How to Remove a Wasp Nest
Tackling a wasp nest is no easy job. Getting the right protective gear is the first important step. Even for people who aren’t allergic to wasps, protective clothing will prevent unpleasant and painful stings.
Once you are all set, you need a good action plan on how to safely remove a wasp nest in your house, regardless of its location. We’ve provided some essential removal tips and extra information to help you cope with the inconvenience easier.
How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest in Australia
Depending on the type of wasp nest you’re dealing with different pesticides and methods of pest control must be applied.
If you notice a wasp nest up in the air, most likely you’re dealing with paper wasps or bald-faced hornets. In this case, you really only have one option when it comes to wasp nests in the air – poison.
There is a wide range of readily available wasp poisons. The type of insecticide that you’d want to use is labelled as projectile wasp spray. This would ensure a reach of around six metres, allowing you to spray the nest without the use of a ladder. Here is how to do it:
- Aim the spray at the opening of the nest and use as much as possible.
- Once the can is empty leave the nest alone for at least 24 hours.
- Return the next day and check if there is any activity left. If the spray didn’t kill all the wasps, use another one.
Dealing with a nest that’s high on ceilings or trees is challenging, and we advise you to seek professional help if the nest isn’t within your reach.
- Create a plan - When tackling the nest you need an escape plan. Make sure you know the area and you have a place to hide if needed.
- Identify the types of wasp you’re dealing with - It can be challenging to the untrained eye, but proper identification is a must. If the nest is located in the ground most likely you’re dealing with yellowjackets, which are very aggressive and can be a health danger. If you haven’t located the nest, make sure you thoroughly inspect your property.
- Ensure you’re wearing all protective gear - The proper clothing is a must. Good condition second-hand beekeeping suits run from A$50 to A$200. Depending on how often you have to deal with wasps, owning one can be a worthwhile investment. The clothing should be covering your whole body (head, face, hands, feet), as it will be the only thing between you and the wasps.
- Gather pesticides - For getting rid of ground wasp nests use normal hornet killing spray.
- Approach the nest slowly at night - Wasps will be docile late at night which will decrease the chance of you getting stung or worse – attacked. Also, make sure everyone around you is safe. If you’re inside a closed space (your house for example) make sure everyone is out and at a safe distance.
- Spray the nest with the wasp killing spray - Make sure you’re fast. Empty the wasp killer inside the nest. Return after 24 hours and check for activity. If there are still leftover wasps spray again. After there is no activity, approach the nest cautiously and bury it with dirt if it’s in the ground. If the nest is in your house, knock it inside a bin bag, tighten the bag and take it outside.
If you begin noticing wasps in and around your home with no visible nest, we suggest you do a little investigation. This could mean that you’ll be dealing with a wasp nest in the walls of your house.
You can try killing the wasps with a pest control powder containing carbaryl (like Sevin dust). Find all the holes that the wasps are entering and leaving the walls from. Seal them with steel wool to prevent the wasps from escaping the walls. In five or six days they should be dead.
The roof of your home has more entry points than any other part of your house, allowing easy access for wasps.
Sprays are your best bet here, but the most suitable wasp removal product can be determined by the location of the nest. Sprays with a long reach are most convenient for hanging nests, while easily accessible nests can be treated with regular or bomb-type products.
Keep in mind that removing a wasp nest on your roof or in the attic is dangerous because you are in a closed location. Being far from the exit of your home means that you will be vulnerable to a wasp attack, especially if the nest is hanging and it’s hard to reach. Therefore, it is better to wait for a professional’s help.
In history, there have been numerous cases of improper wasp nest removal. Here’s what you shouldn’t do when dealing with wasps:
- Using water to ‘drown’ the wasps.
We get the idea behind the usage of water, but it simply doesn’t work. While pouring water in the nest, most of the wasps will find their way out and they will attack you. Not to mention the damage you could cause to your home if the nest is located inside.
- Knocking down the wasp nest.
This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. First, there are most likely wasps around the nest, which will begin stinging when you go close to their home. Second, how far is that nest going to fly? Knocking a wasp nest down shouldn’t even be an option, as you’re just going to angry the wasps.
- Setting the nest on fire.
Just like the above-mentioned ‘drowning’ the wasps, setting the nest on fire may destroy the nest, but won’t kill all of the wasps in it. Always avoid using fire, especially if the nest is located in or around your house, as severe damages may occur. After all, it’s always better to call an exterminator instead of the fire brigade.
What is the best time to get rid of a wasp nest?
The best time to remove a wasp nest is in early spring when the colony is smaller and the wasps are less aggressive. Spring is the time when the queen wasp picks a spot to build the nest and gives life to the first brood of worker wasps. If you manage to eliminate the queen before the summer arrives, you won’t have to worry about new nests that year. You can also take a few tips from our guide on How to Prevent the Wasps from Nesting and take measures in advance.
During the spring and summer months, the wasp nests grow significantly, and it’s not recommended to approach them. The worst time to get rid of a wasp nest is in late summer when the last brood of wasps is born.
It contains male wasps and next year’s queens, so the colony will be very protective during that time. In some Australian regions with more moderate climates, the cold nighttime temperatures and the hibernation period during winter will exterminate the colony naturally, so destroying the nest won’t be necessary. However, wasp nests located in warm Australian regions with high temperatures are more difficult to remove, since the weather can make the wasps skip their hibernation time.