How to Deal with Wasps in Your Lawn

For the past two years, my small lawn seems to be attracting wasps. They fly low, land on the grass, and then fly away. I’m worried about stepping on them, or stepping on a nest. Any suggestions? -Lynn

In general, wasps are beneficial predator insects in the garden, but sometimes they can be attracted to areas that are too close for human comfort. When wasps are in and around lawn grasses, it is usually due to one of three reasons:

  1. They are preying on insects or larvae in the lawn soil. Digger wasps, for instance, often fly low over lawns in the mornings, looking for grubs and larvae. They are considered beneficial insects and generally can be left alone.
  2. They are seeking sugar through fallen fruit, spilled food or drinks, or aphid “honeydew.” We’ve all experienced wasps buzzing around our outdoor picnics, but some lawns also become covered with natural sugars as fruits and berries ripen and fall.
  3. They are nesting or burrowing. Cicada killers are common ground-burrowing wasps that may be spotted by the tiny piles of soil outside the burrows. Many types of wasps, including cicada killers, are solitary creatures, so their nests will be more difficult to spot than the large colonies of their more social relatives.

Here are some ways to reduce or deal with nuisance wasps in your lawn and garden:

  • Keep trash cans covered.
  • Rinse out recyclables before putting them outside.
  • Don’t leave open or spilled food (including pet food) or drink outdoors.
  • Rake up and throw away fallen fruit and berries.
  • Keep your compost pile turned to bury attractive food wastes.
  • Keep your lawn healthy, and mow it high. A thick, dense lawn defends itself against ground-burrowing wasps and other insect or grub infestations.
  • If wasps are out hunting for lawn-destroying grubs and larvae, leave them alone (and thank them for providing organic pest control!).

There are many different types of wasps, and in order to address your problem it would be most helpful to identify what sort of wasp you have. For help identifying bees and wasps in your lawn and garden, check out What’s Buzzin’ in My Garden? at Pollinator.com.

Julie

Further Information

12 COMMENTS

  1. The photo you have of a wasp isn’t actually a wasp, it’s a mud dauber. They are generally harmless and eat spiders.

  2. Hi there,

    I have a wasp problem and they’re all in my grass in my backyard. I have something I bought from Wallmart that they stick to, if I take a picture of one of them would you be able to tell me what kind it is so I can figure out how to get rid of them?

  3. I want to ask you to please don’t use sticky traps. While they may trap some wasps, they may also trap many beneficial insects, butterflies and even hummingbirds. Wasps but more especially bees, can be vital to a healthy neighborhood ecosystem.

  4. My whole front and back yard is covered in digger wasp or whatever they are im scared I have 4 small.children that play out there what can I do to get them gone?

  5. We have wasps flying low on our grass for the 1st time & have 2 Welsh Terriers. Will they hurt them or what do I do???

  6. I have red wasps & yellow jackets flying low and landing in my yard. I have 4 very small Miniature Pinschers who have been stung multiple times and my 11 & 9 year old grandsons have been stung. My grass is extremely thick and stays wet even though the heat of the day. I thought that would be causing the problem, but, some of my yard clearly isn’t as dense and stays dry. I do know that I do have grub worms, I have seen them. Please help me.

  7. Hi I just moved into my new home and am very upset there are red looking wasps all over my lawn yard ect . I have had people come spray my yard and it doesn’t seem to do much. I need to get rid of them for good I have a 9 month old and a 4 year old I feel like a prisoner in my home I am petrified to take my sons out to play in our yard . Please help! I have tried several home remedies and waspinator and NOTHINg,!

  8. Hi i live in apartments and in front of are apartments we have a block size grass area .and every day for the last 2 years there have been so many wasp hanging out all over the grass area..what can i do .i am verey highly alergic to bees and wasp.im verey afraid of getting stung buy one .but i have to take my dog out to potty..please tell me something i can do.

    • Hi, Angie,
      There are natural and homemade insecticides you could try, but since you’re living in an apartment, presumably renting, and the grass area you’re referring to is a common area, it would be better to address this concern with the landlord.
      He or she can then take steps to make sure the area is wasp-free.
      Good luck!

  9. I have a very clean lawn but Yellow Jackets are hovering on the stop then stopping for a few seconds. The kids can not play on the lawn from June through October. What can i do for this terrible issue? I do have a dog .

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