Wasps the bane of our pool

RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
421
Tuscola, TX
What does everyone do about the dang wasps (yellow jackets specifically). They're annoying the Crud out of my wife who has been stung twice now. Swear I must have killed 50 of the little buggers and went on a nest hunt but darned if I can find it.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,720
Houston, Texas
Put a birdbath or another source of water with a little salt in it near the trap. It also helps if you run a fountain in the pool so it disturbs the surface and makes it an unattractive place for them to land. This stuff, Amazon.com : Ultima R26299 Skimmer Support Clarifier - 1 qt : Garden & Outdoor is supposed to break up surface tension of the water so that they will sink when they land on it.
 
Last edited:

gonfishin

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2017
329
Rochester, MN
I've got 2 of these


hanging strategically in my yard. Working very well for me at this time. Before getting 2 hung, the yellow jacket population by the pool decreased dramatically, but we still had a few buzzing around. After hanging the 2nd one, saw none for over 2 weeks. I'm thinking it's because the 1st one I hung is now running out of attractant so it's time to replace it.
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
688
Santa Cruz, CA
I use the traps, but I found a site that promotes using bait with some encapsulated poison (ant/termite stuff) in it so that the yellow jackets return with the bait and kill the entire colony. I think that could work for you.

We had some of the same type of poison from doing ant control and mixed it up with some jelly, and also some cat food, to attract both the meat eaters and the sugar ones - they were gone in about 10 days and didn't return.
 

RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
421
Tuscola, TX
These are all excellent ideas, thanks a ton will be trying them. I like the ant bait idea. I know they can be beneficial but after stinging my wife they can die. Happy spouse, happy house. ;)
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,094
NY
Also, when looking up the traps that lowes has for another member, i saw that amazon had fake nests. They were real enough looking to fool me if i didnt put them up myself. Supposedly after you remove any existing nests, they wont build any new ones nearby other nests. So you put a fake one up on one or 2 strategic places and they wont come back. Those traps work great for existing wasps by the way.
 

5odaw1s

Active member
May 6, 2019
31
Gainesville Georgia
Sorry for this long post but I am passionate about getting rid of these things around the pool.

We’ve had 3 different issues around our pool and pump house. Wasps, carpenter bees and yellow jackets. Beginning in the spring and throughout the summer, wasps and carpenter bees swirl around the pump house like it is a big convention center. We did the wasp and hornet spray for years for the wasps. But it’s a never ending cycle. And it didn’t phase the carpenter bees. We dusted and filled the holes that the bees bored in the painted but untreated studs and shelves in the pump house but they just bored different holes.

Finally we found an article about fake hornet’s nests. You take a bunch of plastic shopping bags like you get from any store now (white or yellow seem to work best) and you bunch them up to resemble a big hornets nest.
I stapled one under one of the shelves in the pump house and one underneath each end of the deck attached to the house and we have been virtually free of wasps and carpenter bees for 2-3 years now.

Yellow jackets are a different animal. The traps will catch a few but to get rid of them you have to kill the nest. I’ve found 2 ways to accomplish that.
1.
A. Get a spray can of yellow jacket freeze (Amazon)
B. Get a bottle of Tempo 1% dust and a dusting bulb/can (also amazon)
C. Find the hole in the ground they fly in and out of

At dusk or later, take the spray and a flashlight, stand away from the hole and spray around it. (The can will spray 20-30 feet)
After that is done, walk up to the hole. There may be some dead yellow jackets around the hole.
Now shoot a 10-20 second stream of spray directly down the hole.
Go inside and put some Tempo dust in the duster and wait till the next morning.
Early the next morning take the duster to the hole, stick the tube in the hole and dust the Crud out of it.

2.
A. Get an electronic bug zapper that looks like a fly swatter or tennis racket, preferably one with C, D or 9 volt batteries (they last longer)
B. Tempo 1% dust with a dusting bulb/can.
C. If the zapper turns on by pressing a button, you will need a clamp or tape to hold the button down.

Take the zapper to the hole and turn it on. Being careful of the flying yellow jackets, place the zapper over the hole.
The yellow jackets will zap themselves to death trying to defend their nest.
This may take several days depending on the size of the nest.
Once the activity around the hole has died down (literally), wait until early the next morning then take the Tempo dust in the duster, remove the zapper, stick the tube of the duster in the hole and dust the Crud out of it.

NOTICE:
Yellow jackets are notorious for having at least 2 holes going to an underground nest, so be on the lookout for the additional hole(s).
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,795
Damascus, MD
If it flies, it dies. I hit wasps and hornets early in the season and hunt them down when I see them. The first year we had yellow jackets since I think our excavation disturbed a nest. I killed 50 or so the first year and have not seen a yellow jacket since. Wasps and hornets are now down to a bare minimum. Carpenter bees are annoying since they fly around people to intimidate them but they do not have a stinger. I kill them anyway as I see them. For the most part they are also in check. Keep at em I like 5odaw1s's ideas.
 
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jtpipkin

Bronze Supporter
Oct 2, 2016
183
albany, ga
love that bug zapper over the hole idea - just sounds FUN! I was going to add beware the secondary exit until I saw it at the very end of your post :) - Those underground nests can be a pain to find. It was a 12 pack of Miller Lite, gallon of gasoline, as many clothes as I could stand to wear and a good friend and a flashlight for me. I never did light it, just stuck the spout in the hole and ran like crazy. Not the most environmentally friendly solution, but I was mad after they made a game of me on the lawnmower one day...
 

RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
421
Tuscola, TX
Boric acid huh? Who'd a thunk.

Found the nest(s) yesterday. All five of them. Whoever said wasps are territorial I call BS! Ran out of wasp and hornet spray stuff and one of the little SOB's stung me on my lip. Wife is going out today to buy more of the spectracide stuff and I will be terminating them and considering adding borates to the pool (might as well to reduce pH creep which I've been battling with muriatic acid).
 

jtpipkin

Bronze Supporter
Oct 2, 2016
183
albany, ga
just going to throw this out there, but I found a product years ago that was suggested to treat for insects and what not. Also found it worked great in a backpack fogger set up when spraying for mosquitos. It's called Bifen IT. Since I began using it, I've found it works well on just about everything. I spray ant beds with it and it works better than anything else I've tried. That being said, I've used it on several wasp nests and it works almost instantly. If I find a nest hidden in a bush, I spray the whole bush. It'll kill anything that lands on it for a while. Just buy a cheap one gallon sprayer and mix it up. Cheaper than buying all those other products at the hardware store and has several uses. I even fired all my pest control services and spray the house myself now. Haven't had a single bug issue in years. Here's a link if you want to check it out
Amazon.com: Bifen IT Control Solutions Insecticide Concentrates: Gateway
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,094
NY
Found the nest(s) yesterday. All five of them. Whoever said wasps are territorial I call BS!
Lol. It’s a general rule. There is always gonna be an exception to that kind of thing. Or it was one big honking nest with 5 exits. (If underground). Either way glad you got em.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
758
OV, CA
Get your traps out in the spring and you will control them before they have a chance to establish a nest locally. I really like the DYI traps. as I can vary the bait depending on the season.