Wasps love to find dark, secluded places to build their nests, so you may not have even noticed the one inside your mailbox until you reached in and got stung. Besides the shock of a sudden, painful sting, wasps can pose a real threat to anyone who suffers from allergies and, unlike bees, they can sting repeatedly. If you have a mailbox humming with wasps and aren't sure how to even approach it, call up your local pest control company to help you through the following four steps.
Choosing Your Timing
Wasps are more aggressive and active during the day, which is why so many mailbox owners end up getting stung by their new tenants. During the colder temperatures of night, however, wasps are asleep and much slower to respond to threats. Your pest control company may prefer to clear the nest at night if it's a large one, but smaller nests can often be cleared during the day with minimal risks.
Picking a Disposal Method
There are a number of ways to dispose of wasps, depending on the location of the nest and your personal preferences. The most common method used is typically insecticide spray, which can be directed straight into the mailbox and then sealed in to ensure that the entire nest is killed. If you wish to avoid insecticides, smoke can also be used to suffocate and drive away wasps before the nest is physically removed.
Safely Removing the Nest
Once you have decided on a course of action, your pest control service should be able to quickly and safely kill the wasps and remove the nest. Although you may be tempted to undertake this project on your own, you should never risk provoking a wasp nest unless you are certain you are not allergic. You must also ensure that no neighbors, children or animals are nearby and in danger when you begin. Because of the potential for liability as well as the painful possibility of being stung repeatedly, it's best to leave the nest to professionals.
Protecting Your Mailbox in the Future
Once the nest is gone, you will need to seal off your mailbox so that another family of wasps can't decide to move in next year. It may actually be a good idea to leave the empty nest where it is in the box, since wasps will avoid each other's territories. If that doesn't sound appealing or is not possible, you will need to cover any nooks and crannies through which a wasp can fit, denying them access to the nesting site. Insect barriers installed along the box and post can also help drive them away and give you peace of mind every time you reach your hand in to grab your mail.