or carry out a treatment for wasps etc. Which in turn will help the DIYer and newbies that want to start their own business and learn more about the pitfalls etc. Also please remember that these pages are not a training package.
It is important to remember that the following is true facts, regardless of what people say. One queen, one nest, one year and it dies never to be used again by wasps.
If you see wasps all over bushes etc they are scavenging for food, normally seen at the emergence of queens.
If you have a wasp nest, the wasps will be going in and out of one hole or small area, i.e., a hole in the wall / fascia / garden or bush.
When you see the larger wasps around the middle to end of August / September they are not the earlier smaller wasps grown up, they are in fact the next generation of fertile wasps ready for the following years life cycle.
If you do not kill the nest before the end of August, you could have potentially 500 - 1500 queens emerge to start the following years wasp season, if you treat before the queens emerge then you will greatly reduce the chances of new nests in your property the following year.
Around August September time the worker wasps will hang about your drinks etc when outside enjoying yourself, and are likely to sting you, this is when we say they are drunk with fruit juice etc and they sting for the sake of it.
The truth is they are dying as it is the end of their life span, and that of the current nest.
After this point, you will see loads of larger wasps hanging around the entrance to the nest, they are the fertile males waiting for the virgin queens to emerge, they mate, and the males die. This is the point at which you will see hundreds of larger wasps on bushes and trees, they are just foraging and fattening up for the winter hibernation. They no longer need to be in the nest and to treat at this period will almost certainly mean that a small percentage of wasps have died, the rest will have left the nest and will just use somewhere else to rest until they have over wintered, and the survivors will start again.
If, however you treat the nest before the point where they sting you in August / Sept, you will kill the nest and are not likely to have any further problems relating to that nest. If you leave it too late, some of the over wintering queens are likely to be in your loft and are likely to emerge in the mid-winter when you turn a light on.
If you rent a property the landlord may pay for the wasps to be treated, unlike rodent activity, wasps do not enter a property due to tenants or owner’s lifestyle, they enter the property looking for somewhere to live. As such the tenant etc has no control over the problem.
How to avoid wasp stings?
Due to a wasps’ behaviour changing in late summer from sugars to proteins you will more likely encounter them wherever food is consumed outdoors and around rubbish collection areas.
The following pointers may help you avoid painful wasp stings:
Carefully dispose of all food and drinks, especially soft drink cans by placing in a closed rubbish bin.
Never leave sugary drinks unattended. Plus, ALWAYS check sugary drinks before consuming, just in case there are any wasps in the drink, always better to drink from a glass than a can.
Keep all areas of your property clean and tidy, especially where sweet items are kept or have been consumed.
Check for wasp activity before carrying out any gardening activity, especially in hedges and borders.
Avoid strong scents and bright clothing.
Protect your feet by wearing closed shoes, not flip flops.
One of the questions we were repeatedly asked is “Should a wasp nest be removed after treatment?”
Bearing in mind that the nest is not dangerous once all the wasps have been dispatched, it is just the structure for the wasps to live in which is made by chewing wood and making a paper Mache` type mixture for the building of the structure. It will also only be used to live in for one season, and no other wasps will use it for their home.
In some circumstances a treated wasp nest removal needs to be carried out.
When we were pest controllers, we would normally only carry this out at the first visit if the nest were in an entrance area or posed an immediate risk to the public or your own safety.If the wasp nest was not causing any threats, we would normally have left it well alone after treatment.
Our reasons for this are that if the nest is left in its present location i.e., where it is built after it has been treated, the insecticide (normally but not always a dust) would kill all returning wasps. Any dust used by yourself will remain active within the nest for a long time if it stays dry.
Due to its long shelf life the powder will be a future safeguard against any inquisitive wasps from other nests.
At this point it is worth remembering.
Other wasps from nearby nests will attempt to raid and scavenge from the treated nest due to no defence from the original wasps. A few of these scavenging wasps will enter the nest and they too will die by the fact that they have walked in the active chemical, which means that the treated nest is helping to kill wasps from other nests.
