Wasp Nest In Ground - Knowledgebase Question

Livermore, CA
Question by pgrimes2
October 27, 1999
I have a nest of wasps (which I discovered when I tried to dig the ground in that area - they did not like it). I tried a spray, but it didn't seem to get inside the nest and the wasps ignored it. My question is: will they die or go away during the winter, so that I can work on that part of the yard, or do I have to find some way of dealing with them?


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Answer from NGA
October 27, 1999

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In defense of wasps, they're beneficial insects. They help pollinate flowers and they are great predators of other destructive garden pests. Wasps kill caterpillars and flies to feedto their young. Admittedly, wasps are no fun to contend with when you're trying to garden or picnic outdoors. Here's an easy way, or two, to eradicate wasps: For ground-nesting hornets and wasps, you just need to locate the entrance hole to theirnest and then place a glass bowl over the top of the hole. Do this at night when the creatures are all at home and simply invert the bowl over the opening. In the daytime, when the wasps try to leave home, they'll be confused - and won't be able to exit. Wasps aren't smart enough to dig another exit hole so they'll buzz around the entrance and get stopped by the bowl. In about 10 days the colony will starve to death and you can remove the bowl. Then cover the hole up with soil, and your problem will be solved. An organic way to keep wasps from spoiling your picnic is to place some raw meat or fish in a mason jar and fashion a funnel out of paper to pop into the opening. Wasps will be attracted to the bait and will crawl into the jar, but won't be able to fly out. Leave them in the trap long enough and they'll die of thirst.

Hope you'll reconsider and grant your wasps a stay of execution - they really are good guys in the garden!


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