Due to how quickly wasps can become aggressive if provoked, removing a wasp nest can be quite a challenge.

While wasps represent a huge collection of different stinging insects, all species of wasps are known to be aggressive, especially paper wasps and yellow jackets.

If you notice a wasp nest near your property this summer, consider whether you should hire a professional and what gear you’ll need to safely remove a nest. Read on for tips to safely remove a wasp nest without getting stung.

Identifying Wasp Nests

Wasp nests are typically the size of a golf ball when they are first being built. However, these nests can quickly become very large if not dealt with promptly.

Wasps build their nests using chewed-up wood, giving them a thin, papery look that can be distinct once you know how to identify them. When it comes to location, wasps tend to build their nests under the eaves of roofs, in wall cavities, and inside garages.

You should be able to see wasps fairly active in the nest during the day, coming to and from the hole at the bottom.

Wasps build their nests using chewed-up wood

The Behavior and Life Cycle of Wasps

While wasps will not typically sting unless provoked, what makes them particularly dangerous is that they will often sting more than once.

You may notice that wasps are most active in the middle of the day, when it’s warmest outside, and they will typically return to their nests at night.

When it comes to the life cycle of wasps, there are four main stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The lifespan of a wasp depends on its role. For instance, queen wasps can survive for as long as 12 months, while worker wasps may only live as long as 22 days.

Understanding the life cycle of wasps can help you create a targeted treatment plan to get rid of their nests once and for all.

Safety Precautions and Protective Gear

When coming into contact with wasps and wasp nests, it’s imperative to suit up and protect yourself from their stingers. If you do not have access to a proper bee suit, you should, at the very least, wear long sleeves, pants, socks, closed-toe shoes, protective glasses, and gloves.

If your sleeves or the legs of your pants are wide at the ends, you may want to secure them with rubber bands to prevent any wasps from flying into your clothing and stinging you.

DIY Wasp Nest Removal Methods

If you resolve to remove a wasp nest by yourself, here are some tips to do so successfully without being stung.

  • Homemade Repellents – Wasps are known to dislike certain smells, including lemongrass, geranium, and clove, so using these scents in essential oil form can be effective in keeping wasps at bay. To try this method, add a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle and dilute it with water before spraying the solution around your home and garden. While this method isn’t foolproof, it is worth a try when dealing with pesky wasps!
  • Wasp Traps and Deterrents – DIY wasp traps can also be effective for keeping wasps away from your property. One of the most commonly used methods involves using an empty soda bottle and placing something sweet inside, such as jam or fruit juice. Using a utility knife or something equally as sharp, cut a small hole in the bottle to allow the wasps to enter. Monitor your trap over the course of a few days to assess if it seems to be working, and safely dispose of it after you’re done using it.

Professional Wasp Nest Removal

When it comes to removing a wasp nest, it is always best to leave it to an experienced professional. A professional pest control expert will be able to assess the level of infestation around your home and devise a plan of action to remove the nest without putting you or your family in danger. An exterminator will also be able to implement actions to ensure the wasps don’t return, giving you peace of mind that they are gone for good.

Preventative Wasp Control

While there is no way to guarantee that a wasp will never come near your home again, there are certain preventative measures you can take to reduce the chances of another infestation.

Wasps are particularly attracted to the smell of garbage, so keeping your outdoor garbage cans sealed and away from your home can be effective in keeping these stinging insects away. They are also known to dislike the smell of certain herbs such as peppermint, lemongrass, and basil, so planting these herbs in your garden may also help to keep them away.

Wasps are one of the most dangerous stinging insects, and there is not a whole lot homeowners can do to remove nests or prevent them on their own. Therefore calling a professional pest control expert is your best bet to deal with an infestation accordingly. Professionals like Pest Czar offer monthly pest maintenance programs designed to keep wasps and other stinging insects away, as well as emergency, one-time treatments.


What are the risks of having wasp nests near my home?

Wasps can sting when provoked and may even cause an allergic reaction in some people. Wasps may also gain entry to your home through any cracks or crevices found near their nest. And, while wasps are not as destructive as other wood-damaging insects, wasp nests that are left for a long time can also cause wood damage to your home, as the nest could absorb moisture as it grows.

Are homemade wasp repellents effective?

There are certain essential oils that wasps are known to dislike, so it may be worth giving this method a try if you are on a tight budget. Wasps tend to avoid the scent of lemongrass, geranium, and clove, so adding a few drops of these oils to a spray bottle mixed with water can be effective when applied to areas where wasps frequent. However, the best course of action when dealing with a wasp infestation is to reach out to an experienced pest control professional to safely remove the nest.

Can I use sound or visual deterrents to keep wasps away?

Ultrasonic pest repellers have become popular in recent years as an alternative solution to getting rid of many pests, including wasps. This type of deterrent works by emitting a sound that humans can’t hear but wasps can’t stand. However, this method is not always effective and may not completely eliminate the problem, so keep this in mind when considering your pest control options.


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