The deck often becomes an outdoor version of the family room in summer. All too often, your family gets ousted from this outdoor space by a family of wasps who have deemed the deck the perfect property for their new home. Are you ready to take back your deck? Here are some simple tips to get rid of wasps on your deck and keep them away.
Warning: If you are allergic to wasps, do not attempt to remove the nest yourself. Instead, call an exterminator!
Destroy the Nest
There are many ways to destroy wasp nests, from aerosol pesticide sprays to more natural methods using dish soaps and shop-vacs. A professional exterminator is also a good resource for destroying and removing nests and offering tips on how to keep the wasps away in the future. Regardless of the method you choose, your best bet is to attack the nest at night, when wasps are least aggressive and have slower reaction times.
Most insecticide sprays will instantly kill the majority of the nest and any stragglers who later return. If you continue to see wasp activity 24 hours after you spray the nest, spray it again.
Remove the Nest
Once all wasp activity around the nest has stopped – usually within a day of extermination – knock down the nest or scrape it off the deck. Leaving an inactive nest in place can attract unwanted scavenging insects, such as carpet beetles or ants. While they may be less scary than a stinging wasp, these pests can bring with them a new set of problems.
Stop Wasps from Returning
Unfortunately, wasps like building nests on and under decks because they often provide shelter. You can discourage wasps from returning to your deck with a few simple purchases at the hardware store:
Wasps on Your Deck? Tips on What To Do
- Wasp Traps - You can purchase these traps at the hardware store or make your own out of buckets filled with sugar water, vinegar, and a small amount of mild dish soap. Wasps will fly into the traps and drown, so the traps should be emptied regularly. Set them out in early spring to trap the queen and prevent colonies from forming.
- Decoy Nests - Wasps are territorial, so they are less likely to build a nest if they think the area is already home to another colony. Hang a decoy nest on your deck to trick wasps into nesting elsewhere.
- Paint or Finish - Wasps are less likely to build nests on painted or finished wood because the surface is too smooth. If the paint or finish is wearing down, apply a fresh coat to continue deterring these pests.