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Wasps in hay shed: what to do about it

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  • Wasps in hay shed: what to do about it

    Wasps are starting to appear in my shed. I don’t see evidence of a nest anywhere yet they’ve been hanging around quite a bit all of a sudden.

    The shed has one door on the front where you can put in two large bales of straw (the 650-750 lb ones). So once the hay is i n it there’s not much room to go in the back or on the sides.

    I’m sure many others have encountered similar problems. What have people done to discourage wasps from coming around?

  • #2
    Have a professional spray before you put the hay in.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

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    • #3
      I don't know that you can discourage them.

      But you can invest in non-toxic/herbal sprays to take them out.
      I had a nest in the eaves of my barn & got the stuff - peppermint-based - from Lowe's.
      Cost more than poison spray, but at least I didn't have to worry about it dripping on the horses or getting on the hay.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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      • #4
        They're probably starting a nest and you just haven't seen it yet. RAID Hornet and Wasp Spray shoots 25-30 ft. and works.
        "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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        • #5
          I would also suspect a nest is starting. Around here they go dormant in winter.

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          • #6
            Assuming you're in a temperate part of the northern hemisphere, it's pretty late for a nest to be starting. By late August I suspect what you're seeing is the rapid population increase of a well established nest, not a new population.

            I'd inspect the exterior of the shed and spray if you find the nest. If you think the nest is inside, then you have more trap options available than if it were outside (the bait type traps that are best outdoors aren't great for catching paper wasps IME). Sticky traps are terrible outside because they can kill songbirds and get all sorts of other stuff stuck to them, but if you put one inside the shed you might be able to knock down a large portion of your wasp population without pesticides near the straw. If you can figure out where they're entering and exiting, locating a trap inside the shed near the entry point might work.

            For next year, putting screen across points of entry (in my shed a screen across the vent grate keeps them out) and inspecting a few times in June/early July for the first signs of nest construction (and killing/cleaning up incipient nests early) might help prevent a repeat problem.

            Good luck!

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            • #7
              I made up a spray bottle of water and peppermint oil and set the nozzle on the long stream spray. When I see them anywhere I fire away and they leave. It's non toxic and works. I also spray around windows and anywhere I want to discourage wasps or anything else. With what we know about the toxicity of some chemicals and cancer, I really avoid using the bad stuff.

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              • #8
                Try hanging a fake wasp nest. They normally will not set up where another nest is.

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                • #9
                  First, are they wasps or muddaubers?
                  if the latter, leave them be.
                  If wasps, find the nest, wait until a cool day/night and knock it down with a long stick.
                  You don't want to be using sprays around hay and they really won't bother you if a long stick knocked it down. I do it all the time, on some pretty huge nests.
                  Don't try it on hornets, though.

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