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Earth wasps are not a separate wasp species, but the colloquial name for wasp species that also build their nests underground. These include the German and the common wasp, which in turn belong to the genus of short-headed wasps. Surely everyone has already made acquaintance with them. Before you do anything against them, you should make sure that you are actually dealing with these wasp species, because some bees also live underground.

detect ground wasps

Earth wasps are very adaptable and prefer dark, cave-like locations for shelter and nest building, e.g. an empty hole in the ground, abandoned mole or mouse holes, but also roller shutter boxes. A ground wasp nest has much larger and fewer entrances than a bee nest. Often it even has only one entry hole.

  • Earth wasps are very different from bees
  • Wasps are intensely yellow-black in colour, hair is absent
  • Rejuvenation in the middle of the body
  • Bees rather brownish-black
  • Earth wasps up to two centimeters long
  • Both wasp species also nest underground
  • Defend their nest very aggressively
  • Common and German wasps most active in mid and late summer
  • Common wasp, the most common wasp species in this country
  • In September, the wasp population in the earth wasp nest decreases
  • She collapses with the first night frosts in October

Find and secure aerobatic nest

A ground wasp nest is often difficult to spot. It is therefore advisable to keep an eye out for them as soon as it gets warm. From about June it is obvious where earth wasps have settled or nested. Their nests have now reached an appropriate size and you can see them buzzing around the affected areas. If you are walking barefoot in the garden and accidentally step on the hole in the ground, it can be very painful.

Once you have identified the nest without a doubt, it is advisable to secure the hole in the ground. To do this, the spot is marked, for example, with a wooden frame that is set up at a distance of about 3-4 meters from the nest or with an inverted, coarse-meshed wire basket. This measure aims to make the location of the nest visible and to keep small children away. Earth wasp nests in a lawn can be marked with a flag and warning tape stretched within a radius of 2 m. This prevents the lawn mower from driving over this area. The danger is averted and the nest can be removed by a specialist when the time comes.

If the earth wasp nest is in an area where you rarely or never stay, you can leave it there. Wasps die off in winter. The queen survives but does not return to the same nest or burrow the next year, so it can be safely removed if necessary.

Remove ground wasp nest

Normally it is hardly possible to get earth wasps to give up their nest voluntarily. If you want to remove the nest, you can't do that without permission, because wasps and their nests are protected. It has to be good reason present. A permit can be requested from the nature conservation authority or the respective city administration. If the permit is available, you can also remove the earth wasp nest yourself, but this is not without risk and you should pay attention to a few things.

  • First cordon off the area within 3-4 m of the nest
  • Wear resistant protective clothing
  • Protect the whole body, especially the head and neck
  • All body orifices must be closed
  • Fasten pant legs and sleeves with tape
  • Kill earth wasps before removing the nest, for example with wasp foam
  • Wasp foam traps and kills the wasps
  • Only use early in the morning or late in the evening
  • Animals are then the least active
  • If there are several entry holes, cover all but one of the others
  • Introduce the foam into the rest using a tube
  • Spray for about 5-20 seconds
  • Remove the nest after 1-2 days at the earliest

To do this, carefully dig up the earth in the area of the nest so that the tunnels and the nest itself collapse and any stragglers are driven away. Protective clothing should also be worn for this, because surviving animals will attack in any case. Removing the nest does not necessarily mean the threat is over, as swarm scents left in the soil signal to other wasps that there is an attractive nesting site.

tip: One should be very careful when removing soil nests, because these swarming animals react extremely aggressively and could pounce on the human attacker. So if you want to remove a ground wasp nest yourself, you should think twice about it.

Drive away wasps in the ground

Lay the entry hole

Earth wasps only stay in the same place for a year and look for themselves after the winter new quarters. Because of this, you should first resort to gentle methods to drive the animals away. One such method is laying the entrance hole. If anything is unclear or for safety reasons, it always makes sense to seek the advice of an expert beforehand. Moving the entrance hole is one of the few humane methods of getting rid of earth wasps that do not require a permit, along with relocating them.

An entry hole can be laid at a maximum distance of 2 m. You need a 2 m long piece of a drain pipe and a suitable piece of pipe at a 90 degree angle. This angle is put over the entry hole in the morning or in the evening and the 2 m long piece of pipe is placed on the angle so that the new exit or pipe opening leads out of the endangered area.

fumigate the nest

Fumigation is a relatively old method of driving away ground wasps in the soil. Twigs and smaller branches were set on fire in front of the entrance hole and the smoke was directed into the building. This method is also only with permission, and if there is a valid reason, is permitted and does not necessarily have to be carried out by a professional.
Despite everything, the whole thing is not without risk and is always safer in the hands of professionals. Earth wasps react very aggressively to the smoke and usually a one-off incense is not enough. In addition, the wasps are not driven away, but die in agony, which alone is reason enough to approach this method dispense.

Flood construction and entrances

Similar to fumigation, the corridors or the nest should only be flooded permit and only if this poses a specific risk, for example to children playing. If the application is approved, you will need appropriate protective equipment again.

Due to the reduced activity in construction, the early morning hours or late evening are again ideal for this work. Water mixed with sugar is fed into the building. The sugar in the water is supposed to stick the wasps' wings together so they can't fly out. The whole thing usually has to be repeated several times. However, this is not a really gentle method for the animals.

tip: In order to drive away wasps, it can sometimes be enough to dig up a large area around the burrow or the hole in the ground, of course with appropriate protective clothing. Intensive tillage destroys the animals' underground tunnels and forces the wasps to look for new shelter.

With wasp spray

Insecticides such as the wasp spray may only be used with the appropriate permit used against wasps. These sprays contain poison that acts on the animals nervous system and kills them. The only reason justifying the use of such insecticides is the presence of a specific threat posed by the wasps. Even if there is a permit, the whole thing is not without risk.

  • Get the spray as close to the nest or burrow as possible
  • Application early in the morning or late in the evening when almost all animals are in the nest
  • Don't forget protective clothing
  • Spray insecticide on the outside of the entrance hole first
  • Then spray directly into the building using a 20 cm long tube
  • Spray duration about 10 seconds

In most cases, using it once or twice is enough to kill all the animals in the burrow. The more concentrated the spray is introduced, the faster the effect occurs. These sprays are not suitable for use at a distance of 2-3 m from the nest.

Relocate aerobatic nest

When relocating, the nest not destroyed, but moved to another, safer place. Relocating an earth wasp nest only makes sense if it is in an unfavorable place. Otherwise it makes no sense, since the wasps only live for one season anyway. However, if it cannot be avoided, it should be professional take over. This usually puts the animals into a kind of twilight sleep by means of an animal-friendly sedative, so that the nest can be lifted out of the ground and placed in a distant place without any major danger.

tip: A ground wasp nest should be relocated from the beginning of June to mid-July at the latest, because the wasp colony increases rapidly from July.

Prevent settlement

In some cases, you can counteract the colonization of earth wasps in certain areas. So you can try them through cultivation fragrant plants stay away from certain areas. These animals do not like intense smells, which you can take advantage of.

Where strong-smelling plants such as lavender, basil, mint, thyme, but also tomatoes and garlic are grown, they settle less frequently or not at all. With all the means and possibilities to drive away or fight earth wasps, one should not forget that these animals too useful and worth protecting and their ecological benefit outweighs the supposed damage.

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