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Pest control experts offer wasp problem pointers

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: May 15 2013 10:14:34 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

With warmer weather sticking around you may have noticed wasps are out in full force.

Pest control experts tell us a frigid April has wasps hustling to build nests and reproduce, which makes the buzzing insects much more aggressive than usual.

NBC Montana spent Wednesday afternoon with a pest control expert who had some advice for folks dealing with a wasp problem.

“An enormous wasp nest is a tremendous risk to you and loved ones and everything else around,” said James Jacobson, the owner of Crusader Pest Control in Missoula.  “Preventative care, putting that spray down, they won't make a nest there.” 

Jacobson says people often make the wrong choices.

“Ninety percent of us don't use an instant kill because we want the insect to go through the chemical, take it back with them to their home or their nest and wipe out everyone else they run into,” he said.  “They literally become our little pest control professionals.”

The owners of one Missoula home worried about small wasp nests and they decided to phone in an expert.

“If we get ahead of the ball game with preventative care you don't have a nest situation,” said Jacobson.  “At that point they don't even make a nest anywhere near that.”

Pest control experts tell NBC Montana if you're going to tackle a wasp problem yourself you're going to want to do it in the early hours of the morning and you're going to want to use a spray or foam intended for the purpose of killing wasps – purchased at your local hardware or outdoor supply store.

Jacobson says it’s important to be selective about what insecticide you choose and never overuse.

“It takes just a touch to kill them and most people tend to overspray,” said Jacobson.  “They get in that happy trigger finger and hold it down and then all of a sudden they've introduced a foreign chemical into their area and much more than they ever needed to.”

He says it's important to remember the three ‘C’s of wasp control.

“Cool, calm and collect - you've got to make sure that you go into ready because if you come out of it with high adrenaline and stuff going like that you become a target for them,” he said. 

Overall the experts say if in doubt give them a call.

“There was a story up in the Flathead last year where a guy used kerosene and burned down half of his house and a tree and everything so choose the right product for the right job,” said Jacobson. 

Jacobson wants to remind folks that using a hose or broom to remove a wasp nest is not a permanent solution or a safe one, so be careful.  Unlike bumblebees, wasps can sting you multiple times.