Design & DIY

How a shop vac and some dish soap can solve your wasp problems

Wasps can be a tricky problem at the cottage. Unlike bees, who sacrifice their lives for a single sting, wasps can attack indefinitely. Worse, allergies to wasps are common, which means that leaving these little guys unchecked could create a potentially fatal problem.

Unfortunately, man-made structures are the perfect place for wasps to set up shop. A nice roof overhang is vastly preferable to the exposed limb of a tree, meaning they’re constantly trying to gain a foothold when cottagers are away.

Wasps are also highly territorial, so removing a nest is a dicey proposition. As soon as they are disturbed, they rush to defend the colony. This behaviour, however, is the key to their downfall.

This DIY solution makes use of a simple shop vac and some liquid soap to suck up the wasps. You can attach a pole such as a mop handle to the hose of the vacuum by using bungee cords. This allows you to lean the hose close to the wasp nest. The soap in the shop vac’s body attracts the wasps to the hose opening, where they are sucked inside. It is recommended that you leave the vacuum running for a number of hours to clear out as many wasps as possible.

This approach is just as effective as chemicals, but completely harmless to humans. Still, make sure to wear long-sleeved clothing and protective headgear, and make sure all your windows are closed!