Wasps: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them

There are lots of insects that we meet almost every day, some disgust us and others give us terror, but the wasps are, without a doubt, one of the bugs to which there is more to fear, and this is due to How painful of his bite.

Well, definitely, having wasps at home is not an option that we want to consider, because they represent a huge danger, especially if there are children living with us. Therefore, here we will tell you everything you need to know about these pests and we will give you some tips that will help you to end them and keep your family well protected.

What are wasps?

These are flying insects in almost all parts of the world, which belong to the Hympenoptera family and the Apocrita subgroup. Some people tend to confuse them with bees, but the wasps are differentiated by the small waist that separates their abdomen from the thorax. They are especially known for the danger of their bite, which has earned them a place on the podium of the insects most feared by humans and animals.

In spite of how terrifying they are, there are some species that are harmless for the human being, in fact, they tend to be solitary and help in the control of other pests that attack crops, and also have an important and very specific pollination function, as it happens with the tree of the fig tree, whose flowers are fertilized by the wasp of the figs.

As for their appearance, these animals have a pointed abdomen and a very small waist that separates the belly from the tail. They can vary their colors from the classic black, to brighter and more striking colors, depending on the species to which they belong. They usually build their nests with wood fibers that they take from the bark of the trees and chew them into a paste very similar to clay.

Why do wasps appear?

Wasps are present in all parts of the world, with the exception of polar areas. They can be well in deserts, jungles or forests and survive without any problems. Tend to proliferate during the summer season, since the warmer temperatures favor them. On the other hand, during the winter, only the queen wasp takes refuge in the nest to survive, while the others die.

why do wasps appear

Since the temperature is an important factor for them, they prefer to settle in sunny places. Also, they like to nest between cracks in walls and ceilings, so if your house is full of cracks everywhere, you probably have wasps living in them.

If you have gardens, you might also notice them fluttering around, as they go in search of wood fiber that they get from the trees and that they combine with their saliva to create the paste that will form their nests. In addition, the gardens provide important sources of food, as are other insects with which they satisfy their appetite and that of their larvae.

Types or species of wasps

There are many species of wasps with which we can meet, but this time we will talk about the most common and problematic for humans, which are: the pot wasp, the pollen wasp, the tropical and subtropical wasp.

Potter wasp

potter wasp

They are known especially for building their nests based on mud, giving them the shape of a vessel, although they also create their cellars in the holes of the ground, the wood and even take over abandoned nests. This group of wasps covers about 200 different genera of insects, most of them with a solitary tendency.

They are usually black or brown on a yellow or orange background, and have the ability to fold their wings for a long time, as do most of the vespids. As for their diet, they feed on caterpillars and larvae of other insects, in addition to the nectar of the flowers that gives them enough energy to take flight.

Pollen wasp

pollen wasp

As the name implies, these bugs are nourished only by pollen and nectar of flowers, so they are commonly associated with the classic bees. They look very similar to the pottery wasp, with dark colors on reddish, yellowish and even whitish backgrounds, have antennas in the form of a mallet and usually live in nests made with mud or cavities in the ground. This type of wasps are present especially in North America, South America, South Africa and desert areas.

Tropical and subtropical wasps

tropical wasp

This category includes 5 different wasp genera, among which we have: Polistes, Mischocyttauros, Polybia, Brachygastra, Ropalidi. In general, these insects inhabit places with tropical and subtropical climates, and have an eusocial behavior. They are characterized by their thin abdomen and curved antennae, and those belonging to the genus Polybia have the ability to produce honey.

Yellow Jacket

yellow jacket

They are also known as Vespinae wasps and belong to a large family with 4 different genera: Dolichovespula, Provespa, Vespa and Vespula. Many of these pests are grouped in colonies, although some of them are parasitic and put their eggs in the nests of other insects. They are considered the wasps with the greatest sense of socialization and tend to form their nests with the bark of the trees that chew into a paste, which they attach to the trees and slits in the ground.

These species can be seen anywhere in the world, except in Antarctica. Their diet revolves around other insects and sometimes they feed on carrion. Some of them have the peculiarity of invading the nests of other species to kill the queen and force the workers to take care of their young.

Among the insects belonging to the Vespa genus are the so-called hornets, which have a more robust appearance than common wasps.

Wasp bite and sting

In case you did not know, the wasps have a small sting that they use to attack their prey or defend themselves if they feel threatened and, of course, human beings do not escape from being a perfect target for these little animals and their terrible sting, with the which tend to inject a little poison.

