How to Kill Papaya Wasps


Papaya wasps are a wasp variety that was inadvertently introduced to the Florida ecological system in 1905 from shipments of papaya into the United States from the West Indies. The papaya wasp lays their eggs inside the papaya fruit, causing it to grow yellow and die as the wasps mature and eat their way through the fruit. Papaya wasps cannot be controlled like other wasp varieties. Killing papaya wasps is more about preventing the laying of eggs than killing a nest.

Step 1

Spray your papaya plants with the insecticide Permethrin. Apply the Pounce 3.2 variety at 8 oz. per acre of tree, or Ambush at 12.8 oz. per acre of tree in 100 gallons of water. Apply this no more than two times a season, and no later than seven days before the harvest.

Step 2

Tie a 3- to 5-pound paper bag to the stems of each, individual papaya fruit to prevent new wasps from laying eggs inside the fruit. Wrap the fruit while they are small and the flowers have just fallen off. Check the bags every 10 to 14 days to ensure they are still intact.

Step 3

Remove any dead or decaying fruit from the branches and from below the tree to prevent wasps from laying eggs in the decaying fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Permethrin
  • Paper bags


  • University of Florida: Papaya Fruit Fly
  • University of Minnesota: Wasp and Bee Control
  • University of Florida: Insect Management in Papaya
Keywords: wasp control, papaya wasps, kill wasps

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.