Wasps in the Chicken Coop

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Do you have wasps in the chicken coop? If you have been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that we have a duck and chicken coop.  We have four ducks and four chickens that we keep for eggs and because they are cute and make me smile.  For the most part, the ducks and chickens are fun to have.  

How do deal with wasps in the chicken coop

Wasps in the Chicken Coop

Every morning, I (or my son) lets them out and brings them fresh water.  Each night I (or my daughter) makes sure they have fresh food and throw down fresh hay if they need it. Once a month or so we (that would be I) clean the chicken coop. 

In the warmer months, the ducks and chickens give us fresh eggs.  When it’s cold in the winter, they use their energy to stay warm and don’t produce eggs. We keep the ducks and chickens penned in behind a six-foot fence to protect them from danger.  Living in a rural area, we have catamounts, fox, coyotes and any number of other predators.  It is safer to give them that added protection from danger.

How do deal with wasps in the chicken coop

Wasps in the Chicken Coop

This summer, I noticed that something was building nests all over the inside of our chicken and duck coop.   I pointed it out to my husband who told me that he thought they were wasps. Now, I’m the first person to admit that I HATE bugs. HATE them. I’m not quite at the running, screaming from them point (OK maybe a few times), but I will definitely grab my husband to deal with them whenever possible. Did you know there is a name for people who are afraid of bugs in general? It’s Entomophobia. Spheksophobia is the name given to the fear of wasps.

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I spent the summer trying to figure out ways to deal with wasps in the chicken coop.  I didn’t want anything toxic since it might hurt the ducks and chickens.  I didn’t want to just leave them there since the nests seem to be growing and multiplying. I tried those traps where you put meat or fruit in the bottom of a bottle and they all head into the bottle and die (they didn’t).  Once the cold weather arrives, the wasps die but the nests are left behind with the eggs in them.  If left alone, all of those wasps are going to hatch this spring and our duck and chicken coop will be too dangerous.

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We came to what we believe is a solution.  After the snow is one the ground and we are certain that all the adult wasps are dead, we are going to scrape off each of the nests into a plastic bag, tie it tightly and throw it out with the trash.  This will remove the danger in the spring.  I’m not sure how to stop the wasps from building nests again the summer but at least the immediate danger will be gone.

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If you have bug phobias like me, you’ll want to visit the Orkin Ecologist site. It is a fantastic educational resource (for both novice and experienced) science lovers (and bug haters). I was surprised to learn that there are lots of specific bug phobias out there besides mine. Follow Orkin on Facebook and check out the top 10 bug phobias. Have you had any #BugOut moments?

How do you deal with wasps in the chicken coop? Worrying about bees? Learn how to deal with bee removal safely.

 



