Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Non-Toxic Wasp Remover

Wasps can be helpful in the garden- they eat insects and also help pollinate. But, their stings hurt, so they can be a bit pesky if you have young children or anyone who is allergic to their stings.
My husband is allergic to wasp stings, so when I found a small wasp nest above our front door Easter weekend, I knew I needed to get it down ASAP.
Since it was so small, I figured I would just powerhose it off the house, and the wasps would leave and find somewhere else to build. No such luck. The nest washed off easily, but within an hour a new nest was already underway (in the same exact spot). So, I had to get wasp remover.
I have only removed wasps once before, in Montana, and just bought the wasp killer that our local hardware store had. It was a pesticide, probably very toxic, and who knows how much of it I inhaled.
I wondered if there was a less-toxic way to get rid of the wasps, with the same ease as the chemical spray (I know you can smoke them out, but that didn't seem like such a good idea right by our front door). I called our local nursery and easily found a peppermint-oil based spray. I wondered how effective it would be.
I waited until sunset (so the wasps would be in the nest), got out my headlamp, and sprayed the nest thoroughly. Within seconds, the nest had shriveled and the wasps along with it, and there have been no signs of them since.
I will say that I felt pretty guilty doing this. I don't like to purposely kill anything, even stinging insects. But, with Todd's allergy (and possibly the kids as well), it wasn't worth the risk to leave them. I am happy that I chose the peppermint oil spray and not the regular old toxic chemical spray. The natural version worked like a charm, didn't smell, and didn't make me feel like I was going to wake up with cancer. Two thumbs up!

A fellow blogger has since told me that if you paint the underside of your roof a pale blue that the wasps will never build a nest there to begin with.... but that is something I have yet to experiment with.

Do you have any great tips or tricks for getting rid of unwanted pests? Pin It Now!


  1. I didn't know this, thanks for sharing.

  2. I love your ideas for non-toxic and "natural" replacements for the toxic chemicals we use. Thanks for sharing this. I will make a note of this since wasps are sometimes a problem around our house.