In most cases, wasp stings do not represent a greater danger, because they are characterized by leaving a fairly short discomfort, which involves redness of the area and a slight pain that lasts only a couple of hours. However, some people are very allergic to the venom of these bugs, so if they get a sting, they should see the doctor as soon as possible, as the consequences can be fatal.

wasp sting

As for the symptoms that occur after a wasp sting, these can be:

  • Inflammation in the lips and throat.
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Noticeable decrease in blood pressure.
  • Fainting
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Urticaria
  • Pruritus
  • Inflammation and redness in the area of ​​the bite.

If you are allergic to wasp stings or you feel your health worsens after being a victim of one of them, it is best to go to the doctor immediately. On the other hand, if it has only been a picket and the symptoms are not at all serious, you can extract the sting yourself. To do this, you should gently and carefully scrape the area of ​​the bite with the help of a knife that is not very sharp, although you can also extract the sting with tweezers or with your fingers, avoiding crushing the poison pouch at the end, because if it breaks, more poison will come out. Once you extract it, wash the area with plenty of soap and water.

Are wasps dangerous?

While it is true that some species do not pose a threat to humans, we do not stop thinking about wasps as some very dangerous bugs; and is that, when they nest in areas inhabited by humans, they automatically become a potential danger. In fact, they are poisonous animals that tend to produce greater accidents in people. That is why it is considered a dangerous species, which must be controlled, either by transporting the hive to a remote area or, in the worst case, fighting against it.

To give you an idea, these animals are the cause of many deaths in some countries, even more than spiders and snakes. In Spain, nearly 800,000 people have allergic reactions before the wasp‘s poison, and the mortality rate is close to 0.4 per million inhabitants, which is equivalent to 15 or 20 people who die each year after being bitten by that pests.

are wasps dangerous

As you see, wasp stings not only can be very annoying and painful, but also can cause death, either by anaphylaxis, which occurs once the insect bites a person sensitive to its poison, or by poisoning, in case of massive bites, which means that these animals are even more dangerous than some may believe.

How to eliminate wasps

To control wasp infestations, you must proceed to eliminate the nests and to eliminate the favorable conditions for the development of these bichillos, spraying insecticides and filling the cracks and grooves with cement, putty or other materials. However, it is very important to consult the opinion of an expert in pest control before resorting to any pesticide, as it could have side effects or be extremely toxic in its application. Likewise, it is important to remove food sources such as other insects, fallen fruits from trees, garbage, etc., because they attract these animals.

how to eliminate wasps

In addition, there are ideal trapdoors to exterminate wasps outside, in which a container with an attractant substance for these insects is placed, which contains a hole through which they enter and, when falling into the liquid, drowned. These traps can be placed in the gardens or in the places most frequented by these pests, to reduce the risk of their sting.

As for the sprays that are sold in the super, some of them are not as effective to kill the wasps but they can be used to move them away. On the other hand, we can buy creams or repellent lotions to apply on our skin and avoid being stung, or resort to some particular products that are usually applied on the edges of swimming pools, barbecues or on plants, but are usually somewhat dangerous be composed of pyrethrins or permethrins.

Home remedies to eradicate wasps

Well, if you are looking for a more natural and practical alternative to deal with these terrible bichillos, maybe you are interested in trying the home remedies that we have left here.

Water and soap

It is a natural insecticide and not at all toxic, that you can prepare with simple ingredients that are at your fingertips. You should only mix 6 tablespoons of earthenware soap and two liters of water, which you should throw on the hive, making sure you are protected with covered clothing, and then get away from the area as fast as you can. We recommend doing it during the night, when the wasps are in a resting state.

Borax powder

This product is extremely useful for getting rid of many types of pests, including wasps. The best of the case is that, being a natural insecticide, it is totally harmless for people, unless it is applied in excessive amounts. If you have the opportunity, take a bit of borax and introduce it in the hive of the wasps, but if not, just spread it around the areas where these bugs are usually, it will only be a matter of time before they disappear from there.

home remedies to eradicate wasps


Vinegar is a powerful natural repellent that serves many types of insects. To take advantage of its properties, take a container and fill it with vinegar and water in equal parts. Then, spray it over the hive and in the places where the wasps circulate.

More tricks to kill wasps

If you want to explore other options to get rid of these insects, do not miss the tricks that we have left here.

Scented candles

It may sound simple but it is quite effective. There are candles that come with the smell of strawberries and are great to repel wasps, you can light a couple of them in your house to prevent the entry of these bugs and at the same time have a perfumed environment.

more tricks to kill wasps

Cucumber slices

Easier still! The wasps detest the smell of cucumber, so you just have to cut some slices and place them in the areas most frequented by these animals.

Now that you know everything you should about wasps, we hope you can deal with this annoying little thing, using our practical advice.

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