Getting Rid of Wasps? Without Insecticides?

My preference would be to live peacefully with them, since I’ve read that some wasps are good for gardens. But right now about a dozen wasps are very active in the lawn near my kids’ swingsets, and it’s just a matter of time until someone gets hurt.

These particular wasps have dug 1" wide holes in the dirt where our lawn is thin. I’m not sure exactly what they’re up to down there, but it seems to keep them very busy.
If only they’d sting the Japanese beetles…nah, I’m having fun drowning those suckers on my own. Particularly when I catch them in “the act” – all those bugs do is eat and fornicate, the rose of sharon and mallows have been hosting orgies all summer.

Get rid of the Starbucks in the area, paint some graffitti on the walls all around the neighborhood and they will leave in a hurry.

Oh, you mean with the little stingers?

I have never had underground wasps, but some making nests under the eaves of the house. I find that a blast from a CO2 Fire extinguisher freezes them, they fall to the ground then I trample them while wearing combat boots. A spray from the garden hose and all gone. Wasp to dirt. ANSI to ANSI, DOS to DOS! No insectide, but it is a bit pricey getting the extinguisher refilled. As an aside, a CO2 Extinguisher can cool a six pack of beer in seconds. And is really fun to chase the wife around with.

The hard part is getting them to wear combat boots.

The first thing you need to do is determine what critter you are dealing with. From your description, they sound like dirt dobbers, which don’t sting. Dirt dobbers are usually black or dark purple, at least the ones in these part are. If you’ve got dirt dobbers, don’t worry, be happy.

Could be yellow jackets, but I think if that were the case somebody would have been stung before now. In either case, pouring a little gasoline down the hole about nightfall will kill the critters. I wouldn’t bother with killing the dirt dobbers, but that’s just me.

Dirt dobbers? And those are benign? I’d wiki’d “wasp” and figured I’d never manage to identify exactly which variety we’ve got. But these are black/purple, definitely not yellow jackets. I’ll see if I can figure out if they’re “dirt dobbers”, and will leave them alone if feasible. Thanks!

Look up “Mud daubers”

The best way to remove/kill them cheaply and without the use of poison or the risk of stirring them all up is with soapy water.

Get a spray bottle. Fill with water. Put in a couple of drops of dish detergent. Shake it up. Spray the wasps in the air. It will knock them down. You can then step on them.

The warning I will give is that it may look like there are only a dozen around, but you probably have a sizable nest nearby, probably well up in a tree. Which means that you really have scores of them around.

One summer in my old yard, I was killing 50-60 a day for a good week or so. Didn’t find the nest until winter. It was about 30 feet up a large maple. Of course, that’s the best time to knock those things down and get rid of them because you don’t have to worry about them swarming out on you.

Heh. My first thought was, “One word: Desegregration.”

Dune is one of my favorite books!

I posted in another thread about the wasp issues we’ve been having. Well, we finally gathered all the weapons to kill their pointy selves, and lo and behold, the entire nest disappeared. Fucking vanished. We’re still a little creeped out at the prospect of that ugly fucker flying around under its own power. I mean I looked everywhere. It didn’t just fall off the eaves. It’s completely gone. What happened?

The only way to get rid of WASPs is to run out of liquor. :smiley:

Are those those wasps that dig a little tunnel in sandy soil? They’re kind of cool. IIRC, they’ll go and find some caterpillars or spiders, sting them to render them immobile, and pack them down in the tunnel with an egg. When the egg hatches, the grub has a whole fat caterpillar to itself. The inspiration for Alien, I believe.

At any rate, I don’t think those are the aggressive kind of wasps. They don’t have a whole nestful of grubs to protect and so are not territorial. IANA bugologist, however.

Careful with that apostrophe, Eugene…