A few years ago I wrote a post about getting rid of wasps and hornets naturally. Since then, we actually figured out a few more ways to not use toxic killing spray to get rid of problem wasps and hornets. Today we’re going to share three ways that actually work to naturally get rid of wasps and hornets.
I’m a nature loving mama and usually the type to capture a bug we find in the house to release outside instead of killing it. But when it comes to a nest of wasps right outside our back door or a nest of hornets right next to our outdoor patio table, I draw the line. If they just kept to themselves we’d be fine, but no. They have to pester us, land on Little A while she’s playing, dive bomb us as we walk out the back door and they even have the nerve to continually land on our food when we eat outside. Let’s not even talk about the times we’ve been stung, especially the time poor Little A got stung in the hand at nine months old!
Preventing wasp and hornet nests from being built
Lets talk prevention. I’m a huge advocate of getting to the root of an issue to solve the problem. We can trap wasps and hornets all we want, but until we get to the root cause it won’t make that big of a difference. To really impact a problem nest of wasps or hornets, you have to figure out where they are nesting and how to stop them from nesting there. We have the worst problems with wasps and hornets building nests in the uncovered rafters of our back porch, along the eaves of the house, and in the metal frame of our glider swing outside.
The easiest fix was with our glider swing. My husband used a spray foam insulation to fill in the metal ends of the glider swing and we never had another wasp or hornet problem there! The exposed rafters of our back porch are a bit trickier. Since we know the porch rafters are a big problem area, our plan is to cover it with soffit which will prevent the pests from nesting there.
I mentioned the wasps and hornets also like to nest in the eaves of the house. We noticed a small gap in the wood on the eaves in two spots where they were getting in. On a warm winter day before they started getting in there again, my husband used a wood filler and filled in the little gaps. Then he painted over it the same color as the trim so you couldn’t see that he had patched it. That solved the problem for that spot and was successful in deterring the pests!
Naturally Getting Rid of Wasps and Hornets
These three things are the best options we’ve found that actually work to naturally get rid of wasps and hornets.
1. Glass bee hive trap. This is still my favorite natural trap for wasps and hornets because it looks pretty and it does a good job. We simply fill it with a little fruit juice and within minutes it lures in the wasps and hornets. Each time I cleaned it out last summer, I checked out what we trapped since some folks had concerns about trapping good bees like honey bees or bumblebees. I rarely saw one of those in there but we did have wasps, hornets and flies. You can find the glass bee hive traps here.
2. The Fatal Funnel. We actually discovered this wasp and hornet trap at a store in town last summer. I was skeptical at first since it seemed so simple. The fatal funnel is really two yellow rubber funnels that you insert into the side of an empty plastic soda bottle. The plastic bottle is filled with bait to attract the wasps and hornets. We filled ours with a beer, a PBR to be exact. The wasps and hornets loved it. I was blown away. The funnel was designed so the bees can go in but they can’t go out. We hung this from the rafters of our back porch close to the wasp nests. It didn’t take long for the Fatal Funnel to trap a lot of those pests! While this thing worked as well as the glass bee hive and a fraction of the cost, it is really ugly! You can find the Fatal Funnel here.
3. The Electric Tennis Racket zapper. These things are amazing, and not just for wasps and hornets! They zap anything they come in contact with and also work great for mosquitoes and flies. They look like a small tennis racket and run on battery power. There’s a button on the handle you hold in and swat at whatever pest you’re trying to zap. It will kill them instantly on contact. We always have a couple around the house, on the porch and in our camping gear. You can find the Tennis Racket Zapper here.
Will the traps catch honey bees?
There may be some of you who are worried about using some of these methods and killing honey bees. I think this is a valid concern and something I’ve been monitoring in our own wasp and hornet traps the last few years (yes, I do inspect what I dump out of our wasp and hornet traps to keep tabs on what we’re catching!) I love honey bees, especially now that we have our own honey bee hives on our property.
From my experience, the key to minimize trapping and killing honey bees is to place these wasp and hornet traps close to the offending nests and not near a garden or any flowering shrubs or trees. The areas where we hang our traps aren’t near our gardens so we rarely trap a honey bee. On the plus side, our traps have also caught flies and moths. We have a pretty bad moth problem at our new house so we’re always excited when one gets in a trap!
These methods to naturally get rid of wasps and hornets are the three best things that have worked for us to avoid using toxic killing sprays. I hope you find these helpful in controlling the pest problem without using the nasty killing sprays!
Do you have problems with wasps and hornets? What other natural ways do you get rid of them?