How to Get Rid of Paper Wasps

get rid of paper wasps

Paper wasps could be beneficial because they eat smaller bugs. However, these stinging insects are extremely aggressive, especially when you threaten their nest.

The worst part about paper wasps is that they can sting multiple times, as their stinger is not left in the flesh like a bee sting.

The scariest part is that they can signal fellow wasps to sting you as well, which could lead to a very painful situation.

1. How to Identify Paper Wasps

The first step in battle is to know thy enemy, and this case is no different. Learn what makes a paper wasp unique so that you know the correct way to eliminate it.

Misidentification can result in the use of ineffective treatment methods, wasting time and money.

The Paper Wasp

Paper wasps are common throughout Texas and can be identified in a couple of ways.

Firstly, they are typically 1 inch long and are made up of three segments with a prominent waist.

Second, although their shape is normally standard, their colors range from reddish-orange to dark brown, and they may or may not have yellow markings.

They also have much longer legs than other “stripey yellow things.” Only females have stingers because each stinger is actually a modified ovipositor (egg-layer). Male wasps’ only function is to mate with new queens.

The Nest

One of the easiest ways to identify these wasps is by their nest. Paper wasps construct open, gray, papery umbrella nests from saliva and chewed wood or paper litter.

These nests are frequently found on the underside of eaves or overhangs, where they are protected from rain.

They hang from a single filament and have one layer of hexagon-shaped cells. If left alone, it can grow to a diameter of 6 to 8 inches and can contain several dozen wasps.

2. Planning

As mentioned previously, knowing your enemy makes your job much easier. If you know the type of wasp you’re dealing with, it will narrow your search and limit which steps to take and the tools you will need.

Locate the Nest

The first step is to locate the nest. Walk around your property and check all the normal hiding spots, such as roof eaves and rafters, wall cavities, crawl spaces, railings, fence posts, and tree branches.

Locating the nest is normally pretty easy, but in case the nest is not in plain sight, it may behoove you to watch its flight path. 

Follow the wasps to see where they are traveling to and from, and you should find their nest. 

Plan Your Battle

Once you find the nest, you need to decide which route you’re going to take to eliminate the wasps. If you have decided to call a professional like Gecko Green to get rid of these pests, please give us a call at (972) 899-9249 to set up treatment.

However, if you are deciding to DIY it, keep reading because there are certain tools and products that you will need.

Gather Gear and Tools

First, you want to ensure that you are being safe if you are going to get rid of these stinging insects alone, and that means covering up, preferably with a professional bee suit.

If you do not want to get a bee suit, we suggest that you at least wear long sleeves and pants and that you tuck your pants into your socks. 

Next, if you are going the DIY route, it is suggested that you use an aerosol spray such as Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer, which can spray up to 20 feet for safety.

You may also want to have a broom handy to knock the nest down once all the wasps are dead.

3. Treatment

Now that you have all the right materials, it’s time to treat! Just don’t hang around after you’re done spraying if you are not wearing a bee suit.

DIY Chemical Treatment

The best thing you can do when removing paper wasps is to wait until all the wasps are inside the nest, which typically happens in the evening or at night.

Shake the product well, point, and spray for 6 to 8 seconds directly at the nest entrance.

Drench the entire nest and kill any remaining wasps that may fly out to sting in retaliation for the destruction of their home.

Additionally, always make sure you are spraying at an angle and with the wind at your back.

Hire a Professional

In the event that you’re not sure if the nest you are seeing belongs to paper wasps, if you are not comfortable performing treatment yourself, or if you or someone in your family is allergic to wasps, your best bet is to contact a professional pest control company!

4. Prevention

After you have eliminated any wasp nests, you probably want to make sure that they don’t come back. Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent them from nesting on your property.

Secure Trash Bins

Wasps are attracted to organic material and areas that have abundant food sources. So, to prevent paper wasps from nesting, make sure any garbage, recycling, or compost bins are covered and sealed.

Use Peppermint Oil

Wasps hate peppermint oil, so you have the option of buying a premade repellent like this one, or you can make it at home yourself by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water.

Spray the mixture in areas where you have either seen wasps previously or in areas where they might nest.

Fill Cracks and Crevices

Wasps typically nest in early spring, so make sure to walk the perimeter of your property, looking for any cracks and crevices around the home.

Most of these can be filled with waterproof caulking such as this one! Do another perimeter check at the beginning of fall to ensure there are no queens lodging in your home.

Trim Plants and Trees

Lastly, paper wasps tend to make their nests in areas that hang, so make sure you maintain your plants, trees, and shrubs by keeping them well-groomed.

Professional Pest Control Services

While it is possible to eliminate a wasp nest on your own using the methods described above, some jobs are better left to the professionals.

If you or someone in your household is allergic to bee or wasp stings, hiring a professional pest control company, such as Gecko Green, to handle wasp nest removal is a good idea!

Our technicians are trained and licensed, can safely rid your property of wasp nests, and can help you prevent them from returning.

Request a free pest control quote today!