How to get rid of Ground Digger Wasps

Ground digger wasps are the horrible «bees» that build their nests underground and repeatedly sting anyone that disturbs their area. We recently found a ground digger nest and after a few attempts, I successfully eradicated it.

Since we figured out what works, I thought I’d put it out there in case anyone else has to fight with these insects and needs a method that will finish them off.

If you have ground digger wasps, you need to locate where the entrance to their nest is. This isn’t that difficult, but it will require you to get down on the ground right where the bees are coming from.

I would recommend wearing jeans, a jacket, and some sort of face cover if you do this, though I did it wearing shorts and a tank top.

If they don’t feel like you are attacking them, they might just leave you alone. While I WAS attacking them, I received quite a few stings. When I was just digging for the hole, I didn’t get a single sting.

Anyway, find the hole and insert a white plastic knife, fork, or spoon. It doesn’t matter — you just want to be able to find the hole again in the dark.

Come back to the site after 9pm (the later the better) because most of the wasps will be back in the nest for the night and you can kill them all at once.

You can spray RAID or another insecticide down the hole or you can go the organic way and do what I did.

I filled 2 pitchers full of boiling water (one pampered chef mixing bowl and one juice pitcher). I went out at 9:30pm. It was about the latest I could stand waiting.

I located the plastic fork (glowing in the moonlight) and pushed back all the shrubbery that covered the entrance. Then I poured the pitchers of boiling water down the hole — one after the other.

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I didn’t hear any buzzing or screaming or anything. Then I quickly covered the hole with a large pyrex glass bowl.

The glass bowl is really important. It will trap any wasps that didn’t die from the water (or insecticide.) Even though they can dig, they will see through the bowl and think they can fly out. Since they can’t, they will eventually suffocate and die.

When I returned to the site the next morning, there was one wasp outside trying to get into the nest. It must have been out late the night before and missed the water bath. It kept bonking into the bowl. I stepped on it.

Inside the bowl, there were two wasps trying to fly out. After a day in the hot sun, they eventually died and were found on the ground inside the bowl.

So the bowl prevents stragglers from returning and keeps any survivors trapped. I know this sounds incredibly cruel, but sometimes you have to remove wasp nests from your property, and this method doesn’t add any toxic chemicals or danger to your plants. Plus, it’s relatively safe for the person doing the killing. Or at least it was for me.

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