Introduction: Removing a Wasp Nest

Picture of Removing a Wasp Nest

This is how I remove wasp nest here in TX. It's very effective and for the most part pretty safe. If you have a better way let me know.

This Picture shows pesky wasp nest.

Step 1: Items Needed for Safe Removal of Wasp Nest

Picture of Items Needed for Safe Removal of Wasp Nest

Removing Wasp Nest can be tricky, but I've found that this has been the most effective.

Equipment required:

Wet Dry Vacum cleaner. Make sure air filter is installed. Inside the vacum cleaner a cotton ball soaked in acetone can be put into canister of vacum cleaner to kill wasps once sucked into vacume clearner.

A hand pressurized sprayer with liquide pesticide. Follow and read instructions on water to pestcide mixture. The pesticide can be purchased at any local hardware store.

Step 2: Placment of Equipment

Picture of Placment of  Equipment

Test equipment to make sure it works properly.

Test sprayer to ensure the sprayer has enough pressure to reach wasp nest.

Test vacum cleaner to ensure the vacum has enough suction to vacum by putting hand over wand nozzle when turned on.

if vacum cord doesn't reach ensure extension cord can allow vacum wand to reach nest.


Step 3: Spray and Vacum

Picture of Spray and Vacum
Pesticide for about 15 seconds.

This will coat the wasp wings and makes it hard for them to fly.

Some will fly away.

Then turn on vacum and proceed to extend vacum wand to nest.

visually place wand to vacum the wasps as you see them until there either vacumed or they fly away.

Knock down the nest to the ground

crush nest either by stepping on it or dropping something heavy to kill any remaining larva.

Thats it.

The wasp will die inside the vacum cleaner since a cotton ball of acetone was dropped in the vacum cannister. They should die within minutes. I usually wait a couple days to open cannister to empty though.

Good luck on removing the wasp nest! I've added the video so you can view the process.

Step 4: Your Done

Picture of Your Done

I welcome any comments.


Noize-raver (author)2016-05-15

the best method i learn is to throw them some smoke. the wasps will go away from the nest and then you can remove it without any danger :D

JohnP190 (author)2015-11-10

I don't know if anyone else has seen this but, I witnessed a downy woodpecker eating what I think is the larvae of a wasps' nest high up in a maple tree. The diameter of the nest is close to the size of a basketball. The height off the ground is approximately 20 feet. Nothing happened to the woodpecker since the air temperature was in the low 50s. This made the wasps slow and unable to fly. The wasps themselves were large.

stovall (author)2009-12-17

I used to work with an older gentelman who would place his hand under his armpit, then reach up & take the nest down by the attchment the wasps use & he never got stung!! I would not have believed it possible, but I witnessed his feat on at least 5 different occasions. Iam not that brave (or stupid?) enough to even try his trick. My preferred method was to light my cigarette lighter & than spray WD-40 & just burn them up, but they have changed the formula & it doesn't burn very well anymore.

Just my 2 cents worth

AdrianaG (author)stovall2015-08-10

carburetor cleaner worked very well for my neighbor. This was based on a YouTube video which compared different flammable aerosols.

Unfortunately my nest is under the eaves of the house and I don't want to catch the house on fire so we will need to go with wasp spray or CO2.

I saw elsewhere the recommendation to duct tape the entrance holes and then remove the best. Why not stuff an acetone covered piece of cotton in the hole?

Cotopaxi (author)2012-09-25

Your a brave man... or foolish. Either way nice job! It looks like you really did get rid of all of them wasp. Me personally, I prefer to put a little more distance between me and my wasp problems. Wasp-X or Eco PCO Jet does the job just fine and the spray distance is 20 feet! But that's just personal choice. Seriously though, congrats!
Here's a link to where I bought my can of Wasp-X from:

lancruz (author)Cotopaxi2012-09-29

I've never been stung! I've cleaned up a lot of nest using this method. The wasp usually go for the tip of vac nozzle. It's usually takes a few minutes to do the job.

Very in expensive!

vwhite1 (author)2011-05-05

You're a brave man to get that close.

lancruz (author)vwhite12011-05-06

I really didn't close, The extensions of the vacuum cleaner and the zoom of the camera makes it look close.

Thanks for your comment.


MeemSe (author)lancruz2012-06-13

how about lighting a fire under the nest ?

Chris Logan (author)2010-09-21

Wasps, and most flying insects, are extremely susceptible to solvents.

Which is why it's a great idea that the instructor recommends acetone in the shop-vac.

But my preferred method is using a brush and a can of liquid carburetor cleaner.

One brush stroke just beneath the nest, and they just fall to the ground. Step on them if you want to finish them quickly, but they'll die on their own anyway.

They don't get mad or aggressive. They don't attack you. They just get really messed up on the solvent and die.

