Black wasps, also called paper wasps, are the most common species of wasp found near structures like houses and schools, and it is important to know how to exterminate them. The typical paper wasp is about three quarters of an inch long with a reddish-brown, dark brown, or black color and yellow markings on its abdomen. This type of wasp makes paper, open-cell nests, usually under building overhangs. While often a nuisance when they are around humans, paper wasps are considered to be beneficial to agriculture because they feed on various types of worms and caterpillars and they do not scavenge.
Paper wasps are social insects. They live in colonies that have workers, queens, and males. The adult paper wasp feeds on nectar and other sugary solutions, such as the juices of ripe fruits, and on insects like caterpillars and flies. These wasps have lance-like stingers and can sting multiple times.
The safest course of action when dealing with wasps is to wait until the nests are abandoned in the autumn, at which point you can remove the nest without risking being stung by hordes of angry wasps. Worker wasps are killed after a hard frost or after several light frosts.
Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to rid your domicile of a nest when it is active. The best time to do this is in June, after the queen has established her colony but before the colony has grown to any considerable size. However, because nests this early in the season are so small, they are often difficult to locate. Nests can be destroyed using any insecticide marketed for that purpose. Spraying insecticides is most effective when done during the late evening or a cool period in the early morning; these are times when wasps do not fly readily and most foragers have returned to the colony. Wasps have difficulty flying when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Look for insecticides with active ingredients like permethrin, deltamethrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, tetramethrin, esfenvalerage, and allethrin. When spraying insecticides, always ensure that you are exercising the utmost caution. Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves when spraying the insecticide. Do not spray it toward the house. Ensure that you have a clear exit route so that you may leave the area immediately after spraying the nest.
If the nest is high up, spray in a sweeping motion so that you can clear the area of any wasps guarding the nest, then direct the stream into the entrance hole at the bottom of the nest. If you notice no activity around the nest the day after you spray it, you can probably remove it. If you notice activity, repeat the entire process in three-day intervals until activity ceases.
Commercially available wasp traps are effective only for yellow jackets. However, they will not assist you in ridding your home of black or paper wasps.