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You realize, of course, that this means war
It's spring! The weather is warm, the birds are singing, the trees are all in bloom, and THE WASPS ARE BACK.

Our balcony is primo A-1 super+++ wasp habitat. They love it. They adore it. They advertise it in little waspy magazines with phrases like "must see" and "build to suit" and entirely too many exclamation points.

Monday, I went out and knocked down five (5! FIVE!) different proto-nests. Today, only one, but I shall remain ever-vigilant. The balcony belongs to ME, dammit, not to nasty stripy insects that mock my paper-mache skills.

We have a Spray Can of Instant Death That Should Never Ever Touch Anything That Might Once Have Been Near or Thought About a Water Supply (we got the less toxic kind, see...), but so far I've caught them early enough that the patented half-pitcher of soapy water plus long-handled death from a broom method has been sufficient.

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They advertise it in little waspy magazines with phrases like "must see" and "build to suit" and entirely too many exclamation points.

*giggle* I can just see it, yup.

Are they the meat-eating kind of wasps? If so, this method has always worked for me, without the risks of the spray can or broom method:

* Get a can of the cheapest, stinkiest tuna-based catfood you can find.
* Go to the garden store and buy a container of rose dust
* Carefully (don't inhale the stuff) stir a big spoonful of the rose dust into the open can of catfood.
* Place the open can inside one of those mesh bags that onions and stuff come in, and hang that from a rafter or tree limb to prevent cats and other good wildlife from going after it.

Wait a week or so. The little bastards will *empty* the can, I swear, and take it back to their nests to share with their pals. And pretty soon, no more wasps.

I don't know if they're meat-eaters or not. How would I tell, other than following them around until I see them nibbling something?

That does sound like a good method for getting rid of them once they've already got a good-size nest going.

I can usually tell by the way the meat-eaters harass us at picnics. But you could also put out a piece of fruit and a hunk of, say, a hot dog, and see which one attracts wasps.

Ah, the direct approach. :)

God, that reminds me. We have to check our roof for nests. Buggers keep coming back for another try.

They are extremely persistent.

In the case of those individual stripes that are just scoutin' around, we've found that spraying them with alchohol (vanilla in an alchohol base, actually), stuns the beggars nicely, then they can be Squished.

This may be less toxic.

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Emkay...our Nuisance Wasps are the dangerous European ones.

I now use something called Vanilla Fresh from lots of things: it's alchohol, a bit of water, vanillin and a touch of soap (and about three dollars).

That was more or less our approach with the ants that invaded last year -- spray them with cleaning-stuff (also, I think, at least partly alcohol) to stop them squirming, and then mop them up while they're out of commission.

I don't mind so much if they're just passing through, because they're not particularly aggressive, but I definitely don't want them setting up housekeeping. It's like smokers. They can go do their thing, as long as they stay more than 20 feet from the entrances of any buildings....

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