How To Remove a Wasp’s Nest

Photo by Bob Peterson

Photo by Bob Peterson


Have you recently discovered a wasp’s nest? Or noticed a growing number of wasps around your home? Do NOT to put yourself in quarantine.

The good news is you are not alone.

The bad news is, however you decide to remove the problem, it could cost you financially or physically or both – ouch!

Ignore this Italian proverb!

Fire drives the wasp out of its nest” - This is definitely not what you should do!

Homemade flamethrowers built to burn a nest are very dangerous – do not use them.

Get Nest Removal Advice First 

Ask any pest control professional and they’ll tell you the same thing:

Be very, VERY careful if you intend to get rid of the nest on your own. The risk of getting stung is almost inevitable, unless you have carefully planned and prepared in advance.

Reaching out to pest control professionals should always be your first option as the risk to your safety from wasp stings is too great.

A pest control professional’s advice:

  • be well prepared
  • have a Plan B
  • have an exit strategy

How To Destroy a Nest: DIY vs. Professional

If you think removing a wasp’s nest is a simple task, why would an entire professional industry exist for this job? No, there has got to be more to it than meets the nest (excuse the pun!).

Nest Removals Doomed To Fail

This list is long and illustrious. It’s understandable why you might want to try a DIY option first. Your motivation is to ensure you have a safe place to live – DIY methods offer a quick way to achieve this, on the surface at least.

There are those who even call emergency services when they discover a wasp or hornet nest. While this shows the level of fear people feel when facing the problem, it is not a situation police typically handle.  

Methods attempted by people in the past to get rid of nests range from ballsy to lunacy- I’ll let you decide which is which.

  1. Burning – homemade flamethrowers are often cited as one method. Unless you also have a desire to burn down your home, do not try this.
  2. Flooding - either using a hose pipe or a mix of water and soap or dishwashing liquid. First, definitely do not try this if the nest is in your attic, unless you are prepared to be honest on your house insurance form about the cause of flood damage. Secondly, be prepared to get stung.
  3. Destruction with baseball bat – this option is dangerous and very risky. Wasps will become aggressive and sting multiple times. 
  4. DIY Wasp killer sprays – These are readily available but two things to point out, which may help you decide if to use them:
    1. do not attempt nest removal if the spray bottle is almost empty!
    2. a common ingredient found in DIY products is pyrethroid, which will ‘excite’ the wasps inside the nest, so you will need to wear head to toe protection.

Reasons to Choose Professional Nest Removal

It may surprise you to know all the rules, training, standards, knowledge and equipment a pest controller has to have in order to qualify to get rid of a wasp nest.

The list below will allow you to see why it might make sense to leave, what may seem like an ‘easy job,’ to the professionals:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ever heard of PPE? This is just one of the items essential for an exterminator when preparing for wasp nest removal.

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

RPE is another vital tool to ensure the safety of an exterminator especially if you consider the powerful insecticidal products in use.

Working in Confined Spaces 

Your attic qualifies as a confined space. A professional will have undergone training to be able to safely control a wasp’s nest in your attic.

Awareness of medical risks 

A professional wasp controller is aware of the signs of an allergic reaction to wasp stings.

Do you know if you are allergic? Would you be able to tell the common symptoms?

Access to Powerful Products

An exterminator has access to professional products which are not available to the public. These are far more powerful against insects than any DIY product can ever claim to be.

Put simply, a professional solution offers far greater certainty of control than anything you might attempt. 

Fact: One to two people out of 1,000 is allergic or hypersensitive to bee or wasp stings.

If you have kids and pets nearby, is the risk to them worth it?

Prevention Advice

A professional exterminator will be able to offer you advice on how to prevent nests on your property in the future.

Top Tips:

  • Regular house maintenance (much like with any other pest!). Regularly check your attic for damage or try to keep it tidy. 
  • Proof your home – fly screens are a simple and effective way to prevent stinging insects inside your home.
  • External wasp traps – some can be bought or homemade (eg. upturned lemonade bottle hanging on a tree in the garden) to attract insects away from your home.

What is your plan now to tackle your wasp problem?

Follow the #StingerSquad for useful tips & surprising facts about wasps and hornets.

 

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