Sand Wasp Control

Most Effective Products

Supreme IT Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $54.99
D-Fense Dust Insecticide
Dust
As low as $12.37
Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer
Aerosol
As low as $13.37
Keith's Pro Tips

"Each sand wasps in your yard will make its own nest and must make contact with pesticide for it to be effective. For this reason, you will need to treat each individual nest with a dust insecticide as these pests can stay in their nests until the danger is no longer present."

Sand Wasp Control: How to Get Rid of Sand Wasps

This page is a general sand wasp control guide. Using the products and methods suggested will help you to completely control sand wasps in your property. Follow this DIY guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of sand wasps.

Those dainty wasps that look like bees, but burrows in sand and loose soil are called sand wasps. Like mud daubers, this wasp is a beneficial pest that hunts other insects such as stink bugs, caterpillars, leaf-footed bugs, flies, and others to lay their egg upon then allow their larvae to ingest once hatched.

Sand wasps are a common species of solitary wasps composed of 20 genera, but mainly belong to the genus bembix. Though they are found mainly in sandy areas they can be encountered by homeowners throughout the northern half of the United States. They are considered unaggressive pests, except when people or animals are too close to their burrows leading to a painful sting.

Despite it being a wasp, this pest does not live in colonies like other wasp species instead it is a solitary pest. Although, once the late spring and summer season approaches this wasp species can increase their population and chances to sting homeowners. For this reason, you will want to control sand wasps before their activities begin by following the recommended products and tips.

Identification

Before proceeding with treatment, you will need to be sure the pest infesting your yard is a sand wasp. Misidentification can lead you to using the wrong products and treatment approach, which can cost you time and money. Though there are 1,200 species of sand wasps in North America there are bound to be some variance in their features, but they will share some distinguishing characteristics as listed below:

Sand Wasp

  • Compared to other wasps, sand wasps have more stouter bodies that range between 0.8 to 1 inches long in length. However, some species of sand wasps can grow up to 2 inches.
  • Depending on the species, the sand wasps coloration are either yellow and black, or white and black with a greenish-yellowish beelike bands on their tubular shaped abdomen.
  • Their wings are transparent with brown veins.
  • Have compound green eyes, close-set antennae, and yellow legs.

Use the image and description above to help you know what sand wasps look like for a proper identification. If unsure, then contact us by phone, or with a photo of your pest through email, or visiting one of our store locations where one of our team members can assist with identification and suggest the appropriate treatment plan.

Inspection

Once sand wasps have been confirmed in your yard, you can move forward with inspection. During this process you will determine where sand wasps are found in your property, and the conditions allowing the wasp to thrive. By learning this information you can determine where to focus your pesticide applications, helping to increase sand wasp control.

Sand Wasp Hole

Where to Inspect

Sand wasps are solitary hunting wasp that build their nests in the sandy or loose soil areas in the ground, normally in dry environments. These areas can be seen in gardens, lawns, playgrounds and sandboxes in yard, volleyball courts with dirt or sand, and other areas that are bare or have little vegetation.

Adult sand wasps fly no higher than 3 feet from the ground. These wasps are active during the day, and you may see the adults actively hunting or feeding on pollen and nectar from nearby flowers.

What to Look For

Female sand wasps dig nests in the ground to store their collected prey then lay her eggs upon them for the larvae to feed upon. The nests are burrows with an enlarged chamber at the bottom which is stocked with various or specific insects, depending on the species of sand wasp. Flies are the most common insect hunted by sand wasps, but they can go after other insects such as mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles, stink bugs, caterpillars, and leaf-footed bugs.

While they are not social wasps, several sand wasps may establish themselves near each other within the same vicinity.

Often sand wasps will hover very close to people in the pursuit of flies, which can cause homeowners to mistake for an act of aggression.

Treatment

With any type of stinging pests, you will want to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) or a professional bee suit for complete protection against sand wasp stings.

Sand wasp control is best done at the beginning of the spring season by dusting the burrow entrances with D-Fense Dust, then spraying any escaping wasps with Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer, and lastly applying Supreme IT as a barrier and ornamental treatment.

Since sand wasps are most active during the day, it is best to perform these treatments in the evening when they are less active and have returned to the nest.

Step 1: Dust Burrow Entrances

Dusting Nest Entrance

Treat all wasp nests on the ground with D-Fense Dust to kill sand wasps traveling to and from the nest. D-Fense Dust is a dry moisture-resistant insecticide dust made with 0.05% deltamethrin that will control sand wasps for up to 8 months after application.

To use D-Fense Dust, you will need to use a handheld duster with a long narrow extension tube to treat sand wasp nest entrances from a safe distance like the Pro Blow Handheld Pesticide Duster.

Apply 0.5 lbs. of D-Fense Dust per 1,000 sq. ft. of treatment area. Fill the duster halfway with D-Fense Dust then leave plenty of room as the duster needs enough space for the dust to mix with the air inside for even application. Ensure the cap is closed then turn the Pro Blow Handheld Pesticide Duster upside and shake to allow the D-Fense Dust to circulate within the duster.

