Each year, many of my customers ask for advice about prevention of future infestations of wasps and yellow jackets. Over the last few years, I have narrowed my suggestions to just a few easy steps – which, if done well, will eliminate the vast majority of problems with bees, wasps and yellow jackets around the home, allowing you to avoid paying for bee removal.
As summer temperatures rise, so do populations of wasps and yellow jackets. These pests make ready use of homes and gardens for nesting. When your property is chosen as a nest site, fixing the problem can result in costly and often painful solutions. While some people choose to hire a traditional exterminator, I provide an environmental friendly, pesticide-free solution as the owner and sole operator of the Wild Bee Company, www.wildbeecompany.com, in Seattle.
1. Occlusion – Deter Bees by Using Caulk to Fill in Gaps & Holes
Yellow jacket removal easily makes up the bulk of my work and most of the jobs I go to could have been avoided by tighter construction. An afternoon spent caulking small gaps and foaming or screening large ones makes the single biggest difference. Take your time, sometimes these gaps are difficult to locate but it is worth the effort. Bird blocks (the screened round holes found beneath the eves) and crawl space vents (rectangular holes near the foundation) are very common problem areas. The screens used on these vents are often ¼” which is too large to keep out yellow jackets and wasps. Lastly, seal holes from old cables, plumbing, and the like, that penetrate the walls of your home. These spots give bees, wasps, and yellow jackets easy access to the cavity between siding and interior walls. While occlusion is a great solution to this problem, you should never block in an active nest in your walls because this could cause the bees or wasps to find an alternate exit, often into your home.
2. Yard cleanup – Repel Wasps & Yellow Jackets by Keeping a Tidy Yard
Yellow jackets and bees nesting in the ground can be a real surprise when stumbled upon unnoticed. These are a little tougher to prepare for, but there are a few things that will help prevent yellow jackets, bees or wasps from taking up residence in your yard:
- Get rid of rotten logs, tree stumps and rail road ties. Yellow jackets have a real affinity for these spots that often go unnoticed.
- If building a retaining wall, be sure to backfill the rock completely, as these gaps and hollows are often utilized by yellow jackets.
- Finally, to avoid a bumblebee infestation, clean out birdhouses yearly, bumble bees like to build nests in old bird nests.
- Nests found hanging in trees and out in the open, like those depicted in Winnie the Pooh, are hard to prevent – as their location is very random. These are often pretty obvious and a focused inspection around the house, trees, and shrubs will go a long way. I have seen fake nests hung up as a deterrent, but cannot speak to their effectiveness.
3. Trapping – Hang Store Bought Wasp & Bee Traps in Early Spring
While the yellow jacket traps you find in the hardware store are pretty useless once populations are high, they can be very effective in the early spring. When colonies are just starting out, the queen gathers all the food and resources for her first offspring. It is during this time that traps can make a tremendous difference. Each colony has but one queen and without her the nest goes into immediate decline. Hang these yellow jacket traps as soon as it warms in the spring and make sure the attractant stays fresh.
If you live in Seattle, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Shoreline, or other areas of King and Snohomish Counties, and end up with a yellow jacket nest or other types of bees or wasps in your house or yard, and need help with bee removal or wasp removal, I would be happy to help you out. I am not a traditional bee or wasp exterminator, as i do not use any poison or pesticides. Instead, I locate the nest and physically remove it by hand. Honey bees and bumble bees, which are important pollinators, are moved to my apiary. Wasps and yellow jackets are removed and dispatched quickly, using no chemicals. You can read about my services and costs at www.wildbeecompany.com. I am the owner and sole employee and will be the one to provide bee removal service at your house in the Seattle area. For bee removal, wasp removal or yellow jacket removal Seattle, call Keith at 206-240-7362.