Hornet and Wasp Control: Get Rid of These Unwanted Pests

Everyone loves bumblebees. We see them floating lazily from flower to flower, wonder at them, and get a little sad knowing that their population is dwindling. And then we see a wasp. At that moment we lose all cool and start worrying about the flying, stinging machine zipping around near us. “Is there a nest nearby? Is it going to sting me? Are there more?”

Needless to say, wasps, hornet, yellow jackets, and all aggressive species of the family Vespidae get a pretty bad rap. As much as it pains us to say it, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets all serve a pretty big function in the ecosystem. They hunt caterpillars, beetle larvae, and other like insects. Without them, we would be absolutely overrun by any number of invasive insects.

All the good things aside, they can be dangerous to have around the home or work area, especially in there are children and pets about. The stings hurt (a lot) and an angered hive can threaten the life anyone who is allergic.

wasp nestLocating the Wasp Nest

This part is easy. Wasp’s nests generally have a lot out outbound and inbound traffic that make them pretty easy to locate. Wasps live in nests of varying shapes, sizes, and materials. They might be open (usually found in walls) or enclosed in a papery substance. Yellow jackets may also make nests in holes in the ground, or hidden in bushes.

Wasps are known to make nests on the eaves of roofs, and even inside walls. If you see a bunch of wasps congregating around your roof, then you might want to carefully inspect the area. If you see one or two inside, then they are probably just looking for a place to make a nest or for sugary foods. Squish them and be on your way. If there are a lot that seem to be getting in, chances are they’ve made a nest somewhere in your home.


Getting Rid of Them

WARNING: There is a very real chance you can get stung when trying to kill a hive of wasps. If you are allergic, then we strongly consider calling in a professional removal service. If you’ve never been stung before, consult with your physician to test for allergies.


Aerosols are a simple and effective tool for killing wasps nests. Suit up in protective clothing, covering as much exposed skin as possible with thick fabric. Wait until after sunset, and follow the directions on the spray you purchased. Some sprays can be fired from 20 feet away, and others need you to be closer to the nest. Target the bottom of the nest and spray for 10-15 seconds before quickly vacating the area. Leave the spray overnight to take effect.

The next day, observe the nest from a distance. If there is still moderate to high levels of activity around it, repeat this process daily until there is little to no activity around the nest. Once activity has ceased or is greatly diminished, use a long stick to knock the nest down. Break the nest apart and saturate it with the spray, then dispose of the nest and dead wasps immediately.

Ortho Hornet and Wasp Killer is a personal favorite here at Koopman Lumber. You can spray the nest from up to 20 feet away, and the expanding foam solution traps hornets and wasps, stopping them dead in their tracks! The foam sticks around for a while afterward, killing returning hornets and wasps after spraying. You can kill a whole hive with one application!

Insecticidal Dusts

Eight Garden Dust 6846570For ground nests (we’re talking about you, yellow jackets), dusts placed at the entrance to the nest are much more effective than sprays. Sprays have a hard time penetrating the heart of the nest. Make sure to wear protective gear at all times!

Measure off about 1/4 of dust, and sprinkle it liberally around the entrance of the nest. Do this during the evening or early morning, and quickly vacate the area after application. The incoming wasps will pick up the dust with their wings or legs and bring it into the nest, contaminating the rest of the wasps.

If the wasps don’t all die off within the first few days, repeat the process.

Eight Insect Control Garden Dust is among the best out there. This product is extremely versatile, and can be used on ground wasps, hornets, and even in your garden to stave off just about any kind of insect that has made your property it’s home.

Soapy water

This is a home remedy favorite for those who don’t want to use pesticides. A solution of soapy water can kill off wasps very effectively if applied right.

Mix about a liter of warm water with 1/4 cup of dish soap until it’s nice and sudsy. If you’re targeting an overhead nest, pour the solution into a hose-end sprayer and aim the stream at the entrance of the nest for 10-15 seconds.

If the nest is below ground, pour the solution into the nest and quickly vacate the area.

This method is effective, but in order to work each individual wasp needs to be hit, so you will probably need to perform this method several times to eradicate the entire population of the hive.

Wrap Up

To arm yourselves with everything that you will need to take the sting out of this household chore, stop by your local Koopman Lumber store! Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be glad to help you out!