How to Deal With a Wasp Nest


Yellow jackets, hornets and paper wasps are prevalent during the spring and summer. They can invade your yard looking for food and material to build nests. Wasps will make nests in trees, in the ground and in crevices around your home. Avoid the nests if at all possible. When any variety of wasp is irritated, the entire nest may attack in response. When they sting, wasps release venom, which can be deadly in rare instances. If you want to remove a nest, you'll have to approach the process with caution.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long pants
  • Rubber bands (optional)
  • Wasp spray
  • Flashlight
  • Plastic bag
  • Large rock or brick
  • Locate the opening to the wasp nest during the day. Don't get too close to the opening or you'll irritate the wasps.

  • Wait until after the sun has set to spray the nest. Wasps are not as active at night. (Paper wasp nests, often shaped like an umbrella, can be treated during the day.) Put on the protective goggles, long-sleeved shirt, long pants and gloves. If the pants don't have elastic at the bottom, use rubber bands to keep each leg closed; this will keep the wasps from getting under your clothes if you disrupt the nest.

  • Grab the flashlight and wasp spray. Bring along the rock or brick if you have an underground nest. The brick or rock should be large enough to cover the nest's entrance. Don't shine the light directly on the nest or the wasps will get irritated. Shine the light to the left or right of the nest; walk slowly toward it so the wasps remain undisturbed.

  • Spray the wasp spray following the manufacturer's instructions for above-ground nests or underground nests, as applicable. Often, the cans will spray 15 to 20 feet, which lowers the risk of wasp stings. Place the large rock or brick over the ground nest after spraying.

  • Wait at least 24 hours before trying to take down the nest. Wait at least a week before removing the rock or brick to make sure the wasps are dead.

  • Put on the same protective goggles, gloves, shirt and pants to take down the nest.

  • Slip a plastic bag around the nest. Tie the bag closed around the nest, and then break the stem connecting the nest to the tree, house or other location it was built.

  • Dispose of the bag in a trash can.

Tips & Warnings

  • Call a professional if you're allergic to wasps. Don't risk getting stung by removing the nest yourself.
  • If the wasp nest is located in a hard-to-reach location, don't try to remove it yourself. Instead, call a professional.
  • Only professionals should remove nests inside the home or in walls.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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