This also applies in the spring when queen wasps which are emerging from their winter hibernation start exploring potential nesting sites and encounter the treated nest, due to their inquisitive nature they are likely to enter the old, treated nest and if they touch any active powder there is a good chance they too will die before they are able to build a new nest of their own.
If you decide that your wasp nest needs removing for any reason.
It is better to treat the wasp nest first, then wait for a few days (we advise approx. 48 hours minimum) for the foraging wasps to return to the treated nest where they will die, then it is normally safe to remove the nest.
A lot of my customers were more than happy to remove the treated nest themselves, and they were advised to wear gloves and a mask due to the insecticide used.
It is also worth taking a bin liner with you as the nest is fragile and will almost certainly break up when removed, the bin liner will help to reduce the mess to clear up afterwards.
If a wasp nest is removed too soon before all the scavenging worker wasps are killed the returning wasps are highly likely to build another nest, albeit just a shell as there will be no queen to lay eggs. This also applies if the customer uses a quick knock down treatment such as a wasp nest foam treatment and removes the nest straight away.
If you decide to remove a wasp nest yourself, the first thing to ensure is that the nest is not in use. If you are unsure whether the wasp nest is live, do not attempt to remove it or touch it. The smallest vibrations are enough to provoke wasps into attacking. If in doubt call your local pest controller and seek advice.
DIY Wasp Treatment
More and more people are trying to treat wasp nests to save money, I agree with this idea but to help you carry out a safe treatment I have put together the following advice.
DIY products DO work if used in a correct manner.
(Do not forget your running shoes in case the treatment goes wrong).
Wasps use whatever nesting material is available, and normally will build their nests near to ready and easy to get at material such as wood from fence panels / garden furniture / sheds / trees etc and convert it into a paste that the wasps use to construct their nest.
Wasps do not swarm in the same fashion as honeybees. Wasps only swarm around the nest location when the nest is tampered with (under attack) such as when a nest is treated.
Early summer onwards into late autumn is when you will be able to easily tell if a nest is active. Take a few moments to watch the nest from a safe distance. If you can see wasps walking over the outside of the nest, then it is live. If you can see wasps arriving at a hole in the wall etc there is a likelihood of a live nest being behind the hole out of sight.
Wasps will not re-use a nest year after year, they will build new nests each year with a new queen. The old queen will be dead before the new season starts.
ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING WHEN DEALING WITH WASP NESTS.
Here is some information and advice about wasps and how to control and eradicate wasp nests.
Dealing with wasp nests can be dangerous as they can sting multiple times, not just once, like a bee.
Wasps will instinctively attack anyone that ventures too near to their nest, they usually have “sentry” wasps which act as guards near the entrance to the nest and these communicate with wasps that are within the nest, when danger appears.
Even after treatment, wasps will be seen for a short while due to foraging wasps returning to the nest, which is one reason we leave a treated nest in situ so that returning wasps will enter the nest and be killed with the remaining chemical.
How to destroy a wasp nest safelyFirstly, make sure you have some protective clothing, particularly a mask if you are using dust/powder insecticide.
Stand a short distance from the nest and watch the nest to determine where the in and out flight path is, it is best not to stand near to either.
Most pest controllers will use a powder, this will kill the nest quickly and have a long-term residual effect, which will allow time to kill off any returning wasps to the nest.
Most of the DIY powders use a chemical called Permethrin, (both in ant powder and wasp destroyer powder) this is ok and will do the job required adequately, however caution must be used due to the wasps becoming excited before they die off, which is normally minutes after treating. However, professionals have various treatment methods and chemicals at their disposal, which obviously makes the job easier.
It is an idea to try to lightly cover the nest with whichever powder you have, directly from the puffer pack.
You do NOT require powder to be over a large area to kill wasps, normally a teaspoon of powder will kill a nest the size of a football, the wasps or hornets need to walk in the powder due to them breathing through their underside, and so to dust where they do not walk looks unsightly and is a waste of chemical.
Small quantities into the entry hole is far better.
If the nest is in a hole, in the wall or behind an air brick, dust from the puffer straight into the holes just once or twice then urgently vacate the area.
