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How To Get Rid of a Wasp Nest: A Step-by-Step Guide

Rowan Burgess |

Wasp nests are inconvenient at best and life-threatening at worst, and the process of removing one safely is a delicate one. Wasps are common, living in a wide variety of temperatures and topographies, meaning they are likely a pest you need to learn how to combat. 

For those who might be allergic to hornets, make sure to take extra precautions when trying to dispose of their nests. Dealing with their nests can be unpredictable and dangerous. 

If you have never learned how to remove a wasp nest, fear not—we’ll be going over the ways you can rid yourself of that pesky, dangerous obstruction in the safest way possible. 

What NOT to Do to Get Rid of Wasp Nests 

Before we get into the best ways to remove a wasp nest, we should look at some of the common but misled conceptions of effectively getting rid of one. After all, there is a vast array of myths regarding hornets. Dismantling their homes requires a delicate hand that some of these fabrications have not accounted for. 

DON’T Use Brute Force 

Some people think that going at a wasp nest with a baseball bat is the best way to handle the situation, but this is deeply misled. Unfortunately, these nests are made intricately and with materials like dead wood, not nearly as fragile as they may appear. 

Attacking a wasp nest head-on with no protective gear could result in some massive wasp stings, especially depending on the number of bugs in the nest. It is by no means an effective method. 

DON’T Just Spray Pesticide 

This route seems appealing because it appears to be a simple and efficient solution, but it’s one way to remove a wasp nest that tempts fate. Spray bottle pesticides cannot always be relied on to have a long-range or be powerful enough to kill wasps or yellow jackets upon immediate application. 

Provoking hornets in their own nest may result in some swift payback before you get the chance to exterminate your problem, so if you don’t want wasp stings, go about it more methodically. 

The Best Ways to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest 

If you decide to remove a wasp nest, there are many factors to take into consideration that will make your undertaking most efficient. Of course, examine each suggestion with your own circumstance in mind so as to choose the most appropriate solution for you. It can be dangerous to remove a wasp nest, and you should proceed with caution. 

1. Identify the Nest 

Wasps are not the only insects to make nests, and identifying what you’re dealing with will make the process significantly more effective. Nests that are built in the ground, for example, can either belong to solitary wasps, yellow jackets, or hornets and thus have their own specifications for being dealt with.  

These insects behave differently and have various lifestyles by which their nests abide. For example, most of these bugs start to build their nests in spring and then foster them through late summer. Knowing this yearly calendar can help you plan the ways in which you remove a wasp nest better. 

2. Wear Protective Clothing 

Wasp nest removal is no joke, and so if you do choose to do it yourself, you run the risk of getting stung in the process. Wasp stings can be extremely painful, and if you’re allergic to them, they can be life-threatening. (This is another reason the nest identification step is crucial.) 

Wasp nests can also be tricky and conceal just how many wasps are in there at a time. 

Just like beekeepers wear secure clothing to deal with bees, you should wear protective gear before you remove a wasp nest for your health and safety. 

3. Smoke Them Out

This option must be one of the safest and most efficient do-it-yourself methods if you’re looking to remove a wasp nest. If there is a wasp nest in your vicinity, start a small fire under it that is enough to make smoke and then get out of range. The smoke will rise into the nest and disturb the wasps inside without there being an obvious, immediate culprit nearby. 

This is a similar idea to spraying pesticides, but the big difference is that there is no instigator in range that can then be stung, and you don’t need to worry about neighbourhood kids or animals getting into the pesticides and becoming ill. 

4. Seek Professional Assistance 

When in doubt and in desperate need of wasp nest removal, call an exterminator. Thankfully, many people make a living off of knowing the best way to remove a wasp nest, and they also have years of knowledge and experience of doing it. 

Take this option into consideration, especially if you’re allergic to wasps, as wasp stings can never be confidently avoided unless you are entirely out of the area during the wasp nest removal. Pest control is, above all else, the safest choice. 

How to Prevent Wasp Nests

Like any problem, the most convenient solution is to prevent it from even happening. There are numerous ways to prevent wasp nests, despite the fact that they are seldom mentioned and even rarely executed by pest control.  

So, let’s take a look at some methods you can use to make your future life much easier. 

Close Off Any Openings Around Your Home 

Wasps are able to infiltrate even some of the smallest cracks when searching for a place to build their nest, so make sure that any entry points in your walls or garage are sufficiently sealed up to prevent insects from getting inside. 

Wasp nests in your house may be a rare occurrence, but garages are some of the most common locations because of the temperature and overhead protection. 

Set Up Wasp Traps Where They Gather 

If you’ve already had a wasp nest problem, consider setting up a trap in the same area. Many of these pest control traps can be found at your local hardware or gardening store but can also be easily made with fruit juice or water with sugar and dish soap in it. You won’t need to remove a wasp nest if you lure and trap them early on! 

Like many insects, especially pollinators, wasps are attracted to sweet smells and will get stuck in water bottles or other contraptions trying to reach them. This also goes for dish soap, which is thick enough to capture a wasp once it’s entered the mixture. 

Minimize Outside Food Waste 

Most of us consistently produce food waste and then proceed to deposit it with the rest of our trash, but food waste is actually a decently popular attraction for wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. 

This means thoroughly cleaning up after yourself if you eat outside, securing your trash bags and garbage bins so nothing can get inside, and even making sure you don’t have overripe fruit in your yard or garden. You may be especially susceptible to wasp nests if you have a habit of leaving food out. 


While they can seem like a mere disruption at first, wasp nests can become a big problem in no time at all. Once formed, more wasps tend to flock to them and build them up, even more, leading to a quickly-evolving issue that can be hard to combat. 

Keep these tips and tricks in mind if you choose to remove a wasp nest. As annoying or frightening as they may seem, your safety is always the top priority, so act accordingly, and remember that pest control is always available to have your back.