Man vs. wasp
April 14, 2010 11:57 AM   Subscribe

[Waspfilter] Where can I get my hands on some diazon (aka diazinon, aka Knox-Out) insecticide? Failing that, what can I do to get rid of all these wasps?

My house has what is shaping up to be a serious wasp problem. In warm weather, they crawl all over the front of the house, in and out of various crevices in the brick, behind shutters, in and out of the eaves, etc.

Various members of the family are allergic, and we spend a lot of time outdoors, so this needs to be addressed ASAP. After some research here and elsewhere, it looks as though Diazinon-based poisons may be the way to go. Things I like about this method:
-- Doesn't involve a lot of contact with the wasps
-- Kills the whole nest, not just stray wasps-errant
-- Takes care of multiple nests at once (I'm fairly sure we've got a bunch of tiny ones tucked away in various crevices, and it's simply not practical to take off all the shutters, comb the attic, etc., to try to remove all the nests one-by-one)
-- Doesn't involve spraying, or fogging, or anything else that might make the house and yard environment unsafe for our child. Diazinon gets mixed with meat, the wasps eat the meat, they die. Keep the kid away from the bait itself and from dead wasps, and the kid won't come in contact with the diazinon.

The thing is, Diazon/Knox-Out/Diazinon is no longer sold for domestic use (although still apparently allowed in agricultural and industrial applications). I am comfortable with doing the research necessary to use this responsibly in our home, but I haven't had any luck finding out where to buy the stuff, either online, overseas, or in the U.S.

Does anyone have any idea of what means (white, grey or black) I might use to acquire some of this magical substance? Failing that, any ideas for alternative wasp-ridding methods that satisfy the criteria above?
posted by Bardolph to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
I had a good experience taking these things and shoving them into crevices that showed wasp / hornet activity. Before doing so, I blasted the entrances with a foaming spray.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:07 PM on April 14, 2010

You don't have to kill every wasp dead, dead, dead. You have to make it unpleasant enough so they'll move away. Use something foaming for ease of application.
posted by theora55 at 2:42 PM on April 14, 2010

Knowing what kind of wasps they are would help because then we would know their lifestyle and preferred conditions and thus how to get rid of them (as well as assessing the seriousness of the risk). Can you post a picture?
posted by y6t5r4e3w2q1 at 6:24 PM on April 14, 2010

Disclosure: I am not a pest management professional, I do work in the pest management industry.

I would first approach this problem from an identification standpoint. If you have a local university, they may have an entomology department that could positively identify the insect. Alternatively, there are some pest control companies with entomologists on staff that can do the same. They will try to sell you a pest control service, and that may be helpful to you considering the health risks with your family members' allergies, and that it sounds you have a reoccurring problem throughout the year.

So, in the family Vespidae you have two common stinging insects, yellowjackets and umbrella or paper wasps. The scavenging species of yellowjackets are the ones that try to wreck our cookouts and crawl in our Coke cans. There are traps available for these types of yellowjackets, usually some sort of fruit juice-like attractant is used, although canned cat food or mackerel works also. These traps should be placed out of reach of children and animals.

Umbrella or paper wasps won't go after baits, so oftentimes nest treatment and removal, void treatments with dust insecticides, and surface applications are warranted. Also, later in the year consider sealing up cracks and crevices in the structure that may allow these insects to overwinter (gaps in siding, cracks in chimneys, add screening for eaves, etc.). If it's just getting warm where you are, this may be the case where overwintering insects are emerging to establish a new colony.

Depending on where you are, you may be dealing with an insect called the European Paper Wasp. It can be mistaken for a yellowjacket and can establish small multiple nests in an area, Spanish tile roofs common in California are a haven for these critters. Individual nest treatment/removal is the usual action taken.

That's why identification is key. If you have a picture to post I'll take a shot at it.

I wouldn't know where to get Diazinon at this point, most of the organophosphate insecticides are gone. Most insecticides labeled for wasps/yellowjackets will be synthetic pyrethroids (ex. permethrin, cypermethrin), still very effective.
posted by toadliquor at 7:57 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

We've had suspiciously good luck hanging these lantern-like things at various places around our house. The various wasp nests seem to have all relocated a satisfactory distance away from the areas of the house near where we come and go. This rather passive approach might combine to discourage re-nesting after you drive existing nests out with some sort of chemical assault if that is necessary.
posted by cairnish at 10:54 AM on April 15, 2010

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