For indoor use, I use a squirt bottle and rubbing alchohol. Be sure to set it on jet (NOT mist). You don't want to breath the stuff yourself, either. A near miss with a blast of the stuff puts any flying insect down right away.

ilikechemicals (author)2010-08-02

two words: FLAME THROWER! actually i think thats one word but who cares

dchall8 (author)2007-11-23

You guys are nuts! The wasps that make the paper nests in your eaves are almost singly THE MOST BENEFICIAL INSECT in your garden. Furthermore they are harmless unless you provoke them. I have had paper wasp nests outside my doors for years with no problems. The wasps come and go along with me, my wife, dog, and two little girls. Everyone has been instructed to not wave their arms around and everything will be fine. And that could not be more true. On rare occasions the wasps will investigate us, but that seems to happen only in the early spring when the wasps return to (or hatch from) the nest. I also have 30 or so mud dauber nests in my garage where my office is. Our back door to the garage had been broken for a few years and the wasps could come and go. Those wasps are extremely harmless, even if you mess with their nest. The mud daubers will even bump into you and back away without "attacking." Why would you want to keep the paper wasps around? Because they eat caterpillars. In particular they eat the caterpillars that cause tree webs and sod webs. Tree web worms can wipe out a tree in a week, but if you have enough paper wasps in the area, they cannot get a foothold long enough to make even one web. Now if you really have to remove the wasps because of allergies, and it make you sick to spray the poisons y'all are talking about, you can spray or dunk them with icewater. Put icewater in a sprayer and they will fall to the ground when they get hit with the cold. Or you can put icewater in a bucket and heave the water at the nest. Do this at night when the wasps are quiet anyway. When the adult wasps are no longer crawling on the nest, you can remove the nest with a razor blade and carefully staple it to a tree out where you won't run in to it. The wasps will find it and repopulate.

lancruz (author)dchall82007-11-24

I really can't say I'm nuts. At the moment they are a pest. In addtion, my little girl is very allergic to these things, and the solution is real simple. Kill them anyway possible. It's either that or, an expesnive hospital bill.

dchall8 (author)lancruz2007-11-24

So when you said, "If you have a better way let me know," that wasn't really a request for information. Your opinion is clear and well agreed upon. My position is that paper wasps are seldom a pest and really only a pest if someone swats at them. Normally wasps are a beneficial insect that provide economic benefit without the use of poison. Secondly you do not have to kill them to get rid of them. They can be moved.

lancruz (author)dchall82007-11-24

Your approach is acceptable solution, and I did ask for for advise. I respect your judgement as well. Yes there are many ways to rid the wasp nest when it becomes an issue. I wasn't aware that cold water would make it hard for the wasps to fly. I hadn't thought of the water in the wet/dry vac either. When posting this, I wasn't sure if I was going to get any response either. Thank you for your advise.

Jason_G (author)lancruz2010-06-13

I agree w/ dchall8. Wasps are beneficial and should only be removed if necessary. Personally, I like mud daubers.

garrettmikesmith (author)dchall82008-10-17

if i had a child and he/she was allergic to wasps, i would remove the nest entirely. and webworms aren't a problem at all in my area. and bugs are annoying.

Esmagamus (author)dchall82008-06-04

They are an issue when you live in the countryside, have a red tiled roof and they bite you when you're fixing it. Running off the roof isn't very enjoyable.

aahhhhh that would suck

lancruz (author)Esmagamus2008-06-04

Try a battery powered vacum cleaner with a long nozzle. That should do the trick. I've also noticed that if you spray with soap if you don't have a pesticide that should slow them down long enough for you to use the vacum on them.

holsk80 (author)dchall82008-08-11

I just found a paper wasp nest in the front eaves of my house. It is much bigger than a football. I would rather not disturb it or upset the wasps, will it cause damage to my house? If I must remove it I am more than willing to wait till the winter freeze and maybe relocate it to the back yard away from the house I have a huge maple that I can put it in. Do the wasps cause harm to the birds or squirrels?

dchall8 (author)holsk802008-08-11

I don't have an answer about birds and squirrels. I would not move the nest...unless there is a good reason.

EggHead101 (author)2010-05-27

Alternate method: .22 rifle and birdshot.
Safely shoot them from a distance ...
I hate the little boogers, kill everyone of 'em I see.
The ones here are agressive and WILL sting you.
Plus it gives me reason to shoot my rifle

trike road poet (author)2010-02-08

Growing up on ranches out west, wasp and hornet nests were common.  We would rent an industrial CO2 extinguisher, (they have a set of wheels!)  We would first blast the nest and the area around it to kill off the ones outside the nest. (in the cold blast they freeze.  You can hear them snap as they do.)  Then we blow the gas into the nest entry for at least 30 seconds to cool the nest and make them dormant.  Now use an old metal spatula and break the nest loose and let it drop into an old garbage can below.  Turn the CO2 into the can and break the can up with a long stick.  

