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Last updated: August 21, 2023
Wasps under the deck are an absolute nuisance and must be removed to make your outdoor space safe and useable. There are a variety of effective means to get rid of the wasps, some of which use chemicals, and others use natural products.
You will likely discover wasps nesting under your deck when it is inconvenient and when you want to use your outdoor area. No amount of waving your arms around or swatting at them with your book will get them to leave.
In this article, I am going to share five very different ways to get rid of wasps under your deck. These methods have worked for me and my neighbors and are relatively easy to execute.
If you’d like to know how to avoid attracting wasps in the first place, read my guide with tips to keep wasps away from the patio or deck.
5 Ways to Remove Wasp Nests Under Your Deck
Wasps typically are not interested in people and will generally leave you alone if you leave them alone. However, the most likely time they will show an interest in people is when you have something they consider a food source or if they feel you are a threat to the nest.
When wasps build a nest under the deck, they will always be around and bother you if you sit down with a sweet drink, a piece of fruit, or other human food they may be attracted to.
Also, when wasps feel the vibrations of activity on the deck, and may go into attack mode if they feel this is a threat to their nest built under the boards of your deck.
In short, we don’t want a wasp nest under our decks. In fact, we don’t want wasp nests anywhere in our outdoor space, at least not anywhere close to the living areas.
The following methods can help get rid of wasps and their nest so you can claim back your deck:
- Peppermint oil solution
- Vacuum cleaner
- Wasp traps
- Diatomaceous earth
- Wasp insecticide
Let’s discuss these five methods in more detail.
1. Peppermint Oil Solution
Spray the wasp nest with a peppermint oil solution.
One method that does not involve harsh pesticide chemicals is using a dilute peppermint oil solution with water and dishwashing liquid.
Pour warm water into a spray bottle and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Add 5 to 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to the bottle and shake it well to mix the solution. The warm water helps to mix all the ingredients.
Spray the wasp nest at night when the wasps are sitting on the nest. The soapy mixture kills the wasps, and the peppermint oil coats the nest with an odor that is offensive to the wasps.
Due to the peppermint smell, any surviving wasps will abandon the nest and seek an alternative nesting site.
2. Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuum the wasps under your deck.
Most people who dislike using harmful chemicals and pesticides prefer this method to eliminate wasps, particularly if they have small children or pets that may be negatively affected by the toxins.
Any vacuum cleaner or shop vac will work for this method to get rid of the wasps and their nest. A wet and dry vacuum is ideal since you can put some water in the container with several drops of dishwashing liquid to kill the wasps.
Use a long extension on the vacuum cleaner, or tape the hose to a broomstick to prevent coming near the nest yourself. It is best to use this method at night when all the wasps are on the nest. Switch the vacuum cleaner on and position the hose nozzle close to the nest to suck up the wasps and the nest.
For vacuums with dust collection bags, wait a few days before emptying the bag to ensure all the wasps are dead.
3. Wasp Traps
Use wasp traps to get rid of wasps under the deck.
Using wasp traps is a longer-term method of removing wasps under the deck. It may take several days for sufficient wasps to be caught by the trap to get rid of the entire colony.
Commercial wasp traps are available, which you can hang around your deck. The traps usually contain a liquid bait to lure the wasps inside the trap, from which they cannot escape. They then drown in the liquid in the trap.
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You can make your own wasp trap using a plastic bottle with a narrow opening and a funnel. Mix a 50:50 solution of tap water and sugar and pour it into the bottle, filling only 1/3. Place the funnel in the neck of the bottle and tape it securely in place.
Position the bottle trap, or several of them, around your deck area. The sweet liquid will attract the wasps into the bottle, and they will not be able to find their way out again and eventually die.
Once the wasps are dead, remove the funnel, replace the bottle cap, and throw the entire thing in the trash. Once you’ve caught enough wasps, you will find that the nest will be empty.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Use diatomaceous earth to kill ground wasps under your deck.
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance consisting of ground-up fossilized diatoms, making it an organic material. Diatomaceous earth is a good method to get rid of ground-nesting wasps that have made nests under the deck.
Do not use diatomaceous earth mixed in other products, such as cat litter or swimming pool filter sand, as these contain other ingredients, such as silica.
The best diatomaceous earth to use is food-grade, which can usually be purchased from a plant nursery and marketed as an item to sprinkle around fruit trees, vegetables, and other food plants.
Spread the diatomaceous earth in and around the hole, serving as the underground wasp nest entrance. The wasps will walk through the product as they enter and exit the nest and die.
5. Wasp Insecticide
Use insecticide to kill wasps.
In some cases, such as an infestation of many wasps and a big nest under the deck, you may need to resort to chemical warfare to speedily remove the critters.
If there is a big nest, you can use an aerosol-based insecticide and spray the nest to kill the wasps and their eggs and larvae. If there are multiple nests, you may need to use a fumigation-type insecticide, such as an insecticide bomb, but this will require covering the deck in plastic to ensure the wind does not blow the insecticide away.
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The best insecticide to use is a product designed specifically for wasps since some products may not be effective against these insects.
If you tackle the wasps yourself using insecticide, always ensure you wear protective clothing and a mask to prevent any health issues with using these products.
If you are unsure how to handle these products safely, call in a professional exterminator to get rid of the wasps for you.
Wasps can be an irritation when they bother you on your deck, but we also need to bear in mind that they are beneficial creatures in our gardens. They help keep problem insect populations down and act as pollinators for some plants.
I prefer to attempt natural means first to remove the wasps before resorting to harmful chemicals that could affect other creatures in your garden and leave residual toxins in the soil or the environment.
Once the wasps have been removed from your deck, you should take steps to prevent them from coming back next season so you can enjoy your outdoor space.