After the long chilly, cold weather, summer and spring come to brighten people’s lives. However, during this period, insects explore the environment and make their nest in our homestead. Wasps are among those insects that nest in homes and are very dangerous if provoked. Wasp stings are painful and cause swelling or severe health issues, especially allergic people.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a record of 1109 deaths from hornets, wasps, and bee stings between the year 2000-2017. Annually the average number of fatalities is 62 from these insects’ stings. These figures prove how wasps are dangerous, thus requiring precaution when getting rid of wasps at home.
How to Avoid Being Stung by a Wasp
Before eliminating the wasps, it’s best to have protective gear to avoid getting stung. Wear long pants, especially jeans, a long-sleeved top, closed-toe shoes, gloves, goggles, or glasses to protect your eyes. Also, use a scarf around your neck to avoid being stung. Other ways of attacking the wasps without getting stung include;
- Approach a wasp nest at night when they are less active.
- Target wasp nests when young as the colony is still small, thus less aggressive.
- Always plan for an escape route before targeting the nest. After spraying the nest, the wasps will stream out and swarm towards you. Therefore, have a quick escape plan to avoid being stung.
- Stay calm and move swiftly without making a bunch of movements. If you freak out or flail, the wasps might attack you.
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Wasp Home Remedies
There are several ways to get rid of wasps using natural home remedies. These ways are cheap to apply and practical they include;
Use of strong-smelling herbs
It’s a chemical-free method to use and keep wasps away. Examples of the herbs you can use are; thyme, eucalyptus spearmint, peppermint, citronella, clove, lemongrass, and geranium. Place these herbs in the areas with wasp activity or backyard, patio, and around the windows.
Make a wasp repelling spray using essential oils
Mix a teaspoon of clove oil, one teaspoon of lemongrass oil, a teaspoon of geranium, and 6 cups of water. Combine the elements in a spray bottle and spray the nest at night when the wasps are inactive. Keep spraying the nests for several days until the insects leave.
Another natural ingredient is mixing three tablespoons of lemon extract and one cup of water. Pour the mixture into a container and spray the nest at night. While streaming, always ensure you wear protective clothing.
Vinegar to get rid of wasps
Vinegar is a non-poisonous substance that repels wasps temporarily. Wasps have a strong sense of scent to find food, so they can easily sense vinegar. Vinegar acts by producing a strong smell that the wasps can’t stand. Therefore, vinegar becomes effective in chasing wasps, but the scent fades away quickly, so you should keep spraying, or else they return.
Make a mixture with equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. To make the mix more effective, you can add ¼ cup dish soap 1 cup of sugar.
Use dish soap
Fill a spray bottle with 500ml water and 2-4 spoons of liquid dish soap. Shake the bottle and spray the wasps directly; the solution will immobilize and kill them. The soaps clog the pores and prevent the wasps from breathing.
How to Get Rid of Wasps Without Killing Them
- Use of wasp-repellant plants like marigold, wormwood, mint, basil will help keep off the wasps.
- Use of the natural remedies listed above. These ingredients will chase the wasps without killing them.
- Use smoke. It’s a chemical-free way of clearing aerial wasps’ nests. Make a small fire below the nest, and as the smoke rises, it will force the wasp to vacate. Keep the smoke rising for an hour or two until the nest is empty. This method is effective for nests hanging from trees or exposed areas to prevent setting your house on fire. When the wasps escape, knock the nest down and dispose of it. However, to ensure all the wasps are gone, spray soapy water on the nest.
- If the wasps are inside the house, use a fan and open the windows. Wasps will escape as they can’t stand the wind, which won’t irritate them to attack you.
How to Kill Wasps Fast
You can use natural and artificial ways to get rid of wasps at home. These ways are as follows;
Use of pesticides
Buy an aerosol spray specifically for killing wasps, as some meant for other insects are less strong. Wear your protective clothing and prepare to spray the nest at night. Focus the bottom opening of the nest with a stream of the pesticide. Spray for around 10-15 seconds, then leave.
Let the spray take effect overnight and check the nest in the morning if there is any sign of life. If all the wasps have died, you should cover the nest with a cloth bag and pull it down. If you note activities, knock the nest with a stick and break it apart. Then, saturate the pieces with a pesticide spray.
You can kill wasps by drowning the nest in a bucket of water using a cloth bag. First, you should wear protective clothing and place a bucket of water below the nest. Next, grab a cloth bag with no holes, place it over the nest, and secure it tightly. Then, pull the nest down from the branch.
Dump the nest into the bucket of water and put a heavy stone on the nest to hold it. Leave the bag in water overnight, and in the morning, all the wasp will have drowned. However, this method isn’t for the faint-hearted as you will have close contact with the wasps.
Use boiling water
You can pour boiling water onto a nest and kill the wasps quickly. Hot water will kill the wasps immediately and even ruin their nest. However, you may need to use a few buckets for the method to be successful.
How Do You Keep Wasps Away?
Wasps tend to nest in our homestead, searching for water, food, and shelter. Therefore, some factors attract wasps to nest in our home compound. To keep wasps away, you should address these factors as follows;
- Seal the wasp’s entry point. Check around in your house for unsealed vents and cracks around windows and frames. Sealing will keep off the wasp from infesting your home.
- Clear all nests during winter. Removing nests will keep off the wasps from building on it next time.
- Always seal your garbage bins. The leftovers attract wasps, so closing the containers will keep off the wasps. Again, you should clean your cans regularly and disinfect them to avoid attracting wasps.
- If you have fruit trees around, always harvest them regularly. Fruits that fall and rot always attract wasps. Also, consider planting fruit trees away from the house.
- Use fake nests and hang them around the compound. Artificial nests will deter wasps as there are territorial insets. Wasps will not build a nest close to another colony.
- Avoid planting bright flowers in the garden as they attract various insects, including wasps.
- Avoid leaving lights on in your compound, which will stop wasps from visiting your garden.
- Place sugar and water traps. Wasp will likely be attracted to the mixture since it’s sweet. The insects will crawl inside, be trapped and die.
What to Do if Stung by a Wasp?
If you get stung by a wasp, you will likely swell, and it’s a painful experience. Here are remedies and treatments for wasp stings.
- First, wash the affected area with warm water and soap. Cleaning the spot will clear any bacteria or poison that the wasp may have.
- Apply a cold pack. Take a piece of fabric and wrap an ice pack around. Apply the ice on the area for 30-60 minutes intervals of 10 minutes. Ice will help reduce swelling and pain.
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. The drugs will reduce pain and swelling at the site.
- Use some antihistamine. Wasp stings usually have itchiness, and this causes discomfort. Applying antihistamine on the site will relieve the itchiness and pain. Some of these drugs are corticosteroids or calamine cream.
- After all these home remedies, the pain should only last for a day, but if it persists and the swelling continues, it’s best to see a doctor for a checkup. People with allergic reactions may be at great risk and cause more harm.
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If you observe these symptoms, they are life-threatening and calls for emergency medical help;
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Feeling tightness in the throat or chest
- Profuse sweating
- Wheezing in the chest
- Uncontrolled coughing
- Hives in the body
Wasps are dangerous insects to deal with; thus, always have to wear protective gear before approaching them. If you are afraid, always consider seeking help from family or friends. However, acting with fear will cause more harm as the wasps will likely attack. If you are stung, follow the above home treatments and seek medical help if the situation worsens.