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How to Get Rid of Wasps

how to get rid of wasps and nests
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    The wasp family is very large and no matter the species, all types of wasps can possess a painful sting in addition to forming nests in inconvenient places that can lead to wasp stings. Getting rid of wasps is fairly simple, yet the process can potentially be dangerous without the proper products and equipment.

    To get rid of wasps, make sure you select the proper kinds of products based where the wasp or nest is located. Wasp dusts can be safer to administer than spray insecticides as they can be applied from a safe distance. Always apply any product several feet away from a nest.

    Wasp control can be achieved as a DIY project but it is usually better to contact us for professional wasp nest removal and control. If you do decide to tackle wasps on your own then it is important to know what steps to take to prevent potentially life-threatening injuries with these insects. Read on to discover more about wasps and where to find their nests as well as a range of products and procedures to effectively remove wasps from your living space.

    Are Wasps Considered Pests?

    Even though wasps will not typically invade your home or cause damage to your property, wasps are considered to be a pest based on the potential of causing injury due to the stings they inflict when disturbed. Wasps nests can also pop up under the eaves of porches and garage perimeters, which can be unsightly and cause concern for any guests you may have over during the warmer months.

    Wasps are more of a pest based solely on inconvenience than any invasive type of behaviour. We fear these insects because they are not afraid to become aggressive if people or pets get too close to their territory, which means measures to get rid of wasps and keep them away are crucial.

    Wasp Behaviours

    Wasps are programmed to do three primary things: reproduce, build wasp nests, and seek out sugary food sources. It is important to understand those three aspects to gain a grasp of where you can expect to encounter wasps.

    Nest Building

    Once spring arrives, wasps will emerge from their harbourage areas and begin scouting locations for a nest. Once a safe area has been found, the queen wasp will begin working towards building a nest, which can take days or a week since the queen only needs a small nest at first to begin gestating her eggs.

    Once the eggs begin to hatch, new workers will take over the building of the nest and have a full nest constructed in a matter of days, which will continually grow throughout the spring and summer.

    This cycle occurs every year beginning in the spring and by late spring an entire wasps nest is actively working, caring for larvae, foraging for food, and continuing to build their nest. If a nest has remained dormant in a warm climate, the nest will remain active and continue to grow year after year due to the absence of cold weather disrupting the life cycle of the colony throughout the year.

    You can typically expect to find wasp nests suspended from tree branches, along the upper edges of a house or any tall structure, and even inside of structures that have hollow entryways. Wasps will sometimes make nests within the ground (look for small holes in the ground) or in the trunks of trees.


    Wasp reproduction is the responsibility of the queen of a colony. Since nearly all wasps die-off after the first hard ze of a season, the queen manages to find a safe place to hibernate until spring rolls around.

    Once spring arrives, the queen will emerge and begin to build a nest from plant fibres that she chews, making a type of paper. When the nest is started, she begins to lay her eggs which were fertilised by a male wasp before the winter.

    As adults, these first offspring are sterile female workers that expand the nest, search for food, and care for the queen and her young.

    After her first-generation matures, a wasp queen remains inside the nest laying eggs for the rest of the summer.

    Food Sources

    Wasps are attracted to sugary substances which give the insects a continuous supply of energy through their lifecycle. Nectar within flowers and plants is typically where wasps forage for food; however, some wasps will forage near rubbish bins and other collections where sugary drinks or foods are left out by people around the home.

    Additionally, wasps may also eat other insects, such as ants, bees, flies, and mosquitoes which provide sources of protein for the insects.


    Wasps are incredibly territorial insects and will go to great lengths to protect their colony from any action they consider to be threatening. A wasp nest also houses the queen, which is the source of the continuation of the colony, which will make worker wasps incredibly aggressive if a wasp nest is disturbed in even the slightest way.

    Wasps will be the most aggressive during the early morning hours after sunset and the early evening hours in the lead-up to sunset. This is when wasps are actively searching for food and preparing to lay dormant during the nighttime hours.

