The scientific name for the great black wasp is Sphex Pensylvanicus. It is generally found in North America and it feeds off of living insects. The Sphex Pensylvanicus is a large wasp. The male wasps are significantly smaller than females. The females reach about 1-1.5 inches long, slightly larger than the males. Though the sting of the black wasps is painful, they do not swell like others. Male wasps cannot sting and their only purpose is to mate. They prey on insects such as grasshoppers, cicadas, locusts etc. They prefer building their nests in places where they can find their prey easily.
Causes of black wasp nests in or around your home
Here is a list of reasons why you find black wasp nests in your home:
- The presence of other insects such as grasshoppers, fleshy insects etc.
- Garden or a meadow filled with flowers
Here is a list of household remedies to ease your pain and help you get rid of black wasps in a natural way. Wasp identification is an important step to carry out before implementing these remedies:
1. Soap Sprays
This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of black wasps naturally. You need to first locate the wasp nests. For this method, all you will need is a soap detergent. Mix water and the soap detergent in a spray can and spray it on the nests. While doing this make sure not to get stung by the wasps. Once the wasps are killed, you can get rid of them. You can also use a garden hose to douse the nest with the soap water. It works wonders.
2. Grow wasp deterring plants in your home
Plants such as wormwood, eucalyptus, mint and citronella deter wasps naturally. If your garden is infested with these big black wasps, you should consider growing these plants in your garden. They will not only deter the wasps, they will add beauty to your garden as well.
3. Fake nests
Black wasps are territorial animals. They won’t build a nest if they think someone has already moved in the neighbourhood. In fact, they would even leave your garden if they see another colony nearby. You can either buy a fake wasp nest online or make one yourself. You can use a simple trick. Take a brown grocery bag, crumple it up to make it look like a nest and keep it in your garden. Easy, right?
4. Block off underground nests
If you have an underground wasp nest situation in your yard or garden, block them from entering their nests. All you need to do is locate their entrance and exit points and cover it up with a bowl. It would be beneficial to use soap water to kill the wasps inside the nest. Pour soap water inside the nest first and close the entrances and exit points with a bowl. This will kill the wasps that were inside and the others will fly off somewhere less dangerous.
Black wasps tend to slow down during the start of spring. It’s their time to come out of hibernation. Taka a vacuum cleaner and vacuum these wasps as they start coming out of their nests slowly. Use the vacuum to suck the wasps from the inside of the nest as well. Once all the wasps are sucked out, destroy the nest so other wasps don’t start inhabiting it. But this method is effective only when the wasps are low on energy and crawling.
6. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has a strong smell which helps keep the wasps away. You can use natural insecticide which makes use of peppermint oil. Or you can make your own wasp repellent spray. Mix 500 ml of water and 30 drops of peppermint oil in a spray can. Use dish soap or shampoo to make sure the peppermint sticks and apply it as a spray on the wasp nests. This is a good way to ward off wasps from your home and yard.
It is believed that the strong smell of this household chemical suffocates the wasps and kills them. Spray a generous amount of WD-40 in places you see wasps frequent, in and around the house. You should also use the spray to kill the wasps inside the nests. Remove and check the nests after an hour or so. The wasps should be dead. People also recommend burning the nest to prevent further infestation but that can prove to be a hassle if you can’t control the flame.
8. Lure trap
A lure trap contains chemicals such as Heptyl Butyrate which attracts the wasps with their pleasing smell. The wasps entering once are unable to come out. Place these traps as far away from your home as possible but still close enough to attract the wasps. This is a good way for removing black wasps.
9. Capture and seal the nest
Another way to get rid of a wasp nest and killing up all the wasps inside is to capture the nest in a cloth or a plastic bag. Tie the bag tightly to prevent the wasps from escaping and drop it in a big vessel of water. Use a rock on the bag to keep it submerged. Once the wasps die, get rid of the nest.
10. Limit their food source
One of the main causes of black wasp infestation is a food source. Black wasps generally get attracted to places with a lot of flowers and insects. If you have a garden, plant wasp repelling plants like mint and wormwood rather than flower plants. Black wasps feed off of blooming flowers and their nectar. So it would be better if you grow these plants indoors. Even then there is a chance you might attract them.
Home Remedies for black wasp sting
Though a black wasp sting doesn’t swell like a normal sting, the pain isn’t any less. Following are some of the home remedies you can go for in case of black wasp sting:
- The bees use stinger as a self-defence mechanism. The first step would be to remove the stinger. Use a pair of tweezers to take the stinger out and then apply some antiseptic cream to ease the swelling and itchiness.
- Use ice on the infected area to take care of the swelling. Cold temperature numbs the pain and slows down the distribution of inflammatory substances on the bite area.
- Apple cider vinegar helps in neutralizing the acid in the venom and also helps with the swelling and itchiness. Soak cotton with apple cider vinegar and hold it over the infected area for a few minutes. Repeat the process as needed.
- Baking soda being an alkaline product also helps in neutralizing the acidic venom. You can mix baking soda powder with water to make a paste and apply it on the infected area for 5-10 minutes.
- Honey has antibacterial properties which help in diluting the venom. Apply raw honey on the infected area and keep it for some time. Repeat this few times a day. You can also make a honey and turmeric paste for better results.
- Witch hazel is another effect home remedy to cure a wasp sting because of its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. You just need to apply some witch hazel onto the affected area and leave it to dry on its own. Repeat this process a few times a day.
These are some of the most common and effective home remedies to get rid of black wasp infestation. But if the problem still persists, then you should call an exterminator to help you get rid of them.