Foaming soap and killing wasps

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Foaming soap and killing wasps

Post by Dchall_San_Antonio » July 6th, 2021, 8:11 pm

Many of you might know that generally I am a friend of the wasp. However, we are moving and need to sell our house. The Realtor told me my wasp farm has to go. We have wasps on the front and back door sills as well as above the doors on the eaves. I thought I would be able to suck them off the nests and into my shop vac, but I'm here to tell you, that did not turn out well for me. They are tenacious little buggers and hold on very well. Seven stings later I decided the shopvac wasn't working. I realize they are only following their instincts, so I'm not angry about them protecting their nests, but I still had to get rid of them. I ended up with foaming wasp spray from the hardware store. The active ingredients are Prallethrin (0.02) and Cypermethrin (0.10). The rest of the ingredients seems to be unnamed foaming soap. The stream hits the nest, foam forms and then blooms almost like insulating construction foam. Or maybe it blooms because I continued to spray the same spot. Anyway, immediately the foam begins collapse and is completely gone in 5 or 10 minutes. What you are left with is a wet nest, a pile of dead wasps and larvae underneath, and a few petrified wasps stuck on the nest. One nice thing about foam is that there is no drift from the spray. Bottom line: if you have to get rid of wasps, this stuff works with no apparent danger of any of the wasps coming after you. They are immobilized in the foam. The sprayer is supposed to be good for 20 feet, but at about 10 feet it seemed hard to aim.

With all that in mind, I have a reasonable amount of experience killing wasps with a strong degreaser. You don't need insecticide. 409 is an okay degreaser, but the Super Clean product is much (MUCH) stronger. It seems to work against all insects I've tried it on and even spiders. Generally, dish soap solutions and household sprays, like 409, do a good job killing insects like flies and mosquitoes. If you have a good misting sprayer, you can knock them out of the air as they fly through the mist. It's pretty satisfying to watch. But I like this foaming approach for the more hazardous insects like wasps. I think the foam is all you need to kill them. If it does require some insecticide, I suppose that could be purchased in concentrate and added to the recipe.

Getting to the point, I would much rather use plain dish soap or equivalent to foam wasps, should I ever need to do this again. There are inexpensive hose-end "foam cannons" in the auto parts stores and departments. I don't want to get out a pressure washer every time for this, so I'm thinking it should be for the hose. The ones made for cars have a wide spray pattern. I would like a device with a more directed pattern and, of course, a trigger. Maybe the creatives here on this forum can put together a concept and recipe that the average person could build to use against wasps and hornets if they need to. Most people would rather kill them, and probably don't care how, but I was hoping to do it without dangerous insecticide and without putting myself in danger of getting stung.

Anyone have ideas for a foam shooter and/or a recipe for the soap?

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Re: Foaming soap and killing wasps

Post by MorpheusPA » July 8th, 2021, 4:21 pm

I'm sort of wondering if one of those kids' water shooters (the big ones with the power pumps like I had as a kid) would do. You could just fill it with 409.

Alternately, a hose-end sprayer like the Ortho with the soaker end really does go pretty far. Far enough? I'm not sure...

I haven't tried soap, as such, to kill wasps. Like you, I don't mind the wasp farms (but don't allow them at the front or back stoops and remove them with a wasp killer). On the eaves, however, they're ignored, and I've never been stung.

If I did, I'd probably go with a really dense solution of soap if we're sure it works. 8 oz per gallon? If that's effective, great. But I don't believe in taking chances with stinging insects that a fair percentage of people are allergic to. The larvae aren't an issue. Almost anything will take those out.

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Re: Foaming soap and killing wasps

Post by Green » July 25th, 2021, 10:57 pm

There is also the Hozon siphon adapter. A little finicky, but it'll work with your choice of hose and nozzle.

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