How to Find a Wasp's Nest

While wasps tend to avoid humans, they can be a nuisance and pose a possible threat to people and pets if they build their nests near homes and in other high traffic locations. It’s important to take the proper safety precautions when attempting to find and identify a wasp nest. A wasp sting can be painful and possibly fatal.

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Prepare yourself. Avoid wearing bright colors that my attract wasps that mistake you for a flower when they are looking for nectar. Do not wear perfume. Sweet smells attract wasps. Carry a can of wasp spray.

Observe the flight pattern of the wasps during morning hours. This is when wasps are most active and are likely to be flying in and out of their nest.

Check your home for torn screens, cracks around doors and windows, openings in an attic or ceiling and unsealed vents. If wasps are flying in and out of your home, you probably have a nest inside the house or attic.

Check rodent burrows and tree branches. Wasps prefer to build their nests in protected cavities.

Identify the nest. Wasps make their nests using scraped wood fiber mixed with saliva. The hive is built of multiple tiers of vertical cells that appear honeycomb-shaped. Paper wasp nests expose the cells, while most other wasp species cover the cells.

Safely remove the nest. Approach the nest at night when the wasps are likely to be resting. Spray the nest with the wasp killer starting with the outside and then treating the entrance hole located on the underside. Wait a day or two to ensure the wasps are dead, and place the nest in your outside trash for pickup.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to be especially safe, contact a pest control professional to safely remove wasp nests. Professionals have the proper equipment and clothing for the job.
  • Do not approach a wasp nest if you are allergic to bee or wasp stings or bites. An allergic reaction to these insects can be fatal.


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