Wasps and Yellow Jackets have seemingly one goal in life, to sting the hell out of anything within 20 feet of it. Here’s how to instantly soothe stings and get rid of them!
Having accidentally come into contact with a ground nest recently and acquiring multiple stings, we decided to fight back!
Homemade Yellow jacket (or Wasp) Trap:
Cut the top off a 2-liter plastic bottle. This can be a 2-liter bottle or as small as a repurposed water bottle.
Make the cut just at the top of the straight sides.
Invert the cut off top into the bottom portion and staple it into place.
Pour a sweet smelling liquid into the funnel top to get about 2 inches of liquid in the bottom of your trap.
Carbonated soda seems to work well but try something different in each one to determine what your wasps prefer.
Place your traps in a wide circle 30 to 50 feet away from the area you want to be “wasp free”.
Try to place some of your traps in their flight path. If you get a few with a fly swatter, put the bodies in the top of the trap. In case you’re wondering why dead wasps and yellow jackets give off an alarm scent that will attract others. So if you do happen to kill some nearby, get rid of them quickly.
Empty your traps as needed and refill with your bait. You can dump the carcasses into the compost pile.
Already Been Stung?
Carefully scrape the stinger out with your fingernail or a credit card. Pulling on the stinger will only inject more venom (think hyperdermic needle!)
The number one gardener’s friend for insect bites is pure Neem oil! Just rub a small amount of Neem on the area as often as needed: it draws out the venom, pain, and swelling. Oftentimes reactions to wasp and bee bites can result in extreme swelling and pain that lasts for days. Neem has been a miracle for us, particularly since after applying it all symptoms are usually gone within hours!
Other helpful remedies if you don’t happen to have Neem Oil on hand are mixing straight apple cider vinegar with baking soda to make a paste and apply to the bitten area.
Use an ointment containing the herb comfrey as a soothing salve.
Wasp venom is on the alkaline side. To counteract the venom rub some onion juice or vinegar on
the bite. Split the leaf of a leek and apply the inside surface to your skin.
Fire Ant & Bee Stings
Ant bites and bee stings are more acidic in nature. For these, you want to neutralize the effect of the venom with a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and very cold water.
Apply straight lemon juice.
A clay or mud paste can also be used to draw out the venom and is usually on hand!
Use a wet tea bag as a poultice: the tannic acid in tea helps with swelling. Black tea is the most
Meat tenderizers contain enzymes when applied as a paste also draw out the venom and swelling.
Put a slice of cucumber over the area, this is especially effective for ant bites!
A poultice using winter or summer savory leaves helps with bites and stings.