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How to Remove a Wasp Nest

Updated on March 6, 2014
NateB11 profile image

Like most people, I'm concerned with the everyday practical needs of every day life and therefore research issues of health and livelihood.

I remember it well. I even remember the year and the apartment I was living in.

I guess it was memorable.

I was living alone, back in 2007, in a nice little quiet apartment that had a nice little patio. The patio part is important to this story because it was on the patio that a wasp decided to start building a nest. I, being quite conscientious, was scared lifeless.

She decided she wanted to start her nest on the eave of my patio. I decided I didn't want her to.

Yellow-jacket wasp with it's yellow and black body, long skinny wings, legs and body and antennae.
Yellow-jacket wasp with it's yellow and black body, long skinny wings, legs and body and antennae. | Source

How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest When It's Still Small

Well, you know. A regular old bee will sting you once, lose its stinger and die and won't sting you again. A wasp can sting you multiple times and might, and most likely will, attack you in a swarm formation. Quite the warriors, they are. They will protect their colony.

So, I didn't hesitate to find a solution to the problem. Turned out I caught the problem before it got too big. The nest was about the size of a golf ball. The queen was getting things set for her workers. But as far as I could tell those workers hadn't arrived yet and the queen was often off on errands.

I had to strike while the iron was hot. She wasn't around. I got the broom. I opened the sliding glass door wide enough to get half my body on the patio; one foot in the apartment, the other on the patio and the broom handle pointed at the wasp nest.

Jab, jab, jab. The nest dropped onto the patio floor. I jetted back into the apartment and closed the glass door just in case. I looked out there, she was nowhere around. I got a small plastic bag, put the nest in it and took it down to the dumpster.

End of story. She never returned to stay. She probably returned to not see her nest and left, I guess. All I know is that I was safe again.

Have you ever knocked down a wasp nest?

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What I Should Have Done

I think you're pretty safe if the nest is still small and Queeney aint around. But if I was slightly smarter than I am, I probably would have been wearing goggles, a hoodie and gloves.

At least that's the general advice. To wear protective clothing when dealing with wasps, to avert getting stung to death. Also, I could have sprayed the nest with soapy water, hair-spray or pesticide first. This could have stunned, killed or debilitated any wasp or wasps that might have been chillin' out at the crib.

However, those are mainly tactics for the big nests. The ones already populated with workers and larva.

Yellow-jacket Wasp flying at cha!
Yellow-jacket Wasp flying at cha! | Source

Tips for getting rid of wasp nest:

  • Wear clothing that covers body, arms, legs, feet and hands (gloves).
  • Do it at night when wasps are not active.
  • Use pesticide or boric acid.

How to Get Rid of a Bigger Wasp Nest

It should be stated that a sting from a wasp is incredibly painful (duh) and causes big-time swelling that can be fatal. If you're allergic it can have seriously devastating effects.

So, obviously you don't want to get stung by a wasp. If you have strong doubts, call the exterminator. They have special equipment and pesticides and know what they're doing.

However, there are ways to get rid of the wasp nest yourself.

You can purchase a decent wasp pesticide at a hardware store, the foam kind is excellent because it foams up in the nest and catches all of the wasps in its poisonous goop. It also usually can be shot out at a range of 6-8 feet, which is good for those nests up in high places. You shoot the solution into the hole of the nest and it kills the wasps inside.

Generally it's a good idea to do this operation at night when the wasps are less active. It should be noted that they will be alerted by light so if possible don't shine light at the nest.

Other substances used on wasps include hair-spray, boric acid and soapy water. Hair-spray sticks to their wings and makes it hard for them to fly, soapy water seeps past their exoskeletons and does them in and boric acid is poisonous to wasps.

If inserting insecticide into the nest, shoot it in there in generous proportions and then get out of there quickly. The poison will do its job, you can return the next day and clear out any remnants of the nest so that the poison is gone from your environment and if there are remaining wasps they won't be attracted to the area any longer.

Again, it is advisable that you wear protective clothing that covers body, legs, feet, arms, hands (gloves) and neck. Also, it is generally a bad idea to use a ladder (though some people do) because if you start getting attacked by the wasps, you could take a bad fall.

The other method some people use is sucking up the culprits in a shop vac. But you run the risk of having wasps coming out after you when you open the vacuum. Exterminators use a vacuum but wasps get sucked up and end up in a soapy solution that kills them, inside the vacuum.

Using Foam Insecticide at Night to Kill Wasp Nest

Wasp Warrior Take-Away

So, it is important to take precautions when undertaking getting rid of wasps. It's a better idea to call the professionals if you can afford to have them get rid of the wasps for you, because they know what they're doing and have the correct supplies and equipment.

It's relatively easy to get rid of a nest when it's still very small, like the size of a golf ball. It's just a matter of good timing--when the wasp isn't around--getting something long enough to reach the nest if it's up high and knocking the nest down and getting rid of it. If the nest is getting big, you will have a lot more to deal with. Angry wasps who think their nest is threatened are no fun and potentially dangerous. You can get very effective pesticides to kill wasps at the hardware store. As stated, it's better to try to get rid of them at night when they are not active and to try not to alert them with light and make sure you have a path and plan to escape.

The guy on the left is Ant Man, the guy on the right is not the kind of Yellow Jacket we are concerned with here.
The guy on the left is Ant Man, the guy on the right is not the kind of Yellow Jacket we are concerned with here. | Source


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    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      knowledge-seeker, I'm not fond of those little deadly creatures either. I'm glad you found this information helpful and I'm glad you stopped by. Peace be with you.

    • knowledge-seeker profile image

      knowledge-seeker 4 years ago

      helpful information you provided through this post. i hate wasps and unluckily there are lot of wasp nests around the building i go to attend the classes. anyway thanks again for sharing the ideas. flourish!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      ESPeck1919 I know what you mean about when the wasps come back after you've knocked down their nest. They look a bit lost and depressed.

      Yes, I thought the Cosplay pic would add a touch of humor.

      I used to work with people with developmental disabilities and while I was out with my clients, one of them managed to get his lip/mouth stung by a bee while we were doing volunteer work at a plant nursery. Benedryl did the trick with him too.

      Sounds like your husband did the right thing, kind of sounds like what I described in this article. I think one of the safest ways is to spray them with something deadly. A bit unfortunate, but better than getting stung by them.

      Glad you stopped by, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Hah! Points for the cosplay picture at the end. ;)

      But yes, I hate wasps. One of the things stung me out of the blue when I was a kid, and swelled so impressively that my parents almost took me to the ER. Benadryl took care of it, but I still shudder whenever I see one of those critters. They're really the only insects that bother me.

      A couple of years ago, my husband ended up getting rid of a small nest in an ornamental burner in our back yard by spraying it with something (boric acid, I think) and knocking it down when the wasps were away.

      I almost felt bad for the bugs when they came back, though. They circled the burner, unable to figure out what happened, for about two days before going elsewhere.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 4 years ago from California, United States of America

      Hahaha! Exactly, Bill. Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sounds like an old do you remove a wasp nest....very carefully! LOL I've done it but I sure didn't enjoy it.