A note here on wasps and the like in foundations, use the extinguisher to kill off any beasties outside the entry, and then remove the large cone on the hose and insert the hose into the entry point.  Vent gas in for 30 to 45 seconds (or as long as you like, you paid for the gas anyway!)  If you have a basement, take the time to open the doors and keep a fan running to make sure no leakage of gas builds up in the basement.  We used this to clean out a big nest in a barn foundation and had no more problem, without fire, without poison, and without a single sting!

Madrias357 (author)2009-07-08

My way to get rid of a wasp nest? Splash with cold water, hit with bat, then light it on fire after adding some gas.

gremlinz_man (author)2009-06-28

lob a molotov at it and watch them burn from a safe distance ;)

lancruz (author)gremlinz_man2009-06-28

I assuming the wasp nest is on a In-law home or relative that is not liked? However a Molotov would be quite a show.

thematthatter (author)2007-11-24

after you crush the nest throw it on a fire ant bed

ReCreate (author)thematthatter2009-03-13


thematthatter (author)ReCreate2009-03-13

the ants eat the larva

ReCreate (author)thematthatter2009-03-13

ha yeah

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-11-21

We normally spray them with hairspray before anything else. This sticks their wings together, so they can't fly.

ok so the first thing is poison them check then you add gasoline to burn them check last but not least you put hairspray on them check and of course....flick a lighter nearby

ll.13 (author)Weissensteinburg2007-11-22

....then flick a lighter near-by. ;)

alchemistzero (author)2007-11-23

spray a little gasoline on them, this burns their bodies and they die almost instantly.

Then light it and run!

lancruz (author)Gamernotnerd2008-04-03

The assumption is that the nest is NOT attached to any important structure. Although this method would result in the destruction of the nest, one might end up in a more disastrous situation i.e. loss of home; singed hair; burned pride. Ahh!

ReCreate (author)lancruz2009-03-13

well if its attached to s tree that you want to take my guest...and record it too

alchemistzero (author)lancruz2008-05-28

I understand that Gamernotnerd was kidding but you do not even have to light the gasoline. Gasoline in its liquid form (with no fire needed) will burn their bodies when it comes in contact with the wasp. All that is left (if your really paranoid about it) is thinning the gas with water.

Gamernotnerd (author)lancruz2008-04-03

Lol I was kidding (Almost <_< For a normal person this idea is bad but for a pyromaniac...)

ReCreate (author)2009-03-13

or you could get some super radioactive/poisonous material that is like 500,000 rads and expose it to the wasps....and then they drop dead

geoffypi (author)2009-02-10

it's to bad it doesent involve fire or guns

Austin6641 (author)2007-11-22

I am a big fan of the "hitting the nest with a stick and running" approach myself... I haven't been stung yet.

Supercoke (author)Austin66412008-12-04

hahahahaahaahahahahaha thats funny

lancruz (author)Austin66412007-11-24

I tried that once and I wasn't as succesful as you were. To bad I didn't catch that on video! :(

chuckr44 (author)2008-06-12

Most wasps are pretty harmless if you leave them alone. However yellow jackets are really aggressive.

Supercoke (author)chuckr442008-12-04

yeah I learned that the hard way

Human Being (author)2008-10-11

this is better and safer than pesticides- get a spray bottle and fill it with 1/2 of dish soap and 1/2 of water than spray at wasp(s)

Esmagamus (author)2008-06-04

Lets break this in parts: 1: Acetone is potentially carcinogenic. It is also highly flammable and volatile. Sparks from the motor in the vacuum cleaner might cause the vapors to catch fire. 2: By letting your vacuum cleaner sucking pesticide, you are also taking pesticide back to your house. 3. Your method demands access to a vacuum cleaner, which might not be available "in the field". I never had access to one when I stumbled upon a nest full of wasps. Suggestion: spray can and matches. Light one, aim the nozzle at the match, blow some fire and burn the wasps to ashes. Also, you can make some napalm or throw a molotov cocktail at them. Damn, I hate wasps. Especially when they make me sprint off the roof.

rc jedi (author)2007-11-23

The BEST BEST BEST Knockdown spray is Rainbow Telco andPower! I use it and they won't even fly. Die and fall NOW! It's so fun to kill the big ones! I'll make a vid when we go back to wk mon. Never seen it available except at wk. but, it won't kill honeybees for some reason.wasp yellow jackets and ants die instantly.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a middle aged married man! I like to work with electronics, computers, cable, test equipment. Making things work. Playing with electronics is my ... More »
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