Wasp spray can be a huge asset in wasp control, but using them safely is important when getting rid of wasps and nests. Wasps can cut a relaxing time short, causing everyone to run for cover or keep people from enjoying their space outdoors. Wasp or hornet nests near your home or property can cause many problems and hazards and it is important that they are removed, but even more important that they are removed safely. Continue reading below on this page to learn how to use wasp spray correctly.
See also: Yellow Jacket Control, Wasp Traps
Wasp Spray Information
There are many wasp sprays on the market, and most accomplish the same things: killing wasps in the air and treating nests. Most sprays offer instant knockdown of flying wasps, shooting spray up to 20 – 30 feet in some cases. Wasps and hornets will often make nests in the ground, in trees, eves of houses, wall voids, and attics, which can all be difficult to treat, so a far-shooting product will help in knockdown and control of nests at a safer distance.
How To Use Wasp Spray
Lucky for us, wasp sprays do most of the work when it comes to controlling nests and wasp populations. However, there are better ways to use them than just spraying wasps willy-nilly.
- The best time to control wasp nests is in the early morning when there is little activity around nest (minimal flying in and out) and most wasps are in the nest. This way you are more likely to control most of the population.
- For paper wasp nests (those missing an outer envelope with exposed cells) control is fairly straightforward. Just point and shoot.
- Yellow jackets and hornets (types of wasps) are generally much larger and protected by an outer envelope, so the entire nest is enclosed. These are much harder to control. Have two spray cans ready to go, with one aimed at the main hole. Spray for at least 10 seconds continually, then treat the secondary hole, usually somewhere on the sides. Spray for as long as possible (and as long that is safe).
- After treating a nest, monitor wasp activity throughout the day and retreat the following morning, repeating treatment until wasp/hornet/yellow jacket activity is absent or at a minimum. Knockdown nest with a long-handled tool to keep your distance, break nest up into pieces, and treat the nest with spray (heavily).
- Nests located in the ground are better treated with insecticide dusts.
Wasp Spray Safety
Safety is the top priority when using wasp sprays, so here are some guidelines to help you use your wasp spray safely and successfully.
- No matter where you are spraying your wasp spray, make sure you have an “escape route,” or a quick path to shelter, since the risk that a swarm of wasps may attack you is a real possibility. When one wasp is killed or injured, they can send out a chemical signal alerting the other wasps to attack. Spraying and getting to shelter quickly is very important.
- If you are treating a nest near a public or heavily trafficked area, post warning signs or rope off the area so no one is harmed during your treatment.
- Consider wearing long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and head cover to offer maximum personal protection.
- Take a lot of caution when controlling nests in high places. If the nest is very out of reach and you need a ladder to reach it, a wasp spray probably isn’t the best tool to control it. Consider an alternative method or hiring a professional for safe nest removal.
*Important Information on Wasp Spray and Self Defense
The idea of substituting wasp spray for pepper spray has been gaining traction across the country, with many people keeping wasp spray near their desks or by the door to fend off possible attackers, intruders, robbers, etc. Since wasp spray has such a long spray range – about 20 feet – the notion of keeping your distance but still disabling the attacker is attractive to people. However, this method of self-defense could do more harm than good. There are several reasons that wasp spray should NOT be used as a substitute for pepper spray:
- Using any pest control product in a way that goes beyond intended use, or “off-label” use, is violation of Federal law and you could be fined. No pest control product should be used in any way other than what it is formulated for.
- Since pest control products are not tested on people, there’s no real way to know how a wasp spray will affect someone. You could be inflicting serious damage, or hardly any at all, but there is no way to know how the toxicity of the product will affect a person.
- If you do seriously injure or cause damage by spraying someone with wasp spray instead of pepper spray, you could be sued and personally liable for the damage.
- There is no research to support the efficacy of using wasp spray as a pepper spray alternative.
Pepper spray has been proven to be effective in self-defense, and is formulated for that very reason. Many pepper spray brands have a similar range to that of wasp spray, so you can still remain at distance when using them.