Wasp infestations can be dangerous, especially if there are small children in the home or family members with allergies. Wasps can also be a deterrent to guests and family members, invoking fear in those that wish to visit or participate in outdoor activities. Before attempting to eliminate a wasp nest, however, certain measures should be taken to ensure that the nest is safely and effectively eliminated.
Test for Allergies
Before attempting to eliminate a wasp nest, an allergy test should be taken. Wasp stings can be life threatening to those that have allergies to wasp venom. Aan allergy test can be given by an allergy specialist. If it is determined that the individual hoping to eliminate the wasps nest is allergic to wasp venom, a professional exterminator should be called.
Identify the Type of Wasp
There are three main types of wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps. It is helpful to identify the type of wasp to determine how aggressive the insect is. Wasp nest may also vary, and determining the type of wasp may help to provide insight into the best method for eliminating the nest.
Yellow jackets are similar in appearance to bees, with shorter black and yellow bodies. Antennae are thick and black. Yellow jackets are very aggressive and will attack repeatedly, chase victims, and swarm. Yellow jackets prefer to build nests in enclosed areas, such as holes inside of walls or in the ground. The nests are paper-like.
While there are several different species of hornet, the bald faced hornet is the most common in North America. Bald faced hornets are dark brown or black with white markings on the head and upper body. Hornets are generally larger than most other types of stinging insects, and can cause very painful stings. Hornet nests are papery, and are often found in rotting tree and wall cavities.
Paper wasps have long bodies with yellow or brown markings on a black base. Paper wasps build large nests that are similar in structure to an upside-down umbrella. Nests are often located under a structure that offers shelter, such as the eaves of a home.
Considerations When Eliminating Wasp Nests
In order to safely eliminate wasp nests, the time of day and year should be considered. Wasp nests will have the lowest numbers at the start of the warm season, and will be less aggressive and able to defend the nest. Eliminating the nest at night or very early in the morning is also recommended, as wasps are less active at these times. Protective gear is of the upmost importance in preventing stings, and should be worn over all areas where skin is exposed. If pesticides are used, warning labels should be followed carefully and the pesticide should be kept away from children and pets.
Calling in Exterminators
If a nest is up high, an exterminator should be called in. Using a ladder can be very dangerous when eliminating wasp nests, as individuals may lose balance when the wasps begin to attack. Even if protective gear is worn, a wasp attack can be startling. Exterminators may also be able to successfully eliminate nests in hard to reach areas.