Wasps can be scary and are often a deterrent to outdoor summer fun if they decide to nest near your home. Not all wasps sting though, and they do have their benefits. Wasps eat other insects and are an integral part of the food chain. Before you decide to get rid of them, it’s important to identify what type of wasp you’re dealing with.
There are four main ways to safely get rid of a wasp nest, and the method you choose should be the best for the type of wasp you’re dealing with. If you haven’t been able to locate the nest, can’t identify the type of wasp, or are allergic to wasp stings, it is always best to call a professional.
The simplest and fastest way to destroy a wasp nest is with a specially formulated aerosol spray that can be purchased at any supermarket or home improvement store. Stand as far away from the nest as possible and aim the spray toward the opening at the bottom of the nest. After the nest is completely drenched leave the area immediately while it takes effect. If there still appears to be wasp activity after several hours or overnight, repeat the process. Once you are sure all of the wasps are dead, the nest can be knocked down and disposed of.
Pesticide dust is a less dangerous method for destroying the nest and is ideal for nests that are not an immediate threat or are located on the ground. Coating the nest in the dust late at night or early in the morning and then leaving it alone is all that is required. The process may need to be repeated several times over multiple days or even weeks until all of the wasps are dead.
If you prefer a more natural solution, drenching or drowning the nest in a simple solution of dish soap and water (or plain hot water) can be very effective. Keep in mind that each wasp needs to come into contact with the solution, so this process may need to be repeated several times. There are also many DIY recipes for solutions to bait and kill wasps away from the nest that can be found online.
Wasps that have formed aerial nests hanging from tree branches or other exposed areas can be treated with smoke. Building a fire directly below the nest and letting the smoke rise into the nest for several hours will suffocate the wasps. While effective, this method requires extra care so that surroundings are not accidentally caught on fire.
If the nest is far enough from your house and belongs to a less aggressive type of wasp, consider leaving the nest alone. With any of the following removal methods, proper clothing, gloves, and safety goggles are essential.