How to Get Rid Of Wasp Nest

By: Contributors  | 
An image showing a wasp nest on a celling.
Wasps are especially dangerous to those allergic to wasp stings. Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

When it comes to dealing with a wasp infestation, knowing how to get rid of wasp nest is crucial for maintaining a safe and comfortable home environment. Wasps can be more than just a nuisance; their stings pose health risks, especially to those with allergies.

Whether you're dealing with paper wasps, yellow jackets, or another stinging species, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and steps needed to tackle the problem. We'll guide you through identifying a wasp nest, effective DIY methods for removal, and when to call in a professional pest control company. Along the way, we'll also share preventative measures to keep these stinging insects at bay.


How to Identify a Wasp Infestation

Wasp nests vary in size and shape, but paper wasps, one of the most common, build nests resembling an upside-down umbrella. These nests are often found under tree branches, in wall cavities, or on the eaves of buildings.

Before taking any action, it's important to assess the size and location of the wasp nest. Small wasp nests with few wasps might be manageable with DIY methods, while large infestations often require professional pest control. Always prioritize safety and consider the risks before proceeding.


Types of Wasp Infestations

Did you know there are over 30,000 species of wasps? That said, some of the most common types you may encounter include:

  • Yellow Jackets: These wasps often establish their nests close to the ground. Common nesting sites include areas under porches or within hollowed-out trees.
  • Paper Wasps: Known for their distinctive nests, paper wasps favor enclosed spaces for their homes. This includes spots like eaves, attics, or gaps in walls.
  • Mud Daubers: Preferring protected environments, mud daubers typically build their nests in places like garages, attics, under eaves, or on building exteriors. Their nests are unique, resembling small tubes made of mud.

All these wasp species are capable of inflicting painful stings. What makes them more dangerous is their ability to sting repeatedly, as they don't lose their stinger like bees do.


Furthermore, wasps exhibit a defensive mechanism where a distressed wasp releases a pheromone. This chemical signal alerts nearby colony members, potentially leading to a swarm of wasps in a defensive, stinging frenzy. This behavior amplifies the risk, especially when dealing with large nests or when inadvertently provoking these insects. Understanding these types of wasp infestations and their behaviors is crucial in determining the best approach for removal and prevention.


DIY Wasp Nest Removal: When It's Safe

If the wasp nest is small and not in a high-traffic area, you might be able to remove wasp nests yourself. However, always wear protective clothing and plan an escape route.

Also, before taking any action, identify the wasp species you're dealing with. Different types, such as paper wasps, yellow jackets, or hornets, may require specific approaches. Understanding the behavior and characteristics of the wasp species can help you choose the most effective removal strategy and avoid attracting wasps in the future.


When to Call a Professional Pest Control Company

For large outdoor wasp colonies or nests in hard-to-reach places, it's safer to hire a professional pest control company. They have the expertise and equipment to remove the wasp nest safely and deal with the problem effectively.


Choose the Right Time

When removing the wasp nest on your own, it's important to get your timing right. Wasps are less active during the night, making it the safest time to approach the nest. Plan your removal for an evening or early morning when temperatures are cooler and wasps are less likely to be flying around. This reduces the chance of stings and increases the effectiveness of your removal efforts.

Additionally, the best time to remove a wasp nest is during its early stages of development when the population is smaller. Early spring is often the ideal time to check for and eliminate nests before they become a more significant problem.


Always Wear Protective Clothing

When dealing with stinging insects like wasps, protective clothing is a must. Cover all areas of your body with thick clothing, gloves, and a hat. If possible, wear a face net or hood to protect your head and neck. Ensuring you're well-protected can significantly reduce the risk of painful wasp stings.


Use Wasp Sprays

Wasp sprays are a common and effective method that kills wasps instantly. Select a long-range spray designed to kill wasps instantly and allow you to treat the nest from a safe distance. Always follow the instructions on the bottle carefully and avoid spraying in windy conditions to prevent the chemical from blowing back at you.


Prepare a Homemade Wasp Spray or Trap

Homemade wasp sprays and traps can be an effective solution for getting rid of wasps. A mixture of water and dish soap in a spray bottle can be an effective way to kill wasps. Remember to spray wasp nests in the evening when wasps are less active. Essentially, the soap will clog the spiracles (which is how they breathe) and will kill them instantly.

Additionally, you can make wasp traps that attract and kill wasps by putting something sweet (such as fruit juice, jam, sugar, or wine) in a dish or bottle. Place these around the nest area to thin the population before attempting removal.


How to Prevent Wasps

If you want to deter wasps in the future, it's important to regularly inspect your home and garden for early signs of nest building. Start by keeping fruit trees well-maintained and cover trash bins. Wasps are also territorial and unlikely to build a nest near another colony. So, hanging fake wasp nests near your home may deter new wasps from settling in the area. This preventative measure can keep wasps at bay without the need for chemicals or traps.

Preventing wasps from entering your home is as crucial as removing existing nests. Seal cracks, crevices, and other potential entry points to keep wasps outside. Pay special attention to attics, basements, and other less-frequented areas where wasps might nest unnoticed.


The Takeaway

Dealing with wasp nests requires a careful, informed approach. From understanding wasp behavior to employing effective removal methods, each step is crucial in ensuring safety and success. Whether you choose to tackle the problem yourself or seek a professional pest control expert, remember that prevention and early intervention are key. With these tips and a cautious approach, you can get rid of wasp nests and enjoy a peaceful, sting-free environment.

This article was updated in conjunction with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.