Comments

  1. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
    You're more patient than I am. I would have scooted the animals outside and sprayed the living daylights out of those things! I can't stand bugs either, and bugs that sting are right up near the top of my hate list.
  2. I just had a mini panic attack at your photos. I HATE WASPS and I DO run and scream like a spaz. My hubs does wasp nest patrol throughout our whole yard in the summer.
  3. WOW, we had wasps in a shed once and I was at a loss, it was horrible, we had to go in with a suit on to get them out... I couldn't imagine how upset I would be if they were in our coop!
  4. Nancy Lustri (StyleDecor) says
    My sister-in-law is an entomologist...eeeek!  I am so afraid of wasps. They're worse than bees.  Cute picks of the chickens and ducks! 
  5. That must be so fun having ducks and chicken! But.. the wasp part, not to much! That would make my skin crawl just thinking about it! Sounds like you have a good plan going, I think that's what I'd do to!
  6. Wasps can be really hard to deal with. They try to build nests in the spring and summer in places where I really have to worry they will attack the kids. We just keep knocking down their nest and have actually burned a few that were in between rocks by our house.  I hope yours don't come back next year. 
  7. Kelsey Apley says
    We don't have a chicken coop but I will say I am scared of wasps!!! Eeekkksss! One day I walked outside with dog, and one landed right on my eye and stung me right under my eye, boy did that hurt!!! 
  8. I hate wasps! no chickens here either, but this would freak me out!
  9. I am glad you got this figured out. We had a serious problems with wasps this summer. We came home one evening and they had found their way into the house. There were like 30 of them in the living room and it was such a nightmare.
  10. we have yellow jackets in the front yard...hubby got stung several times while mowing this spring. Stinging bugs are a serious annoyance!
  11. We have mud wasps down here in Texas and they aren't too bad if you spray them when the sun is starting to set and then knock the mud down the next day. I imagine that it is trickier if they are in a coop w/ chickens though!
  12. Kristin Wheeler (@MamaLuvsBooks) says
    Poor chickens! I hate wasps!!! They always sting my son too!!! No matter how many people are around, he's always the one that gets stung.
  13. Keely Hostetter says
    Never had wasps in ours, we get them on our windows sometimes. I let my husband take care of it. I don't like messing with them.
  14. This would totally freak me out. I hate wasps!
  15. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville says
    I am freaking out FOR you. Oh my gosh, wasps. I have that trypophobia thing, so the nest it made is making my skin crawl and hair stand on end to start with. Plus when I was younger I was fishing in the woods with my Dad and I stepped in an in-ground bee or wasp nest and ended up stung all over my arms, face, and stomach. I would have had to call animal control and have them removed, or something!
  16. Lunch-sized brown paper bags work great to ward off wasps and you won't have to use toxic sprays around your chickens. The chickens will eat the fallen wasps and could become very ill. Here's my experience: We had just purchased our home the previous fall and were cleaning out the shed to use it as a chicken coop. It had been insulated and all of that had to go. We found wasp nests, mice and their droppings, and more. It was nasty! We cleaned out the insulation and yuck very early on a cool morning. We sprayed any wasps we saw, but didn't want to make the coop toxic to the baby chicks that would arrive in a few days, so we kept it to a minimum. Here is the trick: I had read that lunch size brown paper bags stuffed with newspaper or plastic grocery bags can fool the wasps into thinking that the bags are the nests of competing wasps. I tacked them into the corners of the coop and waited. It worked. We rarely saw a wasp around the coop all summer. I put them on my deck and the yellow jackets also left us alone.
  17. If you wait until after dark, you can knock the nests down at any time and burn them or smash them to get rid of them. That's how we take care of them.
    • Ellen Christian says
      I've considered that but they still appear to be a little bit active which totally freaks me out.
  18. Mary Ann says
    We had to resort to Wasp Freeze in our goat barn, after the wasps began to attack us.  In fact, they were so bad we had to have a professional come in to do it, and he was nice enough to leave us a bottle so we would know what to order.  I have some building a nest in our henspa (new and very nice henhouse) right now, so they are going to get "Wasp Freezed" in the next week or so.  After being stung numerous times, I don't want to go through that again!  (And yes, I worry about toxicity, but one spray in the window well should do it.) 
    • Ellen Christian says
      I've never heard of Wasp Freeze before. I'll have to check into that just in case. I really hate wasps!
  19. We used to have this problem and I have the solution. We took the chickens out and then sprayed the inside ceiling blue.  Wasps and yellow jackets think it is the sky. We haven't had a nest since! 
  20. We have a small chicken coop and right now it is housing a kitten we got which had ringworm. We're keeping him quarantined from our other cats, who are sick with ringworm even though he is well. I hate that he's in there already, and now we've discovered a wasp nest that moved in while we weren't watching. We don't use pesticide at all, but are planning to knock it down in the winter during a freeze. It doesn't snow here in Texas, unfortunately. They should be slow enough, though, in 30-40 degree weather for us to scrape them off the ceiling. So far they pretty much leave the cat alone. He only goes in there when it rains and to sleep at night, and it rains very little here in the hill country... maybe once a month if we are lucky.
  21. My daughter found a nest yesterday, so I'm trying to find non-toxic solutions, too. I just read on another forum if you rub a bar of soap on the roof of the coop it discourages them from building nests. I have NO idea if it works. The all natural spray doesn't work AT ALL and I have no idea if the oils are toxic to chickens.
  22. I have used essential oils to kill the wasps nests. I put peppermint and a bug repellent blend by doterra (although you could probably just use the peppermint) in a pump spray bottle--the kind that you pump up the top and it makes air pressure to shoot out a stream of the liquid. I use a large amount of essential oil--maybe half a bottle for a half gallon (ish) tank and fill the rest with water and a little soap to keep the oil mixed in. I can spray a really high stream to get the wasp nests up in the eaves and I don't have to worry about the toxicity. If you soak the wasps really well you can see them drop off and die right away. But there are always a few that get away--I usually repeat the process about every 2 weeks to a month. Also, wait until dusk just like with the poison stuff so you get all the wasps. =)
  23. Stacey Smith says
    Ok - as my grandmother would say, time to put your big girl panties on!  (LOL)  I have had to remove nests from various locations several times - the most recent was from the inside of the coop where I to did not want to use any kind of spray that might hurt my girls.  If the nest is located in a place you can stand in or easily reach, do what I did.  Wait until after dusk when the bees/wasps are all snug in bed.  Go in armed with a spatula (with NO holes or slits in it) and a mason(or other) jar and lid.  Place the jar over the nest and use the spatula to scrape it off into the jar.  Hold the spatula in place to "cap" the jar and have someone help you by lining up the lid over the jar.  Slide the spatula out, screwing on the lid.  The wasps/bees will be WIDE AWAKE and NONE too happy at this point so take your time and work methodically.  DON'T PANIC!!  If I can do it, so can you!!  If you have more than one nest, use more than one jar.  I keep the jars sealed - let the kids observe the bees/wasps up close and personal for a few days - they usually die off in 2 to 3 - and then I toss the jar SEALED in the outside trash JUST in case there are still live critters waiting to hatch!  YOU CAN DO IT!!
  24. Suzanne K says
    I know this is a late post for you but for others 'tuning in' ... I just rid my coop of a growing wasp nest with plenty of eggs ... I used a lawn sprayer (pressure pump and squeeze spray wand) with warm water, a generous amount of blue dishwashing soap with a couple oz of alcohol. I sprayed the heck out of the nest. The wasps dropped dead and I took down the soaked nest and it's over. Much easier than expected. (Of course I was decked out in protection - borrowed the neighbor's bee-keeping suit but didn't really need it -- so easy and safe (non-toxic).) Good luck!
  25. You can paint the walls and ceiling sky blue and they won't build nests in there because they think it's the sky instead of a wall. This is why a lot of ceilings on porches down here in the south are painted pale blue. It's not just because it's pretty. :)
  26. Monica Matthews, how2winscholarships.com says
    My husband JUST said to me this morning, "We should get 100 chicks" WHAT??? LOL! I think I need to do some more reading here. :)

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