Natural wasp repellent and chickens?


In the Brooder
Mar 14, 2018
Austin, Texas
We have a ton of wasps and bees where we live, and my brother is going to call in an exterminator for a natural yard treatment. I think it's a bad idea specifically because we have chickens, they eat bugs, and I'm not sure if it's going to be as "natural" as my brother thinks it is. He insists it won't be poisonous, just a repellent to keep bugs away from our yard without killing the ones that exist, but I'm still worried. These guys are my mother's pets, and I don't want them to get sick. We also eat their eggs, so I don't want US to get sick. Normally we just use isolated poison on any areas we notice wasps congregating -- but that's always by our house and sheds, away from the chickens. I agree we need to do something about the wasps, as it's starting to look like my grandmother is allergic, but I'm worried about the chickens. Will a more natural, all-over treatment for our yard be better, or will it hurt our pets?

For reference: We live in Texas. It bounces back and forth from dry to humid here, and we can get some pretty gnarly thunderstorms throughout the year. He's thinking of treating the yard every month. Not sure if any of that helps.

Thanks in advance!
You need to get your brother to insist the exterminator reveal the active "natural" ingredient in the pesticide. I've had someone share with me on two different occasions a natural, sure-fire wasp killer, and each time I ended up with a dead hen.

If the exterminator refuses to reveal the pesticide they use, then they should be written off as not trustworthy.
Thank you. I'll ask him to do that but he might not agree to it. He's under the impression that we're all idiots and we're just nagging him. He's also prone to lying about what he will do just to get us off his back. Which ingredients should I keep an eye on? Which are safe and which aren't? I'm home all the time, so I should be able to ask, myself.
Anything with petroleum distillates is deadly poisonous to chickens. It's the active ingredient in all wasp killers and most insecticides.

If it works by enzymatic action, it's safe. This would be an organic pesticide which is biological not petroleum based.
Those ones where you can adjust the end to either mist or stream work the best. You have to set it in between the two settings. Or just use a thinner oil like almond. I've got this wasp killing crap down to a science, I've got a severe dislike for them. ;)
spray bottles I've tried get gummed up too fast, to do much spraying.
There's really not a 'repellant'; edible oil sprays would probably kill them on direct contact though.
Exterminators, as a group, seem very cavalier about the products they use. Or they couldn't feel comfortable using them, day after day. Sort of like cigarette smokers, IMO.
Find out EXACTLY what the proposed products are, and look up the MSDS's about them.
When we moved here you couldn’t go outside without being bothered by wasps. Used a five gallon bucket with meat on wire hung over water with a bit of dish soap. Water level just under meat. Very effective, there were times I’d throw 2-3 inches deep of wasps out every other day. Now it takes minimal maintenance to keep numbers down.
Down side to the bait dogs and cats like to eat it as well. Just find an area to keep bucket they can’t reach so well.
Positive side there’s nothing poisonous about it.
Obviously keeping it away from children is necessary. And a smaller bucket works well too.

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