How to Deal with Wasps in Your Lawn

By: Julie Day

For the past two years, my small lawn seems to be attracting wasps. They fly low, land on the grass, and then fly away. I’m worried about stepping on them, or stepping on a nest. Any suggestions? -Lynn

In general, wasps are beneficial predator insects in the garden, but sometimes they can be attracted to areas that are too close for human comfort. When wasps are in and around lawn grasses, it is usually due to one of three reasons:

  1. They are preying on insects or larvae in the lawn soil. Digger wasps, for instance, often fly low over lawns in the mornings, looking for grubs and larvae. They are considered beneficial insects and generally can be left alone.
  2. They are seeking sugar through fallen fruit, spilled food or drinks, or aphid “honeydew.” We’ve all experienced wasps buzzing around our outdoor picnics, but some lawns also become covered with natural sugars as fruits and berries ripen and fall.
  3. They are nesting or burrowing. Cicada killers are common ground-burrowing wasps that may be spotted by the tiny piles of soil outside the burrows. Many types of wasps, including cicada killers, are solitary creatures, so their nests will be more difficult to spot than the large colonies of their more social relatives.

Here are some ways to reduce or deal with nuisance wasps in your lawn and garden:

  • Keep trash cans covered.
  • Rinse out recyclables before putting them outside.
  • Don’t leave open or spilled food (including pet food) or drink outdoors.
  • Rake up and throw away fallen fruit and berries.
  • Keep your compost pile turned to bury attractive food wastes.
  • Keep your lawn healthy, and mow it high. A thick, dense lawn defends itself against ground-burrowing wasps and other insect or grub infestations.
  • If wasps are out hunting for lawn-destroying grubs and larvae, leave them alone (and thank them for providing organic pest control!).

There are many different types of wasps, and in order to address your problem it would be most helpful to identify what sort of wasp you have. For help identifying bees and wasps in your lawn and garden, check out What’s Buzzin’ in My Garden? at Pollinator.com.

Julie

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7 Comments on “How to Deal with Wasps in Your Lawn”

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  • Carol Says:
    August 17th, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Loads of wasps everyday in front lawn. what chemical can I get to spray lawn so they won’t return this year?



  • David Says:
    May 18th, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Hornets in our front lawn
    What do we do????



  • Tina Caldwell Says:
    August 24th, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    We have wasps flying low on our grass for the 1st time & have 2 Welsh Terriers. Will they hurt them or what do I do???



  • Daivon Perry Says:
    May 10th, 2015 at 10:08 am

    My whole front and back yard is covered in digger wasp or whatever they are im scared I have 4 small.children that play out there what can I do to get them gone?



  • Landon Says:
    September 22nd, 2014 at 2:08 am

    I want to ask you to please don’t use sticky traps. While they may trap some wasps, they may also trap many beneficial insects, butterflies and even hummingbirds. Wasps but more especially bees, can be vital to a healthy neighborhood ecosystem.



  • Ashley Says:
    September 9th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Hi there,

    I have a wasp problem and they’re all in my grass in my backyard. I have something I bought from Wallmart that they stick to, if I take a picture of one of them would you be able to tell me what kind it is so I can figure out how to get rid of them?



  • Susan Says:
    April 3rd, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    The photo you have of a wasp isn’t actually a wasp, it’s a mud dauber. They are generally harmless and eat spiders.


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