How to Get Rid of Wasps

Wasp Treatment, Control & Nest Removal Guide

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Wasp Control Options

There are a few different methods that can be used to get rid of wasps. If you know where the nest is located you can dust nests or you can spray the nest with a quick knockdown aerosol and follow up with a long lasting residual product to insure that all members of the colony are eliminated. If the nest cannot be found, wasp elimination and control can be a bit more difficult but you can still reduce the wasp population. If you are dealing with yellow jackets that are scavenging for food you can eliminate the colony by baiting.

Option 1

Direct Nest Treatment & Removal

Direct wasp nest treatments can only be done if you have located the nest. Once you have located the nest you can decide which of the outlined treatment methods would best suit your needs. Both methods should be done in the late evening when the wasps are inside the nest and less active. Be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants and enclosed shoes.

***If the nesting area is hard to move away from quickly, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing and wearing a complete bee suit to help protect yourself from being stung.***


Nest Drenching

Tools and products needed:
  • Hand pump sprayer
  • Concentrated liquid insecticide
  • Pyrethrin Aerosol
Choose a concentrated liquid insecticide spray that is labeled for wasps and dilute as directed on the product label in a hand pump sprayer.

If the nest poses an immediate threat begin by spraying a 2-3 ft area surrounding the nest with the concentrated insecticide. Next, adjust the nozzle on your sprayer to a pin stream. Apply the liquid concentrate directly to the interior of the nest. Be ready with a can of Pyrethrin spray and spray any emerging wasps directly for a fast kill. With this combination you are killing the adult yellow jackets and leaving behind a residual to kill any hatching yellow jackets. After the area has dried completely you should remove the nest and destroy it if possible. If this is not possible to remove the nest you should retreat the nest with the concentrated liquid insecticide every 14 days until all of the immature wasps have been killed.


Dust the Nest

Tools and products needed:
  • Hand duster
  • Insecticide dust
If the nest does not pose an immediate risk you can dust the nest. Dusting the nest exposes the applicator to less risk of being stung but it can take longer to eliminate the wasps. Load the chosen insecticide dust into the hand duster as recommended on the product label. Apply the dust liberally directly to the entrance of the nest and move away quickly. Depending on the size of the nest, this method can take a few days to a couple of weeks to eliminate a wasp colony.

Products needed for Option 2

Option 2

Treat Areas With Wasp Activity

When the nest cannot be located
If the wasp nest cannot be located you can choose to treat the areas you have noticed the wasps frequenting and landing. While this method will not eliminate wasp colonies, it will help reduce the population to manageable levels.

Tools and products needed:

  • Hand pump sprayer
  • Concentrated liquid insecticide
Choose a concentrated liquid insecticide that is labeled for wasps and dilute as directed on the product label in a hand pump sprayer. Apply the diluted solution to the areas where the wasps have been active such as eaves, overhangs, door or window frames and bushes.

Please note that this method will not provide instant knockdown and even directly spraying the wasps with the solution will not provide an instant kill. This method will provide a residual that will kill wasps after they have contacted treated areas and received a lethal dose.

Option 3

Baiting (For Yellow Jackets)

If the wasps you are dealing with are yellow jackets, it may be possible to use a bait mixture placed inside of yellow jacket bait stations to eliminate the colony. This method is a great choice when the yellow jacket nest cannot be located or when it is in an area that is not safely accessible. The yellow jackets must be actively foraging or scavenging for food for this method to be successful. Once you determine the yellow jackets are actively foraging you can make the bait mixture, put it inside of yellow jacket bait stations and place the stations where needed. After several days you should see a reduction of the yellow jacket population.

Step 1 - Test for active foraging or scavenging:

Depending on what is going inside the yellow jacket nest and the season, the yellow jackets will be looking for protein based foods or carbohydrate based foods. It is recommended that you try at least one food item from each group to see what the yellow jackets are willing to consume. Recommended protein based food baits include raw chicken pieces, raw fish, canned tuna, or canned cat food. Raw chicken pieces or tuna tend to work the best. Carbohydrate based foods would include juice, soda, jelly or syrup. Place a small amount of food from each group on separate paper plates. Place the plates outdoors in areas where the yellow jackets have been active. Keep an eye on the plates and note which food the yellow jackets visit, this will be the food item you use in your bait mixture. If the yellow jackets do not go for any of the foods you have placed out on the plates, baiting will not work.

Step 2 - Make bait mixture and place in bait stations:

There are only a couple of products on the market that are labeled to be used in a yellow jacket baiting program such as Onslaught. Each product does have its own recommended usage rate so it is important to read and follow the product label to insure that you are using the correct ratio of food to insecticide. Using a disposable bowl and disposable spoon, mix the insecticide with the food item the yellow jackets were attracted to. Split the bait mixture evenly among the yellow jacket bait stations.

Step 3 - Hang the bait stations:

Hang the stations outside of your home or structure about five to six feet off of the ground in areas where you have noticed wasp activity. You can use tree or bush limbs to hang the stations. Space the stations about 50 feet apart to cover as much of your property as possible. Keep the stations out of reach of children and non-target animals.

Step 4 - Replace the bait as needed:

Check the bait stations every few days to see if the bait has been consumed or if the the bait is rancid. replace the bait as needed until the yellow jacket population is under control.

Wasp Treatment Infographic

(Click to View Full Graphic)

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