Wasp nest hanging from a house beam

How NOT to remove a wasp nest

Wasp nestSummer is here, which means longer days, shorter nights and more time spent outdoors with nature! That sounds great, but it can become a nightmare if you happen to have a problem with wasps.

The presence of a wasp’s nest can sometimes lead to property owners taking matters into their own hands and trying to remove a wasp nest themselves.

No matter how much you think you might know about removing wasp nests, it is always advisable to call in the professionals to get the help you need. A professional pest control company like Ehrlich will be able to safely remove wasps and help prevent the stinging insects from returning.

Wasp nest removal mistakes

There are many sources online advising on the best DIY methods to remove a wasp nest. Wasps are aggressive creatures and require little to no motivation to attack, so trying to remove a wasp nest yourself can cost you both financially and physically.

Remember: DIY wasp nest removal is not advised!

1. Burning the nest

Fire Ball

Using fire to remove a wasp nest is very dangerous and not usually a successful way to eradicate the wasps.

Wasp nests are made from a thin papery substance produced by chewing wood into a pulp, making it extremely flammable. Because of this, burning a wasp nest can often lead to not only the property catching fire, but also painful burns.

Another problem with burning a wasp nest is that it is not an effective way to control a wasp problem, because it doesn’t kill all the wasps. It can lead to the remaining wasps in the nest becoming violent, as well as the wasps out foraging for food, resulting in them attacking you and any bystanders.

2. Spraying nests with water

Spraying a Garden Hose

Water is often regarded as another effective way to get rid of a wasp nest. The truth is that flooding a wasps nest isn’t an effective method at all. This is because:

  1. Depending on the location of the nest, using water to remove a wasp nest can result in further damage to your property. For example, if the wasp nest is your attic, trying to remove a wasp nest by flooding it could cause water damage to your attic beams, ceiling and walls.
  2. Trying to flood a nest won’t get rid of all the wasps inhabiting the hive either. Similar to the effects of trying to burn a wasp nest, the wasps will become vicious and begin to attack, inflicting painful stings.

3. Hitting nests with a baseball bat

baseball bat

Destroying a wasp nest with a bat, racket or any other item is another method some ill-advised folks have tried to use to remove wasp nests. To be honest, this is easily the least intelligent idea for removing a wasp nest yourself.

Trying to remove a wasp nest by destroying it with a baseball bat will put you at direct risk of getting stung, not only once but multiple times. This can be particularly dangerous if you are allergic to wasp stings as you could go into anaphylactic shock.

This method of DIY wasp nest removal puts you in close proximity to the hive, which is often enough aggravate them to trigger an attack. Trying to remove a wasp nest using a baseball bat can often result in being stung before the task has started. Wasps will attack en masse anything perceived as a threat or invader and once you approach them, they are already in attack mode. Hitting the hive just makes it clear you are a threat and triggers the alert for swarming.

Correct ways to get rid of wasp nests

The best way to remove a wasp nest is contacting a pest control professional. It may seem like an easy job, but a pest control technician is professionally trained to handle and remove wasp nests in a safe and efficient manner, and here’s why:

  • Safety equipment: An exterminator has access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE). This fully protects them from wasp stings, ensuring their safety when removing a wasp nest.
  • Working in small spaces: Pest Technicians are trained, and qualified to work in small spaces such as your attic. This allows them to successfully remove a wasp nest safely.
  • Expert knowledge: A pest control professional has expert knowledge on wasps; they know all about their behavior and reactions as well as how to identify the signs of an allergic reaction to wasp stings.
  • Professional products: Wasp Technicians have access to, and are professionally trained to use a variety of pest control products not available to the public. These products are more powerful than any DIY products on the market and have a proven track record of successfully removing wasp nests.  

DIY wasp nest removal

If you are still adamant that you have the ability to remove a wasp nest yourself, it is highly advised that you:

  • Have a well thought out plan and an exit strategy;
  • Remove the nest at night time. Wasps are more docile during this time so are less likely to sting;
  • Wear protective clothing covering arms, legs, hands, feet, and face;
  • Avoid using flashlights as this will alert the wasps to what you are doing and give the wasps a target to attack;
  • Keep children and pests at a safe distance, i.e., if the wasp nest is in your garden keep them inside.

How to remove a wasp nest

  1. Approach the nest slowly and quietly at night time;
  2. Take a garbage bag and slowly cover the wasp nest;
  3. Detach the wasp nest from the tree or wall it is attached to and seal the bag;
  4. Place the garbage bag in an outside garbage can with tight-fitting lid, preferably away from the house.

If possible it’s a good idea to have a full can of insecticide handy to spray on the nest before removing it.

It is important to note, that if the wasp nest is in a hard to reach place, such as underneath your gutters, or up high in a tree, you should NOT try and remove the nest yourself as this could lead to severe injuries.    

You should NOT attempt DIY wasp nest removal, if you are, or think you might be, allergic to wasp stings!

How to prevent wasp nests

Following the steps below can help prevent wasps from building their nest in your home and/or garden:

  • Carry out regular maintenance around your home to ensure all cracks and potential entry points are sealed;
  • Install screens on windows and doors to prevent wasps from entering your home;
  • Place wasp traps around your garden. These can be purchased from your local DIY store or online. Alternatively you can make one yourself using an empty bottle, water and sugar.

Found a wasp’s nest in your home or garden and need help removing it? Contact the wasp nest removal professionals available from Ehrlich today!

Ehrlich Pest Control

Since our founding in 1928, Ehrlich Pest Control has grown to over 100 local offices serving both residential and commercial customers throughout the Eastern U.S. Long lasting relationships with colleagues and customers is a cornerstone of our success. Many Ehrlich colleagues have been with the company for 25, 30 and 40-plus years.



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