Again and again there are unpleasant encounters between earth wasps and garden owners. We explain how to recognize wasps and how to deal with their nests.Earth wasps in earth wasp nest By Soebe GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0, from Wikimedia Commons
Something is moving underground, think just before the black and yellow body of an earth wasp has dug itself out. It's good that you discovered it in time, because an earth wasp sting can have dire consequences. Our great article on the subject clarifies whether earth wasps are really dangerous and how you can safely remove an earth wasp nest.
- 1 Introductory information on earth wasps
- 2 Where earth wasps build an earth wasp nest
- 3 Are earth wasps dangerous?
- 4 Locate and observe the earth wasp nest
- 5 Notes on handling earth wasps
- 5.1 Have the earth wasp's nest removed
- 5.2 Remove earth wasps yourself
- 5.3 Simply distract earth wasps
- 6 Conclusion: Wasps are part of nature
Introductory information about earth wasps
In fact, the name already reveals what earth wasps are. Unlike paper wasps, for example, earth wasps nest within the earth. What sounds like a marginal note in reality is anything but funny, because an earth wasp nest in the ground always means that, for example, children can accidentally step into it.
Earth wasps generally include wasps that nest in the ground. It does that German wasp, just like the common wasp, However, it is advisable to take a very close look at a find, because bumblebees, bees and various wasp species also crawl under the ground from time to time, but do not build a nest there and are generally rather peaceful. However, because wasps feed on everything that is sweet, they can often be found next to terraces and in the garden, where it can lead to unpleasant encounters. But how does an earth wasp nest actually develop and what should be done if earth wasps settle in their own garden?
Where earth wasps build an earth wasp nest
It is interesting how wasps build their nest. The little animals first look for a suitable place for a few weeks and can often be observed. So if you react early here and always close the typical holes in the ground cleanly, you automatically reduce the risk of an earth wasp nest developing at all. The earth wasps usually build their nest in existing mouse holes or niches, which are located in shady or sheltered places in the garden. Typical locations are therefore earth behind the house or garden shed or within the flower beds, which are rarely dug up and therefore appear particularly tempting. In general, the location in the garden for the wasps is more than practical, especially if there are many flowers and often a piece of cake or a few crumbs are left on the terrace.Mouse hole: popular with earth wasps | © Martina Nowak - Fotolia.com
Once the wasp nest is built, everything suddenly happens very quickly. The earth wasps are very hard-working and as soon as the right location has been found, they build their nest very quickly. Normally around 5,000 wasps live there, but there are also extreme cases in which an earth wasp nest with up to 50,000 wasps was found. If the earth wasp nest is complete, it will be quite difficult to remove it easily and, above all, safely. However, that is not in the interest of nature. But isn't such an earth wasp nest a serious danger? Are earth wasps dangerous?
Are earth wasps dangerous?
Once the earth wasps have built their nest, it is often very difficult to come up against them. Like all wasps, they have a sharp stinger, the consequences of which everyone has probably already been able to get to know. If the earth wasp stabs, it does so by extending its sting, allowing it to penetrate the skin and holding on to its legs in order to jerkily introduce the barbs to the victim. Poison is also passed through the spine through a central channel, which ultimately emerges and is injected into the body of the pricked person. In contrast to bees, for example, earth wasps can remove their stings independently. Unfortunately, this does not mean that he does not get stuck every now and then during an earth wasp sting.Wasp stabs | © kozorog - Fotolia.com
Whether earth wasps are dangerous now depends on various factors. The poison in the sting triggers inflammatory reactions in the body, so the affected area quickly turns red and usually swells significantly. This is not particularly dangerous at first, but it often causes pain. So whether or not wasps are dangerous depends primarily on your own body. About three percent of people in Germany are allergic to the poisons and there are probably one or two deaths after a wasp sting every year. So if the earth wasp sting not only swells a bit, but literally spreads, so that, for example, almost the entire arm becomes thick after the actual sting, this is probably an allergic reaction. Other symptoms, such as a direct tingling sensation, a stinging in the mouth or a feeling of a racing heart, indicate such a reaction. In such a case, please call your family doctor or go to the nearest hospital. With such things is really not to be trifled with! Neither, by the way, as with an earth wasp sting in the area of the mouth. Since the mucous membranes often react extremely here, an earth wasp sting in this area is also a great risk for people without allergies.
So whether wasps are dangerous depends above all on the reaction to a sting and whether you already know how you react to the poison. By itself, neither bees nor wasps will attack if you don't get too close or start an attack. If you keep your distance, you are usually pretty safe and therefore earth wasps would only be dangerous if they believed they had to defend themselves seriously.
Locate and observe the earth wasp nest
As already mentioned, it is advisable to proceed with a certain level of awareness early on, namely when it is slowly getting warm and the first rays of sun and wasps appear on the scene. Soil holes should be closed, flower beds cared for and often dug up, so that no places for earth wasps can arise. If this does not help, it will be clearly visible from June at the latest where the earth wasps have successfully settled. From June it can be assumed that the earth wasp nest has reached a corresponding size and therefore the earth wasps fly clearly visible at these special places. If you already know where the earth wasp nest is, you should watch it very carefully first and avoid it as far as possible.
