We have wasps on our front lawn. Not sure what they are doing, getting water, food, etc? They didn’t do this last year. In average at one time, there may be 10 or so in various parts of the yard. I have been very vigilant this year and have been watching for nests and getting rid of them. What can I do to get them off the yard and why are they there? Thank you.
Wasps forage in lawns for many reasons. In general we can be specific about what they’re doing when we know the species involved. But when one describes the pest as a “wasp”, that puts it in a category of hundreds and some of these go to lawns for different reasons. Here’s the short list:
Water. If you water the lawn, it will no doubt attract all kinds of insects including wasps. But in general most any kind of turf will attract, collect and hold water over night even if you didn’t water which in turn will attract many kinds of insect pests.
Food. Wasp food can be in the form of a particular insect. These could be dead or alive depending on the species. Untreated turf will harbor and host a long list of potential wasp food. Long story short; they could be foraging in your lawn for food.
Nesting material. Many wasps use organic matter to make their nests. In some instances, they’ll find this raw material in the yard and when available, they’re readily harvest it all season long to build and maintain their nests.
Ground nests. Some wasps live in the ground. In fact, the biggest segment of wasps are ground dwelling so maybe there are nests present in your turf and what you’re seeing are it’s occupants coming and going throughout the day.
These would be the more common reasons wasps would be active in your yard but the list is longer. The bottom line is most people don’t want them around and if you’re looking to repel them, there are two good products that will do the job. As explained in our WASP CONTROL ARTICLE, wasps can be repelled by spraying either CYPERMETHRIN or NBS REPELLENT. Both products should be applied over the area you’re wanting to keep wasp free. Use either product at the rate of 1 gallon of finished product per 500 sq/ft of grass. The treatment should last 2-3 weeks but treat more frequently if needed.
One special note; if you find the wasps are more concentrated and a bit stubborn not wanting to leave a certain area of the lawn, you might very well have some nests that will require a bit more treatment. Do this by concentrating your effort. Instead of dispersing a finished gallon over 500 sq/ft, instead use the entire gallon in just 100 sq/ft. This will make it harder if not impossible for them to use the treated area and usually after 1-2 applications, they’ll either die or leave for good.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Wasp Control Article: http://www.wasps.net/wasp-and-hornet-control