On our farmstead we have a pro-wildlife stance, and that includes smaller types of wildlife too.
We don’t kill bugs outdoors without good reason, and we have the same philosophy for bugs that end up inside our home. If we find a bug in the wrong place (according to us), we try to investigate to find out whether it’s a friend or foe.
Wasps are, except for the infrequent times we have run-ins with a yellow jacket, on our “friend” list. I love seeing them in our garden.
They pollinate, and some help control pests. The more pollinators I see on my cilantro or dill blooms, the more I feel like my work in the garden has not been in vain.
However, I don’t like seeing these tiny, armed creatures in the house.
It’s not that I’m afraid of them stinging me, which happens rarely and in any case, I have a natural sting soothing remedy that works like a charm. (Psst, it’s baking soda.)
I’m more concerned about our pets getting stung, or about the wasp getting lost indoors, never finding its way out, and dying.
Usually, when wasps do make their way into our home, they land on a window, and seem to be searching for a way out.
Today I found one on one of the kitchen window curtains – well, I’m not entirely sure this creature was a wasp, actually, but it is wasp-like, and served as a good model for my purposes anyway.
Encountering wasps indoors is something that happens frequently here in our old farmhouse, so I have developed a technique for removing them safely without harm to me or them.
I use a glass mason jar and a lid to catch and then release these visitors.
As I said, the wasps are usually perched on a window, or if not, tend to fly towards windows looking for a way out.
If it has not already landed on a window, I will try to usher it towards one, since it’s easier to catch the wasp on a flat surface.
Once on the window pane, I place the open mouth of the jar over the wasp, trapping it between the jar and the window.
Then I carefully slide the lid between the jar and the window pane, taking care not to hurt the insect.
Sometimes it has already moved further down into the jar, but sometimes it’s buzzing around right at the mouth of the jar. In that case, I have to be more careful to not squish it, as well as being careful not to let it escape.
So far that has never happened, the wasps usually move out of the way at the approaching circle of metal.
Once I have it secured in the jar, I carry the jar outside and remove the lid so the little guy can fly off.
Usually it will quickly get the idea and fly out of the jar and into the air, probably relieved to be finally out of the confines of our house.
If I have caught a type of wasp that looks like it would be more likely to sting me if it thought I was in it’s way, I might set the jar down on the back porch with the lid off and let it take its sweet time making its getaway, after I have made mine.
This method of catching errant wasps in a jar to relocate them outside works so much better than my first approach, which was to try to shoo the bug towards an open door. That way took a lot longer and resulted in many more fails.
The jar technique works for me like a charm. I seem to only get wasp visitors in the house, not bees, but I bet it would work for them too.
Good luck catching and releasing your own flying home visitors – if you try my technique, I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!
Here are a few more easy solutions to frequently encountered farm problems:
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