As you’re minding your own business cruising around, you keep noticing wasps around your car. Maybe its just that weird attraction wasps have to cars (explained later) BUT maybe not. A few days go by and then you see it, some wasps have managed to create a nest in your car. A seemingly undesirable nesting location has been conquered.
Assuming you don’t like wasps you’ll be in quite the hurry to remove them, especially if you use your car for frequent travel. It is important to relax and take care of the situation with confidence. Below are some simple steps and tips to reclaim your car.
If you have discovered a very large nest in your car, calling a pest control company is always a safe bet. However, this can be time consuming and for small nests it can be quicker to handle the situation yourself. Usually it is manageable as wasp nests do not often grow to large sizes in cars.
The first thing to do is to determine whether or not you can spot the main nest on the car or if you can only see wasps moving in and out from a specific location. Anywhere that is not visible will need to be taken care of with targeted wasp spray and wasp bait. Anywhere that is visible can be taken care of via the same method or with an alternative quicker solution. The most common spots for wasps nests to be located are in the trunk, behind the front or rear lights and tucked under the bottom of the car.
After you’ve determined the nests general location it is time to plan out your attack! To be protected and lower your chances of getting stung you should wear a hat, goggles, coat, boots and long pants whenever you get close to your car. You should also plan to take any action during the coolest part of the day as this is when the wasps will be the least active. It is also recommended to be cover up your skin when using any wasp spray, that could cause burns.
Spray the nest location with wasp spray from 10+ feet away. Wait 4-6 hours and spray the nest location again from a closer distance. A day later all the wasps should be dead and you can scrap the nest debris off with gloves to throw away. For a quicker solution swiftly grab the nest and put it into a seal-able container.
The latter solution will only work if the nest is visible. When you grab the nest it is important to have a seal-able container and be very cautious. Wearing the heavy clothing suggested above is a must. Waiting a few days before opening the container used will ensure no angry wasps come out to greet you. If you use wasp spray any wasps that are still alive after the application will likely be slow moving and not active. You can purchase wasp spray from your local department store and to go a step further pick up wasp bait as well.
If the wasps have nested deep in your car, repeated sprays and placing bait into the entry location should eventually solve the problem. However, sometimes in this the scenario the wasps will be very hidden in the car or determining the exact wasp entry location may not be possible. Calling a pest control company for this the easiest thing to do as they will use more precise tactics to eliminate the problem.
How Long To Wait After Using Wasp Spray
Depending on the size of the nest and the wasp spray used it can take anywhere from near instantly to 24 hours for the wasp spray to be effective. To get an exact answer read over the label of the wasp spray your bought. After using the wasp spray and removing the wasps, cleaning the sprayed area is good to remove any toxins left behind by the spray. Again reading the label of wasp spray purchased will give exact information on its dangers.
This article recommends spraying the nest two times to be completely sure of effectiveness but if you are in a hurry one spray which completely soaks the nest can be enough. Removing the actual nest is not a necessity but will make it harder for the wasps to build up a new colony. Wasps do not have a memory of where previous nest locations were located as long as the queen is removed.
If after two days you no longer see any wasps around your car you can claim a victory! Knowing what keeps wasps from getting close to your car and why they are attracted in the first place can help another you prevent another nest from forming.
How To Keep Wasps Away From Your Car
After the removal it is important to take steps to prevent wasps from returning. You should inspect the area where you park your car to see if there are any nearby wasp nests. If so eliminating these will lower the probability another nest is created in your car. Also eliminating wasp food sources (garbage/leftover food, sugar, vinegar and water) in the proximity of your car can help to prevent them from nesting again.
Parking your car in a secure garage is a good way to eliminate it’s exposure to the outdoors. For many people this is not an option or too expensive and the other methods will be the most effective. It is the forgotten about and rarely driven cars that give way to the largest car wasp nests. Also frequently driving your car will make it difficult for wasps of the same colony to create a nest.
Why Are Wasps Attracted To Your Car?
Wasps can be attracted to your car for a variety of reasons. The most obvious being that they see it as a food source and a good place to build a nest. Here are the main reasons why wasps may be attracted to your car:
- Nesting Location: Complex chamber under the hood combined with the warmth given off from the car create a good environment for wasps to build out a nest. Much of the the tunneling is already done for them. They may stumble upon your car from one of the reasons below and also realize it makes a good home.
- Dead Insects: Wasps can feed off the insects that are dead on your car. Unwashed cars can provide a buffet for the hungry wasp. Frequent car washes can help to combat this.
- Tree Sap: Parking your car under or near sap producing trees will cause it have a sweet smell, especially if the sap drips off the tree. Wasps love this sap, so consider a different parking spot if you park near a lot of trees. Fruit producing trees can give off the same effect.
- Car Color: Wasps are most attracted to bright floral colors resembling flowers. Dark colors, specifically black or red, can make wasps think enemies are near and can cause them to attack. Out of the other reasons listed here this can be the most difficult to change so it is best to remember it for the next time you purchase a car.
- Food Left In Car: Sweet and sugary foods will attract wasps, bees and other pests. Try to keep your car free of snacks to eliminate their fascination with it. Only pack what you need or carry it with you.
Wasps will follow one another so once one wasp takes interest in your vehicle others will not be far behind. If you have one or two wasps that enter your car quickly opening a window or vacuuming them up quickly can prevent more wasps from appearing.
There are two main ways to remove a wasp nest from your car. Either you can grab it quickly and put it into a container or spray it and put bait stations around it, waiting until the wasps die, then remove it. If the wasps have had a long time to build a nest in your car calling a pest control company is the best thing to do. You can read our article “Do Pest Control Companies Really Work” for help vetting local companies and what to watch out for.
After removing the nest from your car, inspecting the area you parked your car in for other nests and understanding the reasons why wasps may be attracted will go a long way in preventing future colonization attempts. Keep a clean car and don’t leave anything appetizing for the wasps inside!