Use a powder/dust to kill these wasps. You do not need any application equipment, but you may find it easier if you use something like the one shown in the picture below, which is a low-cost item on E Bay.
Due to the DIYer carrying out the treatment late in the evening when there are less wasps flying, (for your safety) you may have to make several attempts to eradicate a nest if you can only see the entrance hole. This is because you cannot get enough wasp killer dust to stay in the entrance path for the wasps to pick up and carry into the wasp nest. Usually, a few puffs at the end of each day for a few days will be more than enough to sort out the largest size of nest.
If the nest is in an air brick apply over the whole air brick into the holes not on the surface as it looks untidy, this is because the wasps will use other holes in the brick if you do not treat all the vent holes.
Carry out the treatment late at night if you are too scared to approach the wasps during the day, however, treatment during the day will be more likely to work rapidly. Even at night, there will be some guard wasps at the entrance to the wasp nest. Caution is required.
Wasps very often nest in the ground and these nests are extremely easy to deal with.
No equipment is required. Just puff the wasp killer dust from the puffer into the hole. The wasps will walk into the powder regardless, due to them walking out of the entrance before taking flight.
Only use a Wasp Nest Killer Foam Aerosol if you can see the whole nest, aim the foam into the open entrance hole normally located at the bottom of the nest and then cover as much of the nest as you can with the foam before promptly vacating the area. (No necessity to use all the can in one visit normally). If you use a foam into a hole in the wall, the foam will dissolve but the chemical will stay for a short while, in the meantime there is a good chance that the wasps will be driven inwards into the property and emerge elsewhere.
Ideally use something like that shown in the picture below to direct the dust into the entrance hole. (The picture is from an item on EBAY (I typed in pest control duster into the search bar) and is for description purposes only, this is one of a few that has a long nozzle which obviously keeps the operator further away from the nest entrance).
If you have protective gear such as a £25 ish bee suit from eBay (which is all I used) you may well want to get close to the nest and dust straight into it, this is fine, but my advice is to treat from outside first. That way a lot of the wasps will be outside of the nest area and not inside with you.
Once you turn on a light the wasps will fly to that light, even if you are in the way, however there is a great chance that you will be attacked whilst they are flying past you.
Once you open a loft hatch the wasps will fly out into the room or passage. A good idea here is to close all doors and leave an external door or window open so the wasps can fly out. I used to leave the nearest window to the loft entrance open.
Do not use an aerosol indoors or in the loft if you can help it just in case there is a flame from a boiler or a bad bit of wire causing a spark. An explosion can easily happen under these circumstances.
Be vigilant always and try to watch where wasps are flying when they are airborne.
Wear white or brighter coloured clothes or bee suit where possible, these may well attract the wasps to you, but equally you can see them before you undress or sit down.
Do not wear a head torch, the wasps will fly straight towards it. Hold a torch at arm’s length and to your side if possible.
The pest control product is the same product used at higher levels as it is at ground level, do NOT get duped into believing anything else, just so the pest controller can put the price up.
Any reputable pest controller will give you a fixed price over the phone for treatment, there should be NO hidden extras added.
Most insecticides these days are a Permethrin which kills most insects, I don’t usually give out names of chemicals but this particular one states most crawling insects, Nippon Ant Killer (Powder puffer pack) it states on the label, and I quote “The ideal treatment in difficult to reach areas. The powder can be dusted along cracks and crevices, door, and window frames and in air bricks, along ant runs and, where an ant’s nest is found, it can be used to eliminate it completely. Also works on cockroaches, beetles, earwigs, silverfish, woodlice and most other types of crawling insects.” It also is the same chemical used for wasp and hornet treatments.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BLOCK UP THE ENTRANCE HOLE UNTIL YOU ARE SURE THE WASPS ARE ALL DEAD OR THEY WILL COME OUT ELSEWHERE AND COULD CAUSE MAJOR PROBLEMS.
PLEASE NOTE: Wasps can be dangerous if you are allergic to the stings, anaphylactic shock from a sting can result in serious and potentially fatal swelling.