Gently squeeze the Pro Blow Handheld Pesticide Duster until the wasp nest entrance and the area around the entrance are thoroughly coated with D-Fense Dust.

D-Fense Dust will treat pests that make contact with the product, eliminating them within 1 to 2 hours. 

Check the treated sand wasp nest one or two days after treatment, ensure all wasps are completely deceased before trying to destroy their nest. If pests are still active then retreat the nest.

Step 2: Eliminate Emerging Wasps

Directly Spraying Wasp

When possible, directly spray any sand wasps traveling throughout your property or emerging from their burrows with a wasp killer spray insecticide such as Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer. This wasp eliminating aerosol product contains 0.1% prallethrin to quickly knock down any wasps that make contact with the spray from up to a safe distance of 20 feet.

While wearing gloves, shake the Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer can then point towards sand wasps and their nests in a upright position. Make sure to stand from a safe distance of 6-15 ft. from the sand wasp nest then spray until product makes complete contact with the pest. When spraying sand wasps ensure the wind is at your back and not blowing towards you.

This product may stain or darken asphalt surfaces and shingles so be careful when treating sand wasps near these sites. If concerned, then spray Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer on a small area that is inconspicuous.

Step 3: Spray Residual Insecticides

Spraying Ornamentals

Once nest sites and the pest itself are treated, you will then perform a residual insecticide application to ornamentals and perform a barrier treatment to keep them away from your home. This application will also help to remove additional food sources for the adult sand wasp.

We recommend using Supreme IT, which is a residual insecticide formulated with 7.9% bifenthrin to eliminate wasps and 70 other types of pests upon contact. Once dried this products residual will leave no offensive odors and continue to repel and kill wasps for up to 90 days. This suspended concentrate product will need to be mixed with water before application in a handheld pump sprayer.

Determine how much Supreme IT to use by measuring the square footage of the treatment area. To do this, measure the length and width of the treatment area in feet then multiply them together (length X width = square footage). Apply 0.25 - 0.5 fl. oz. of Supreme IT per gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft. of ornamentals. For a perimeter application, use 1 fl. oz. of product per gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft.

To mix, fill your handheld pump sprayer with half the amount of water, add measured amount of Supreme IT, then pour remaining of water into the spray tank. Close the spray tank lid and shake until solution is evenly mixed.

Apply the mixed solution as a perimeter treatment around the exterior of your homes foundation. Spray 3 feet up the structure and 3 feet out on the ground. While sand wasps will not come into homes you will want to spray entry points to prevent other types of insects from coming inside. By treating entry points you also help reduce harborages for prey insects the sand wasps depends on for food. Spray around entryways, window and door frames, garage door, and cracks and crevices.

Since adult sand wasps feed on nectar from ornamentals, you will need to spray any ornamental trees, shrubs, and plants in your yard. Spray above and beneath the plant leaves, and spray to the point of wet, but not runoff. If wasp activity continues then wait until 7 days has passed since last application.

Before application to entire planting, test treat a small number of plants and watch for signs of sensitivity. Some plant species may be sensitive to the final spray solution.

Allow the product to dry completely before letting anyone around the treatment area.

Prevention

When sand wasps are no longer present on your property, you will need to follow some preventative practices to ensure they do not return. Listed below are recommended practices to follow to ensure sand wasps do not return to your yard:

Planting Garden

  • Frequent raking over your lawn and near nest areas can cause sand wasps to relocate to another property where it is not frequently disturbed.
  • Cover the nest area with a tarp for several days to discourage sand wasps from that part of the yard and cause them to abandon their nests.
  • Sand wasps prefer bare and loose dirt areas with little presence of plants. Consider growing or placing shrubs, flowers, or other ornamentals to thicken vegetation and minimize exposed soil. Additionally, bare and exposed soil areas on your lawn can be applied with a seasonal fertilizer to thicken turf growth and repel these pests.
  • Add about 6 inches of soil to the top layer of ground, but do not mix it in as this will only loosen the dirt more and increase habitats for sand wasps.
  • Make quarterly applications of Supreme IT to the perimeter of your home and ornamentals in your property to keep sand wasps away. Treat any new burrows with D-Fense Dust the moment they appear within your property to control future generation of sand wasps.

Key Takeaways

What are Sand Wasps?

  • Sand wasps are solitary hunting wasps that builds their nest in the ground, usually in sandy or loose dirt areas. As a predatory wasp they sting other insects then take the paralyzed pest back to the burrow for the female sand wasp to lay her on. After the egg hatches, the sand wasp larvae then feed on the paralyzed insect.

How to Get Rid of Sand Wasps

  • To get rid of sand wasps from your yard, you will first need to dust their nest entrances with D-Fense Dust to eliminate wasps as they leave and enter the nest. Next, you will then directly treat any visible sand wasps with Stryker Wasp and Hornet Killer. Lastly, treat ornamentals in your property and the perimeter of your home with a repellent insecticide like Supreme IT.

Preventing Sand Wasp Reinfestation

  • Prevent sand wasps from returning or visiting your yard in the future by keeping up with regular fertilizer applications, installing thick vegetation such as ornamentals, replacing the top layer of soil to your ground, and keeping up with applications of Supreme IT every 90 days.
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