On my post about mucking out the hen house, a friend left a comment about how he had a wasp’s nest in his henhouse. There were three complicating factors to this wasp nest.
- It was inside the hen house where the chickens nested and because of that he was reluctant to use any pesticides.
- He had contacted the local “critter” company who said they could get rid of it for $150 (yup, you read that right) which would have made for some very costly eggs.
- He is highly allergic to insect stings.
A conundrum if I ever heard one.
I reached out to my fellow chicken owner friends and checked around a bit and these are the suggestions I got:
- Leave it be, wasps eat other pesky bugs and are not such bad company to have.
- Wait until night time and spray the nest with a high pressure hose.
- Wait until night time and spray the nest with an orange oil containing product like Orange Glo.
- Tape a bag around the nest (a clear bag so you can see what’s going on) and in a small hole insert a wasp killer spray and let the nest have it. You’ll know it’s worked when you see no more activity behind the bag.
I also got these comments from my facebook page:
“We had a bad infestation of wasps a few years back, but it was on the outside of the house. We just went to home depot and get got wasp spray. I suppose you could get all the chickens out first, bomb the coop and then remove all the hay, etc. We had fleas too and we removed all the critters from the house plus us for 3 hours on a Sunday morning and then just washed all the critters. Like I said, good luck.”
“leave it until the fall when the wasps go dormant then remove it. If you leave the wasps alone they wont sting. I have several nest around my house and have never been stung or even come close to being stung. I’ve even had my head inches below a nest without knowing it and the wasps just go about their business with no concern for me. Spraying the nest is the riskiest thing to do because it’ll rouse them and make them want to sting.”
“My dad use to be allergic highly too. He would suit up a few pairs of pants and shirts a full body work overalls and the head nest and use a very high pressure hose to kill them. He always did it at night later around 9pm when he would say they were tucked in.”
“How about several wasp traps in the vicinity (but out of the reach of the chickens.) you could maybe catch as many of them as you did flies?”
And I also remember going to a family friend’s house one summer when I was young and they had fish heads suspended over buckets of water. Yellow jackets would eat so much of the fish meat that they would drunkenly fall off into the water and then drown. I don’t know if wasps eat dead fish but I do know that I was mightily impressed with that approach. It’s a nasty death but at least they died with their tummies full.
Ultimately, I’m from the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thought and if the wasps aren’t’ bothering anyone or thing, I’d be tempted to wait until winter and then just knock the darn thing down.
However, if it is a problem, then I would definitely do something (after pretty much putting on a snowmobile suit, helmet and goggles as protection – insect allergies run in our household, I know how serious they can be.) I think I’d start off with the Orange Glo suggestion at night (making sure of course that I was also wearing my best running shoes with that snowmobile suit.)
How about you? Any other wasp experiences or solutions that should be added to this list?