Instructions for handling earth wasps
No matter whether wasps or earth wasps, the animals should never be roughly attacked, beaten or even frightened. Basically, wasps are rather harmless beings who defend themselves but will not attack you for no reason. If you simply don't get too close to the earth wasp nest, then you should be safe from the small animals. If, on the other hand, you hurt the earth wasps or threaten them in any other way, they quickly release odors, which in turn attract all other earth wasps in the area. This is exactly what makes the handling of earth wasps so dangerous and that is why it is important never to actively threaten the animals, but always to meet them with the necessary and passive calm.
The second note concerns a legal aspect. Wasps, bees and bumblebees are considered protected in Germany. First of all, this means that you are actually already punishable if you try to kill the wasps. The Federal Nature Conservation Act stipulates that wild animals may not be killed without a reasonable reason. Wasp nests, also an earth wasp nest, are also protected. The nests should therefore neither be destroyed nor deliberately damaged, which is why professionals should always relocate the earth wasp nest. The penalties that are imposed in such cases may well be five digits.
Have the earth wasp's nest removed
According to paragraph 39 paragraph 14 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act, earth wasps should not be unnecessarily disturbed in their development. So if the wasp nest is far back in the garden, most professionals will probably advise you to just leave the wasp alone and wait until the wasp state disintegrates after the summer. However, if there is an earth wasp nest right next to the terrace or if it can be found where your own children play every day, you should definitely ask someone to relocate the earth wasps. This is usually a pest control or wasp emergency service. However, these are often not so easy to find, quite expensive and also not available in some places. If you have a beekeeper in the village (which is more and more often the case), you can also kindly inquire there if he will take care of the resettlement of the earth wasps for you. Sometimes the fire brigade also helps.
Strictly speaking, the fire brigade is only used in a wasp or earth wasp nest if it is public space or if there is an acute emergency or a direct danger. A danger would be that children are in the house, move freely and the earth wasp nest can be found directly in the garden. In reality, however, the fire brigade decides for itself what is really an emergency and what is not. The first call should still go to the fire department, who in case of doubt will then forward you to an expert if they are unable to take care of the wasps themselves.
Remove earth wasps yourself
If you are particularly brave, you can of course also lend a hand. However, this can be extremely dangerous and therefore not recommended. It can also result in a heavy fine, as our notes above have already made clear. We would advise against a distance. Call a professional who can remove the wasp nest professionally and who is also very familiar with wasps in general.
Removing an earth wasp nest is always a double-edged sword. Many report that the insects are appropriately anesthetized with a foam gel in order to ultimately drive them out of the garden. However, whoever kills the wasps will of course be punished again.
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A wasp spray also helps to keep the wasps at least away from the terrace and to deter them accordingly. The WaspEX wasp spray is even ecologically harmless and is based, among other things, on basil oil, which has little to do with chemistry and is therefore particularly gentle to drive away wasps.
An alternative to the products mentioned above can be to not only plant your own garden with flowers or simply sow a few herbs in the area of the house. Sometimes it is enough to put a small pot of fresh basil on the garden table to keep the wasps away from this area. Incidentally, basil also helps against many other types of insects, not only against earth wasps, so it's always worth putting a few pots of them on the terrace.
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Simply distract earth wasps
Because the topic of earth wasp disposal is legally very problematic and we, as nature lovers, cannot be held responsible for anyone removing the earth wasps by force, we would like to show you an alternative to combating earth wasps. So it makes sense not to kill or catch the wasps, but to simply distract them. This is also recommended because earth wasps are not particularly aggressive. Those who neither threaten them nor get too close to their nest usually do not take any great risks.Wasps love grapes © LFRabanedo - Fotolia.com
Earth wasps can be deflected with the so-called deflection feeding. Overripe grapes are particularly suitable. If such sweet grapes are placed at a maximum of ten meters from the wasp nest, they will lure the wasps out and distract them accordingly. A distraction feeding that neither ends deadly nor brutally, but simply works with a redirection. So earth wasps can be easily lured into the back part of the garden, so that the family, on the terrace in the front part, can rest in front of the earth wasps. As a rule, this works surprisingly well, at least if the garden is of a suitable size.
Conclusion: Wasps are part of nature
There are all kinds of living things in nature and they are mostly very important for our ecosystem. Earth wasps in particular are an important factor and should not simply be destroyed without thinking. With our tips on the topic of wasps, we hopefully helped you to solve the problem. Since earth wasps are usually quite peaceful anyway if they are not being actively attacked, you should simply accept them as roommates in your garden and educate children clearly about possible dangers. If you are still uncomfortable with having an earth wasp nest in the garden, distraction feeding, a pot with fresh basil or, in an emergency, the fire brigade will also help, who will safely remove the earth wasp nest or forward it to a specialist. But let's be honest: bees, wasps, bumblebees - they just belong in the summer and living with them is always better than just destroying them. Especially since the right planting and control can ensure that the earth wasps, at least in the area of the house, feel rather uncomfortable.