    The autumn months are also when wasps can be more aggressive than usual. The queen is preparing to leave the nest to find a safe harbour for the winter months, therefore, there will be an increased amount of activity with a wasp nest during these months.

    If you are going to get rid of wasps, the middle of the day and the onset of autumn are typically important timeframes to keep in mind to reduce the potential of being swarmed.

    What Attracts Wasps to My Home?

    Wasps are always scouting locations that offer an easy outlet for safe harbour and an accessible amount of food sources. Wasps will typically choose to make their nests on houses and buildings because these areas offer safe attachments that are far away from intruders and possible predators.

    Additionally, food sources are also easy to acquire for wasps near a home because we frequently dispose of food items that are attractive to wasps. Plants and fruit trees are also usually near human dwellings, which make human habitats even more attractive to wasps.

    wasp control in garden

    How Do You Keep Wasps Away?

    When deciding how to get rid of wasps, you will need to get rid of their home (nest) and then work on ways to make your home less attractive wasps. Keeping these insects away is the only long-term method you can utilise to ensure that nests are not built near your home, therefore, simply removing a nest will be useless unless you work on ways to keep the insects from building on or near your house or property.

    One small wasp nest can hold roughly 3-6,000 wasps as a time, so never assume that small nests are less dangerous than a larger nest. Any measure you decide to take to remove a nest should be done so with the utmost of caution.

    Be sure to try and stand as far away from the nest as possible when using the product of your choice and always wear protective clothing when treating or removing a nest.

    With this in mind, there are a few methods you can take to destroy a wasp home.

    Liquid Insecticides

    Chemical treatments as either a liquid spray or the more popular aerosol sprays can be effective to get rid of most types of wasps. Since one nest can contain thousands of wasps, this method is not always the safest option since you would have to spray the nest continuously to kill all of the wasps inside, which can be difficult since the insects will start attacking almost immediately once the nest is disturbed.

    Either of the above methods are good to try when figuring out how to get rid of wasps, but a powerful spray foam is likely the best bet to get the nest down safely.

    What Is a Natural Way to Get Rid of Wasps?

    When determining how to get rid of wasps, natural methods are not the first thought many homeowners may have. There are actually natural ways you can try to get rid of the insects.

    One way to get rid of a nest is to safely remove it and drown the insects. You can do this by quickly draping the nest inside of a blanket and submerging the nest in a bucket of water – this will drown the insects completely.

    Another way is to use soap, preferably dishwashing liquid. Fill a spray bottle with water and a few tablespoons of liquid and drench the insects with the mixture, which will shut off their respiratory system.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Smell Do Wasps Hate?

    One smell that drives these insects away is eucalyptus, which is an essential oil that is easy to purchase. This scent will usually keep wasps far away from the areas in which is sprayed.

    Citronella is also one type of odour that is universal in repelling virtually any sort of flying insect. Citronella candles are sold in most department stores and work well to keep a surrounding area wasp-.

    How Does Vinegar Get Rid of Wasps?

    Vinegar is a substance that can work wonders for inexpensive pest control solutions. Vinegar works against wasps as a repellent due to the strong acidity of the substance.

    To kill wasps with vinegar, apple cider vinegar works best due to the concentration of fruit juices. You can build a small outside trap with a bowl of apple cider vinegar to lure the insects into the bowl and cause the wasps to drown.

    Bottom Line

    All of these methods will get rid of wasp problems but this is a dangerous pest to go after on your own. Professional pest control is always the best solution to consider since this will remove the possibility of being stung by these aggressive insects.

    For quick and thorough wasp nest removal in Portsmouth and surrounding areas, Malum Southern Pest & Bird Control makes it our mission to safely remove the homes of these painful insects to make your yard 100% wasp-.

    Picture of Dave Shilling
    Dave Shilling
    Dave is an expert pest control specialist and has been providing pest control services for over 10 years. His company Malum Southern Pest & Bird Control can deal with a wide range of pest problems and is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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    We are experts in private and commercial pest control in Hampshire, Dorset and West Sussex. If you think you have a problem with pests call us for a quote.

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