A wasp for hives in nature. macro

How To Get Rid of Wasps: A Complete Guide (2022)

By Sarah Horvath

If you have wasps or hornets hanging around your property, you’re probably already aware of the presence of this dangerous pest. You’ll likely begin thinking about how to get rid of wasps as soon as you notice these stinging insects’ nests on your property. Various species of wasps (like paper wasps and yellow jackets) act notoriously aggressive towards humans when they feel threatened—and these pests’ wasp stings can cause painful injuries and even allergic reactions that may require hospitalization in severe cases. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to kill wasps without risking injury to yourself, harming wasps’ friendly cousins (like honeybees), or doing damage to your lawn.

Do you have one or more types of wasps on your property? Read on to learn everything that you need to know about:

  • DIY methods you can use to eliminate various species of wasps
  • Information on how to tell if you have a wasp problem or not
  • Tips to prevent new nests from popping up

We’ll also help you learn more about the benefits that come with hiring a professional exterminator to handle these potentially dangerous insects. 

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Five Ways to Get Rid of Wasps

Whether you see a wasp nest on your property or you have individual wasps swarming around, the most important thing to remember when you think you have an infestation is not to panic. The following are a few of the most effective at-home methods that you can use to tackle wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket infestations before they cause serious problems in your home or injure your family members

Method 1: Hang Wasp Traps

Wasp traps are an affordable and effective way to get rid of wasps on your property. A wasp trap is composed of an entryway and an interior chamber filled with a liquid that attracts wasps. Wasps that enter the trap will not be able to exit. As a result, wasps searching for food sources are attracted to the liquid in the chamber and enter the trap, which eventually causes them to drown and die. You can find these wasp traps at your local hardware store or online marketplaces like Amazon.

While wasp traps are an exceptionally easy and effective method of wasp removal, the downside of these traps is that they fill with wasps regularly. If you use this method, you’ll need to remember to change the traps regularly and hang the traps away from the entry points of your home. This limits the amount of contact people living in your home will have with wasps as you remove them. 

Method 2: Kill Wasps Where They Live

While traps can be useful for killing off solitary wasps that make their way onto your property, you’ll need something more proactive and stronger if you have a serious infestation. Start by looking around your property to identify the paper wasp nest or other wasp colony where these pests are originating from. Once you’ve located all of the nests, you’ll need to take careful steps to remove them.

Begin by spraying the nest with a bottle of store-bought wasp exterminator. Be sure to wear protective clothing (like a shirt with long sleeves) to limit the possibility of being attacked by stray wasps. After you’ve sprayed the nest, wait at least 24 hours before taking the next steps to be sure that the hornet killer has done its job. If you notice any activity in the nest, use the wasp spray again and wait another 24 hours before proceeding.

After all of the wasps in the nest appear to be dead, approach the nest during the evening hours. Grab a garbage bag and cover the nest entirely. After the nest is covered, gently pull on the nest to remove it from the tree or wall where the nest is built and seal the bag around it. If you have multiple garbage cans, be sure to place the nest in the one that’s the furthest away from your home and seal the lid tightly. Removing hornet nests should help you see an immediate decrease in the number of pests on your property, but you should take regular walks around your landscaping to be sure that a new nest isn’t forming. 

Method 3: Use a Homemade Remedy

If you’re searching for a more natural method of wasp control, know that you can make your own insecticide with just a few household items. Grab a spray bottle, fill it with water, and add two tablespoons of dish soap. The soap and water mixture will get caught in the wasps’ breathing pores and cause them to suffocate, providing you with a way to get rid of them for just a few pennies. Keep in mind that you should only use this remedy for small nests, as larger nests usually require specially formulated pest control sprays to fully permeate the nest. 

Method 4: Create a Natural Indoor Wasp Repellent 

While chemical methods are very effective at killing wasps, most people don’t want to smell pesticides in their home all day, which can present a challenge if your infestation is indoors. You can create a natural wasp repellent by mixing two cups of apple cider vinegar, two cups of sugar, and one cup of water in an open container or soda bottle. Place the mixture in the room where you believe the wasp nest is located. Yellowjackets and wasps will be attracted to the mixture, which will kill them off without requiring you to spray chemicals in your home. 

Method 5: Call in the Professionals 

While it’s important to know how to get rid of small wasp nests on your property, some major infestations will require professional intervention to clear out. In particular, if you notice a large wasp nest in an area where it will be difficult to remove or if your infestation is indoors, you’ll want to contact a professional wasp control company. These professionals have access to more powerful pesticides, which may be needed to safely remove a sizable nest if you find one on your property or in your home. 

How to Know You Have A Wasp Infestation

It’s usually much easier to get rid of wasps if you can combat the infestation early. Keep your eyes peeled for these signs of wasp activity on your property and inside your home. If you notice any of them, you might want to consider calling a pest control company to determine whether your wasp problem is serious or a minor annoyance that you can handle on your own.

  • The presence of a nest: Seeing a wasp nest on your property is an obvious sign that you’ve got a wasp infestation that you’ll need to deal with. It’s a good idea to take a walk around your home and yard as the summer months begin to arrive to locate any budding nests that need to be nipped in the bud. Pay special attention to secluded areas that attract wasps most frequently, like garages, attics, eaves, and awnings.
  • Increased swarming activity: While a single wasp here or there is bound to happen anywhere these pests are common, a sharp increase in swarming activity may indicate that you have an infestation. Look for wasps around your home and garden — their bodies can be easily identified thanks to their long wings and black and yellow bodies, complete with a stinger. Remember that wasps can be aggressive, so you should stay away from any large swarms you see and call a professional pest control company to handle them instead.
  • Chewed wood on the exterior or interior of your property: While some wasps, like mud daubers, build their nests using dirt or clay, many species of wasps rely on wood fibers to make their homes. Wasps might strip these wood fibers from areas of your home, including trees, fencing, and stakes in your garden. Keep your eyes out for any signs of chewed wood on your property, as this may indicate that you have wasps on your property. Tunnels and evidence of chewing may also be signs of another common household pest as well, ranging from termites to ants.

Keeping your eyes out for common pests can help you call one of the best pest control companies before an infestation gets out of hand. You may want to schedule a monthly tour of your home to find and address new issues as they arise, saving you time, money, and stress in the long run. 

How to Prevent Wasps

Does your home become overrun with wasps every year? Taking some steps to prevent wasps from making their nest on your property can make managing your pest control easier and more affordable over time. Use these tips to prevent wasp infestations on your property before the warmer months arrive.

  • Get rid of their food: Wasps decide to build their nests wherever they think they’ll have plenty of food — which means that you can fight against wasps by removing their sources of food. If you have fruit trees on your property, remove fallen fruits and berries regularly, and keep all of your garbage cans sealed. Place hummingbird feeders, pet food containers, and compost piles away from entry points into your home to keep wasps from getting close to your property.
  • Keep them out of your home: While wasp nests in your yard can be a major annoyance, wasps inside of your home can be dangerous to both the health of your family and the structural integrity of your home. Check for cracks and crevices in your home where wasps might have the opportunity to enter the property and fill them with caulk.
  • Plant wasp-repelling plants: If you’ve got a green thumb, you can keep wasps away from your property by planting flowers that wasps hate in your garden. Plants like geranium, marigolds, and mint don’t only look and smell great — they can also help repel wasps away from your home without using powerful pesticides.
  • Place natural wasp repellants: If you’re the type of homeowner who prefers more natural methods of pest control, you can create a pesticide-free wasp repellant with a few drops of essential oils. Fill a spray bottle and add a few drops of lemongrass, clove, or peppermint oil to create a great-smelling way to keep wasps from building their nests on your property. This mixture is safe to apply to outdoor crevices, trees, and any other area where you may notice swarming insects.
  • Stay on top of nests: Wasps and their larvae are a ubiquitous problem that you’re likely to need to deal with a few of them every year. Check your property for nests regularly and remove them before they get too large or dangerous. Remaining proactive with nest removal helps stop wasp problems before they become a persistent hassle for you and your family. 

Hiring a Pest Control Company

If you have a major wasp problem on your property, it can be a good idea to skip the DIY methods and jump straight to contacting a professional pest control company. Removing large wasp nests often requires commercial-grade pesticides and specialty removal gear to avoid the possibility of injury. Professional pest control companies know how to quickly identify and remove nests, which limits the possibility of any children or pets being injured before removal.

Pest control services may also be significantly more affordable than you might think. Companies like Terminix operate local branches across the country, and a technician from these nationwide providers may be able to visit your home the same day you call. Calling in the professionals costs a bit more than tackling a nest on your own but is much less dangerous and more efficient. All you’ll need to do is sit back and wait until your property is safe again. 

Best Pest Control Companies

With so many pest control companies operating throughout the country, how can you be sure that you’re trusting your family’s safety with the best option for your needs? Our team understands that no one wants to allow strangers into their properties — which is why we’ve taken the time to review pest control service providers across the country to recommend the best. Read on to learn more about the best pest control companies in the United States for wasp and yellowjacket nest removals.   

Terminix 

Terminix is one of the largest pest control companies in the world, with more than 300 individual locations operating throughout the United States alone. Terminix offers extermination services for a wide range of pests that you might see on your property, including multiple types of wasps and hornets. The company also allows you to schedule and manage appointments online, allowing you to manage your home’s care while on the go. 

Best Overall

  • Offers a Terminix Promise™† (visit site for additional details) and an extended work guarantee for those experiencing a commercial pest problem
  • Provides online chat services
  • Available in 47 states

our rating9.8

Terminix Review

Terminix professionals are equipped to remove a wide range of stinging pests, ranging from scorpions to wasps. During your stinging insect treatment, a Terminix professional will visit your home wearing protective clothing to prevent injury and safely remove the nest. In addition to wasp removal services, Terminix also offers preventive treatments in some of the areas of your home where wasps are likely to build nests — like crawl spaces and garages. Investing in preventive treatment can help you enjoy a pest-free home throughout the year.

If you have a continuous problem with wasps and other pests in your home, you may want to consider Terminix’s pest control plan. The company’s standard pest control plan includes indoor and outdoor treatments for some of the most common pests, including wasps. Depending on your location and the size of your property, you might pay less than $50 a month for continuous pest control services from one of the biggest names in the industry.

Click here to learn more about how Terminix can help you keep your home pest-free.  

Orkin

Another award-winning name in pest control services, Orkin maintains a widespread network of technicians and a great online reputation. Orkin is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, maintains an A+ rating from the BBB, and has received awards for its team of responsive customer service professionals. Orkin’s general pest control plans are also competitively priced, providing a convenient and affordable way to control wasps alongside any other pests on your property. 

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  • Several decades of pest control experience
  • Specializes in residential extermination
  • Top tier termite exterminator services

our rating9.6

Orkin Review

Orkin provides personalized pest control plans to help you deal with some of the most common home and yard invaders you might need to get rid of. Orkin’s general pest control plan provides insect, spider, wasp, and centipede control on a monthly basis. Depending on where you live, you could pay between $40 and $60 per month for your ongoing plan. Before signing onto a plan, Orkin will provide you with a free estimate and consultation to ensure that you’re targeting the exact pests giving you trouble.

If you run into the need for emergency pest control services, Orkin can be an excellent company to call. Their team offers services within a 24-hour window from when you call, allowing you to breathe easy when a major infestation hits. Orkin’s technicians undergo more than 160 hours of professional training, ensuring that your emergency infestation is covered the right way the first time.

Click here to learn more about how Orkin can help you keep your home pest-free.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep wasps away?

You can keep wasps away from your home by removing their food sources. Keep hummingbird feeders away from your home’s physical structure, be sure that garbage can lids are secured tight, and avoid leaving food scraps out. You can also keep wasps away by filling your garden with plants that wasps avoid, like basil or mint. 

What is a natural way to get rid of wasps?

You can use essential oils to get rid of wasps naturally. Place a few drops of cloves, peppermint, lemongrass, or geranium extract into a bottle of water and spray throughout your property. These scents repel wasps, and you can use this natural mixture to keep them away without causing damage to your home or illness in children or pets. 

Why do wasps keep coming back?

It can be frustrating to see these creatures return soon after treatment if you’ve recently dealt with a major wasp infestation. Wasps leave behind pheromones where they build their nests, which helps guide the insects to their colony. After removing a nest, these pheromones may linger, causing wasps to return or even begin rebuilding a nest. Stubborn wasp infestations can be eradicated quickly with the help of a pest control company.

What time of day are wasps most active?

Wasps are typically the most active during the midday hours when the weather is sunny and warm. If you need to remove a wasp nest from your property, most experts recommend doing so at night after spraying during the day. This is when wasps are most likely to be dormant, limiting your risk of injury when removing the nest.

House Method Rating & Methodology

Our research process involves a multi-step process to get real insights into the customer experience for each company. We contacted each pest control company directly and spoke to representatives via phone and online chat (if available). This allowed us better understand the company’s treatment offerings and customer service. We also consider BBB accreditation and what customer reviews say about each company. Additionally, we fact-check and update company data regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. 

We developed a 100-point rating system to compare the companies numerically. 

  • Plan options (35 points): Companies with more plans and flexibility on services to address specific issues were given a higher score. 
  • State Availability (5 points): Those that offer coverage in fewer than 45 states were deducted points for availability. 
  • Trustworthiness (10 points): This is based on whether companies have money-back guarantees, service guarantees, and additional satisfaction assurance measures.
  • Customer Service (30 points): We considered accessibility (including on weekends and holidays) of technicians and customer support. 
  • Additional Benefits (20 points): Companies that offer further conveniences such as an app, comprehensive resources, and other benefits were rated higher. 

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