How to Get a Wasp Out of Your House

How to Get a Wasp out of Your House
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Skitterphoto

Fight or flight? An unwanted wasp may clear a room, but to remove a wasp from your home isn’t as difficult as you may think. Follow our guide on how to get a wasp out of your house — and keep it out!

Wasps are sociable insects, often living in colonies. Most of the time they will leave humans alone, but sometimes they’ll find themselves inside a human habitat — your home. It may be useful to employ preventative methods to keep a wasp out of your house, but if it’s too late, and you are wondering, for example, how to get a wasp out of your kitchen, we will show you how.

Your first reaction may be to try to kill a wasp that’s entered your home. However, wasps are part of the ecosystem. They have a useful function in controlling/eating other insects, and provide food for many species of birds. Also, often when wasps are killed, they emit a chemical which attracts other wasps, and one wasp is more than enough.

Wasp, Hornet or Bee?

A paper wasp in the wild.
A paper wasp in the wild.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / SandeepHanda)

You may also be wondering if the buzzing insect in your house is a wasp, a hornet or a bee.

What are the differences?

The main visible difference between wasps and bees are their size and shape. Wasps tend to have more defined stripes. Bee markings are less clear. Wasps have longer bodies and legs, and a joint that looks like a waist. The most common types of wasps you may encounter are the paper wasp, and the yellow jacket. Paper wasps can have varying colors — from yellow and brown to red and black. Yellow jackets have broader bodies, and black antennae.

What is a hornet?

A hornet is actually a type of wasp, bigger and a little more tempestuous. Hornets are known for their distinctive bright yellow stripes.

Now you have identified your intruder – what next?

If you now know you have a wasp in your home, read on. (As an aside, bees are still much in need of our protections — here you can read about small ways to help the bees)

Here’s what to do if you find yourself face to face with a wasp…

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Get a Wasp out of Your House

Wasps are triggered by erratic movements.
Wasps are triggered by erratic movements.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Wolfgang_Hasselmann)

By following these instructions, you can guide a wasp out of your home, and other indoor spaces:

  1. Remain calm. Wasps are triggered by erratic human movement, such as arm-waving, and frenzied circling. Wasps percive this behaviour as a threat. A wasp is more likely to lose interest in you if you are calm and do not approach it.
  2. Open windows and doors. A wasp may easily find its own way out of your house.
  3. Remove pets from the area. Some pets will try and catch flying insects, but wasp stings can be harmful to many pets, and sometimes fatal. Move your pets elsewhere if possible.
  4. Minimise the wasp’s range. If you can safely block off an area while the wasp works its way out, do so — manoeuvering pieces of cardboard or closing net curtains can prove useful.
  5. Use a fan. If you have a fan, you can use this method to quickly remove the wasp from your home. Wasps don’t often fly in strong winds, thus are not so adapted. Use a fan on a fast but cool setting to divert the wasp back outside.
  6. If the wasp is still inside your home, you could reach for the mint. Wasps don’t like mint, so if you have a wasp in you house, think strategy! You could spray a mixture of peppermint oil and water near the wasp, leading it to an exit. However, avoid spraying the wasp as this may accidentally kill it.

If wasps seem to like your living space, you may want to think about employing some preventative strategies.

Top Tips to Keep Wasps out of Your Home

Plant mint today to keep the wasps away.
Plant mint today to keep the wasps away.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / silviarita)

Now you have safely removed the wasp, what can you do to deter others? The following tips will tell a visiting wasp that it’s not an open house:

Tips for a wasp-free home:

  • As mentioned, wasps don’t like mint. Plant, or pot, some mint plants near your doorways and windows to keep the wasps away.
  • Wasps love sugar. If a wasp is in your kitchen, it may be attracted to open sugary substances. Try to minimize the amounts of open jars and containers, especially ones where sugar tends to gather around the rim like honey or maple syrup. (You can also use this strategy and others to keep wasps away from picnic food).
  • Like mosquitos, wasps don’t care for citronella. You can buy citronella candles and/or essentail oil to discourage the wasps from entering your home.
  • Wasps take an interest in the color yellow, so  choose your fabrics carefully. Curiously, wasps can’t see the color red.
  • Wasps are also attracted by strong fragrances. Choose perfumes and aftershaves carefully as you may be drawing them in.

Maybe wasps aren’t our favourite insects in the world, but saving a creature can prove quite rewarding. If a wasp visits your home, allowing it back out into the world is the kindest thing you can do for it.

Read on:

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