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.

This wasp spray is non-toxic and safe to use around pets and other animals. You can get it for a great price on Amazon.

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.

 

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38 thoughts on “Wasps in the Chicken Coop”

  1. 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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  2. 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. :)
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  3. 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!
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  4. 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!!
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  5. 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. =)
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  6. 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.
    Reply

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