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As the weather warms up, the wasps start to come out in force. The moment you sip your cooling drink or reach for that tasty snack, you are surrounded by the buzzing blighters. But bar batting the wasps away, is there a simpler more effective solution to killing them that is close to hand?
Can you kill wasps using household products?
There are many household products that kill wasps without the need for harsh chemicals. These include bleach, soaps, hairspray and essential oils and spices including lemongrass and peppermint. You can even make your own trap using sugar syrup and water.
So, if you are nervous about using toxins in and around your property then why not head to your kitchen cupboard instead?
What household cleaners actually kill wasps?
Wasps are territorial and will sting anyone they consider to be invading “their” personal space. But if you do not have it in you for a mass execution or don’t want to release a pesticide cloud into the air, then there are some household products that will help you kill wasps for good.
Some chemical products such as hairspray, offer a great way for immobilizing wasps simply by coating their wings on contact and making it difficult for them to wriggle and fly free. Depending on how good your spray aim is, you stand a good chance of slowing the wasp down, making it easier for you to swat.
2. Soap and water
Soap and hot water is not only a cheap solution for killing wasps but can be effective when applied directly to the wasp itself as it clogs their breathing spores resulting in an instant death. We would recommend adding 30 to 60 ml of liquid dish soap to 500 ml of hot water in order the make the solution and then mix well. Once you’ve made your foamy concoction, place it in a spray bottle so that you can direct it straight onto the nest or the wasp itself.
If you want to repel wasps rather than kill them, then anything that has a strong scent of peppermint is sure to do the trick as they can’t stand it. Alternatively, you could grow mint plants in your garden which will not only work as a deterrent but can be placed in your drink to stop wasps swarming around you when you want to relax.
4. Essential oils
Lemongrass, eucalyptus, citronella and clove work well when diluted with water and are applied to the areas that you know wasps reside. Again, these smells will effectively repel wasps (and other insects) but are unlikely to kill them.
Please remember, however, to wear protective clothing when applying any home remedies, just in case the wasp decides to fight back.
Does bleach kill wasps?
Bleach mixed with water and poured into a spray bottle is also an effective way to kill wasps, provided you get a direct hit. Even then it may take a few minutes before they plummet and die, so make sure you stand well clear of any attempted retaliation.
If you are running low on bleach or have completely run out, then other household items such as hand sanitizers and detergents can work just as well in the fight against wasps.
How to make sugar water wasp traps
Wasp traps work by luring these irritating insects inside a lair with some kind of tempting treat such as sugar water. And, once they place their wings inside, you need to make it so that they can’t escape.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to cut off the top of a two litre soda bottle and invert it inside the bottom. By doing this, you have created a funnel for the wasps to enter. Then simply add some string to the sides and hang it from a nearby tree.
Depending on the time of year, you could try adding meat over the spring months and sugar water in the summer. You could also add a drop of vinegar for good measure as it has the added advantage of deterring innocent honeybees from getting trapped.
Just remember to make sure that you top up the bottle with water in order to drown the wasps once inside.
If you are not interested in D.I.Y and would prefer to purchase one instead, then take a look at our guide on the best wasp and hornet traps to buy.
Does Windex kill wasps?
Windex is a glass and hard surface cleaner which is renowned for effectively killing most types of pests. Unfortunately, it is not so good for killing wasps. Although it may take out a few flyers, most wasps simply deflect, disperse or slow down, leaving you with the arduous task of batting them into submission.
Call the professionals
The age old saying that prevention is always better than cure, is certainly true when it comes to wasps. After all, why wait for them to attack before defending your back yard?
There are a number of solutions including the more humane remedies listed above, but if you want guaranteed effectiveness then you may want to consider an insect spray. These work by ejecting chemicals into the air causing the wasp’s muscles to seize up, preventing them from flying and eventually killing them.
If you have pets or children or have left it too late to start putting up the barricades, it may be time to call in the professionals.
We are all too quick to reach for the easy option of pre-made insecticide sprays when seeking out a good wasp killer, but most of these cans contain harsh chemicals which are not good for the environment or the surrounding wildlife. This is before we even mention the effects they can have on pets and children. Therefore, using items already used around the home can often be a better option.
If you have the odd wasp making a menace of itself then why not try making your own repellent. Most of these household items featured above will not necessarily have the strength to kill a wasp outright and certainly not a swarm of great numbers, but they will slow them down, disorientate them and hopefully repel them from returning again.