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I was just putting my tools away after a lovely day in the garden when I noticed a wasps nest "growing" out of the nest box. How can I get rid of it without getting stung, or do I have to call in the council? I have a feeling there is something with ant powder but can't remember.
How big is it?
If it is not too big wait till they have all gone back in after dusk and spray it with a wasp killer-that is if you dare-though the entrance,
You may find that councils don't deal with these any more and will point you in the direction of a pest control company- and that will cost.
Is it "growing" out through the nestbox hole, or the roof, or what? Is it in a place where it is a nuisance to you or your neighbours? Bearing in mind that wasps are carnivorous and eat insects which eat our plants, if it isn't, personally I'd leave it alone. They'll be gone when the frosts arrive anyway.
If you're bent on destruction, as sotongeoff says, you should wait until dusk, when they have all returned to the nest. For safety's sake, I'd wear thick trousers, tucked into your socks, and a long-sleeved sweatshirt or similar. Wear gardening or thick rubber gloves. When I had one of these to deal with in my mailbox I found an old chiffon scarf and a straw hat and made myself a beekeeper-style head covering. That might have been slight overkill, but it made me feel better.
You should be able to get big aerosols of wasp & hornet killer frorm garden centres. Don't try to use a domestic fly & wasp spray.
If the nest is semi in the open it might be a good idea to try and surround the nesting box with a large bin bag or garden refuse bag to keep the wasps in and to concentrate & contain the poison. We don't want any blue-on-blue collateral damage to your bees etc! Give it a good burst of spray and retire. Come back in the morning (cautiously) and you should find it safe to clean out the nesting box.
Thanks Sotongeoff. This is it - sorry it's in the shade. I will have to get some wasp killer - hubby says he will do it. We had one on the front of our house 3 or 4 years ago and the council charged about £50 to treat it. I dread to think what they would charge now!
Thanks Chapelgirl and Penninepetal. The nest is near the door of my garage so I would rather get rid of them.
If you really really have to get rid of it, please be very careful. We had one in a pot on the patio last year and, even though we tried to move it in the night and were well wrapped up (OH even had motorbike helmet on!) I got two stings and he got 4 (I thought it was 40 the fuss he made!!). Admittedly we were only trying to move it not spray it but they were more active than we expected and lots came buzzing out knowing the nest was being attacked. We lived with it until the cold weather came and they all went. If we left them alone they didn't bother with us. Obviously we did a small detour round the pot rather than walk right next to it and didn't eat jam sandwiches on the patio!
we have a new nest high up on the wall of our house, which is clad in wood. everyone says one should get rid of them, as they will damage the cladding. is that true? if they nest in the eaves, and get into the attic, is that a problem? as long as they are not doing any damage to the material of the house, i don't mind them being there, so the question is, do we leave them be, or should we remove them?
I am not sure how a wasp colony would damage wooden cladding. If your wood is rotten then they might chew it away to use in the nest, but I don't think they would do anything to sound wood, except glue their nest to it. I've had a wasp nest in the attic of a house in Essex but I only found it after it had been vacated, so clearly it didn't bother me when it was occupied. Here in France we have quite a few paper wasps, which are bigger than the common UK kind, but less aggressive, they say, and they make smaller nests. They like to nest under roof tiles and in nooks and crannies such as the mechanism of a patio awning. When we first moved here they alarmed us, but now we're used to them, and we tolerate them unless they start invading our living space, which is rare.
If it is any comfort, if you leave the nest alone until they all - except for the queen - die, you can clean out the nest box and they will not use that place again.
They are more garden friend than foe.
They can be a nuisance in the loft as you may want to go up there to find something. Their nests can be very large, and they can be very agressive.
thanks for the info. it sounds as though we should just leave them. i could do with some help in the garden, i hope they eat vine weavil! but i suppose not, as those come out at night.
we had one in our old compost heap.. we smoked t hem out.. hubby and bro had a great time.. it was huge and i cant afford to be stung by one.