How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest FAST

Nobody likes to find out they have a wasp nest on their property. Whether it’s near your front door or tucked away in the backyard, a wasp nest can obviously be a huge nuisance and even a hazard to yourself and your family. But getting rid of it doesn’t have to be a major hassle; we’ll provide you with all you need to know to quickly and safely remove a wasp nest from your property.

We recently had a little incident with a nest of yellow jackets in the crawl space of our house. They gained access through a crack in the exterior siding, flew into the crawl space under the kitchen, and came up into the house behind the kitchen cabinets. During the day, when they were active, we were killing 2-3 yellow jackets per day. Not fun, especially when you have a toddler and an infant around. We needed them gone and gone fast, but unlike finding a nest outdoors, they were in a confined area of the house, which made it hazardous to simply spray the nest. In this post, we’ll share our tips on how to get rid of a wasp problem, and how we managed to get rid of our nest FAST.

Identify the Location of the Nest

The first thing you need to do is identify the location of the nest. Sometimes this is a straightforward task, while other times they may build a nest in well-concealed places. Any area big enough for a pencil eraser is big enough for a wasp to fit through and build a nest. Wasps look for locations that will offer shelter. The wasps might not be able to get inside the house, but they can build a nest behind the siding or soffit. Nests may also be near the house in bushes or thick landscaping. Certain species may even build nests underground or in tree stumps.

The wasps on our property built their nest in the crawl space of our home. If the nest is in a less obvious location, you may have to spend some time observing any wasp activity. Wasps are most active during daytime hours, so that’s the best time to try to determine where they are coming and going from. It took about a week before we noticed that the wasps were always in the same place in the kitchen. We observed that exterior wall and noticed they came in through a siding corner, right at the foundation plate level.

Identify the Type of Wasp

This is not a crucial step, as many of the remedies work for similar species. However, it is useful to know what you are dealing with as some wasp varieties are more aggressive, and there are differences in where they may choose to build their nests. Some species, known as social wasps, can actually be beneficial by eliminating large numbers of destructive, planting-feeding insects. Yellow jackets are an example of this wasp category, and their nests should be left undisturbed if found in an area far away human activity.

Identification can be challenging as many wasp species look very similar. After killing one and studying its features up-close, we identified the wasps in our home as yellow jackets. This might not be possible and is unnecessary if it may cause a potential hazard.

Methods for Eliminating Wasps

  1. Lure Traps
    These types of traps attract wasps and are able to capture/kill them. This is effective for reducing the number of workers in the colony, but they are not able to eliminate an entire nest. This may be a temporary solution if you cannot find the location of the nest. It’s important to place the traps far away from the doorways or where people sit outdoors since the lures will attract wasps to the area. You can purchase wasp traps, typically baited with a liquid called heptyl butyrate, which is a natural product found in fresh apples and plums. Or, you can make your own using an empty pop bottle and a combination of sugar water, vinegar, or meat as an attractant. It is important to note that different species of wasps will be attracted to different baits. For example, only one specific type of yellow jacket wasp is attracted to heptyl butyrate.
  2. Nest Sprays
    Insecticides in aerosol sprays formulated for wasps can be effective. However, wasps can attack if there is too much disturbance or if they sense poison being sprayed on their nest. It’s important to note that most of these products DO NOT kill on contact, even if the bottle claims otherwise. Therefore, wear protective clothing that covers your entire body, including the face. And spray nests only after dark when wasps are likely to less active.
  3. Dust
    Certain formulations of pesticide dust work well on wasps. These include powders with active ingredients such as permethrin, bifenthrin, or carbaryl. Diatomaceous earth may also be used as a more natural alternative. The insecticide dusts work as a stomach poison for the insect, while diatomaceous earth dries out the insect’s exoskeleton. Both will cling to the wasp, causing them to track it into their nest and onto other wasps, which increases the kill rate. Powders should be applied to areas where wasps may enter the nest, not directly onto the nest.

How We Killed Our Wasp Nest FAST

After removing four wasps nests (in one summer!) using this method, we have found that dusting a strategic area with insecticide is by far the most effective and least hazardous way to eliminate wasp populations and remove their nest completely. We used Sevin 5% dust, containing the active ingredient 5% carbaryl*. This is a strong insecticide, so a little bit goes a long way! It can be found at most lawn and garden centers.
*Note: Sevin has since changed their active ingredient to bifenthrin. While we cannot personally speak to the effectiveness of the new formulation, Sevin dust is still our top recommendation for pesticide dust. (And no, we are not sponsored by Sevin.)

The first step in using a dust is to determine where the wasps are walking into the nest. Wasps don’t fly into a nest. They land and walk into a hole or landing spot around the opening to the nest. Take 1 tsp of dust and sprinkle it where they are landing. The wasp doesn’t have to be dusted with it, only come in contact with it. Treat it once, wait 48 hours. If there is any more activity, treat it again using the same protocol.

If there is no activity, remove the nest. If you cannot remove the nest, keep adding more Sevin dust to treat any new wasps that hatch and emerge from the nest. Regardless of wasp activity, make sure to wear protective clothing and use caution when removing the nest.

Tips for Preventing Wasp Problems

  1. Check for nests in exterior wall cavities, sheds, and garages in early spring when nests are still small, about golf-ball sized. They can be treated very quickly if caught in the early stages of construction.
  2. Use caulk to seal up any cracks or crevices on the exterior of your home that wasps may enter. Remember, these crevices only have to be as big as the tip of a pencil eraser!
  3. Keep landscaping well-trimmed to prevent an inviting shelter for a wasp nest.
  4. Remove food sources from around your home, including pet food, ripe berries bushes, or unsealed trash bins.
  5. Plant wasp-repelling plants around your home such as marigolds, geraniums, or mint.

Identifying the location of the wasp nest and utilizing pest control solutions are important steps for removing wasp nests quickly and safely. Additionally, practicing simple tips to prevent future infestations will also help ensure that wasp nests won’t be a long-term problem on your property.

If wasps have become a problem on your property, don’t panic – follow these steps and our quick tip and you’ll have it taken care of in no time. Share this post with your friends and family on social media to help spread the word about how to get rid of a wasp nest fast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *