Treating Wasps and Hornets

Stinging insects are a constant threat to humans. Its very common around any home or business to find a wasp or two flying around. For those that are allergic to the venom, a sting can prove to be dangerous and even fatal. For those that aren’t allergic, a sting can still be painful and ruin your day. Nearly all of the wasps in the US that become nuisance pests can sting and nearly all have venom that is injected through the stinger. Unlike bees, wasps can continuously sting a person or animal since the insects do not lose their stingers.


Due to the colony structure of a wasp nest as well as the extreme aggressiveness of these insects, treatment procedures against wasps should always be aimed at attacking a nest instead of trying to eliminate foraging wasps.

Step 1 is to locate the nest. Often the nest is 25-50 ft near the foraging wasps.. Nests are commonly located under decks, eaves/soffits, windows or door frames, branches of a tree, or other high up structures that provides cover. In fall, many wasps will try to make their way into structures such as the attic through gaps in eaves or soffits. Rarely do wasps find their way into the home but this can happen through gaps and cracks or open windows.

Once the nest and colony are found, the fun begins. It is advisable to wear protective clothing as wasps can become aggressive when provoked. Long sleeves, gloves, pants, and potentially a face covering will help. Stand at a safe distance of roughly 6-8 ft and turn your scatter sprayer nozzle to a direct pin stream. This will create the adequate reach with your spray. Calmly spray the entire wasps nest so that all wasps are hit. You can quickly move yourself back away from the nest knowing that it will do the job. This treatment can take 24-48 hours to eliminate the wasps but most will be dead after the first couple of hours. If any return after this, just repeat the process. Once all wasps have been eliminated, you can take a broom and knock down the remaining vacant nest.

If you have wasps moving in and out of your eaves during the fall months, you can spray the eaves heavily in that area. As the wasps are moving across the product along the eave, they will pick up a lethal dose. There is also a good chance they will pass along some of the product as they rub into other wasps on the nest. This process is a bit slower, but it is effective.

When it comes to hornets or yellow jackets, your scatter product will kill the pest but we would advise going professional due to the complexity and need for additional tools and products. Hornets can be very aggressive and the use of an insecticidal dust into the nest during a cool early morning is best practice. Yellow jackets are also very aggressive and the use of an insecticidal dust in their underground nest or wall void is best practice.