We share our environment with many different kinds of wasps, and while they can be beneficial insects that feed on garden pests, they can also be hazardous if they take up residence in our homes. Exterior shutters are especially appealing to wasps, because they provide shelter and protection from the elements and are a safe place to build a nest. Fixed shutters (those bolted to the side of the house) can present a more difficult problem, because of the tight space behind them.
The most common types of wasps you’ll find behind your shutters are Mud Daubers and Paper Wasps (beware the occasional nasty hornet’s nest). Neither are particularly aggressive, but they are territorial, so here’s the disclaimer – proceed with caution! Caution, caution, caution! If you or anyone in your home is allergic to stinging insects, please, please leave this job to a professional.
So, you’ve decided to take on the wasps yourself? OK, first, you’ll need to figure out where the nest is. Watch the wasps flying around your house during the day, and look for where they congregate. Eventually, they’ll lead you to the shutters where they’re nesting.
Once you’ve isolated their home shutter…wait until dark, when they’re asleep and in the nest. The best product for tight spaces is wasp dust (Delta, Drione and Sevin are just a few that’ll work). The dust is very fine, and will penetrate into all the cracks and crevices behind your shutters. It works primarily as a dehydrating agent (fun fact: wasps love water). Using a hand duster, blow the dust behind the shutter. Wear something over your mouth and nose to prevent accidentally inhaling the dust, and protective clothing is also wise. Within 24 hours, your unwanted guests should be on their way to wasp heaven. Dust behind all your shutters, to kill any undiscovered wasps and prevent new wasps from nesting.
I can’t say I blame wasps for liking outdoor shutters, but I prefer when they admire them from afar. Do you have any tips for keeping wasps away from your shutters? Please share!