How to Get Rid of Yellow Jackets & Bees

Yellow jackets and bees pose potential problems for families.
Yellow jackets and bees pose potential problems for families. (Image: bees image by sanyal from

Yellow jackets and bees pose problems for families with young children who want to play outdoors. The insects often build nests inside of trees or other structures and, when disturbed, they defend their homes by stinging. Toward the end of the summer yellow jackets and bees often come out of their nests in search of sugar and food, increasing the chance for confrontation. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of these insects without a painful sting to your wallet--or your body.

Things You'll Need

  • Lidded trash cans
  • Yellow jacket traps

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Seal your trash cans properly. This may involve buying a set of lidded trash cans, but the investment is worth it. This includes covering up your recycling bin where old soda cans are tossed. Covering up food will keep yellow jackets and bees away. As long as they cannot smell the sugar in your waste food, they will not venture toward your home and may choose another place to build a nest.

Check all entrances to your house, including the awnings, siding and patio doors for cracks or gaps and fill them if necessary. Use a caulking solution or spray-on foam to seal large cracks. Siding should be replaced if it is loose or does not fit properly.

Locate the yellow jacket nest by carefully searching your yard for signs of bee activity. This includes bees flying to and from one area, or bees hovering in a particular area. Place a yellow jacket and wasp bomb or trap near this area (read your product label for instructions on how to use each item) and operate it to destroy the nest. Choose a nontoxic alternative if you are concerned about children coming into contact with these products.

Spray a yellow jacket killer like Dursban onto the nest at night when the temperature drops and the yellow jackets are less active. Allow the spray to work effectively, killing the entire colony.

Destroy the nest. Remove the nest from the tree, or if it is in the ground, cover the nest area with dirt and stones. Do this only after you are certain all the yellow jackets or bees are dead. Watch the area carefully for circling bees or yellow jackets before you approach the nest.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear protective gear when approaching a yellow jacket nest. This includes eyewear such as goggles, leather work gloves, thick clothing or a full beekeeping suit, if you have access to one. For very large nests, contact a professional pest control specialist.


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