Getting Rid of Wasp and Hornets

Recommended Wasp Control Products

Aerosols - Get A Quick Knockdown

PT Wasp & Hornet Freeze, Wasp-X, Bonide Wasp & Hornet Aerosol are aerosols that would give a very quick knock down of the wasp nest. You can spray as far away as 15-20 feet. These quick kill wasp aerosols have oily bases, so care should be considered when using not to stain a surface. EcoPco Jet Contact Insecticide Aerosol is another alternative. The ECO PCO line is much less toxic than other insecticides because they are made up of botanical lines.

Spraying into wasp nests should ALWAYS be done at night. Wasps are far less aggressive and are all at home. Caution should be taken when inspecting wasps nest during the day.

Wasps Nests

Wasps Nests vary in size, shape and locations. They can be enclosed or open. Some are found under eaves, and others like yellow jackets are located in the ground. Typical areas include, around bushes or trees, under eaves, under exterior fixtures, around door and window frames. Wasps will seek locations that are left undisturbed to build their nests.

Insecticide Dusts - Void areas - Kill Emerging Wasps

Insecticide dusts will deter wasps or hornets from returning the following season and kill emerging wasps. It will continue to kill for 6 months or more in areas where the dust is protected.

  • Tempo Dust - Has a high success rate against stinging insects.
  • Dusters- Will help dust into these areas.

Residual Liquid Insectides - Spray Future Nesting Areas

Spray in the area of the wasp infestation with LambdaStar UltraCap 9.7 or Cyper WSP. These are concentrated insecticides that you mix with water. Spraying around the area where they have a tendency to nest would give you control and help prevent future nesting. You can use both of these concentrated insecticides for a wide variety of general household pests.

LambdaStar Ultra Cap 9.7 leaves no visible residue while Cyper WSP (wettable-powder) may leave a powder-film like residue seen against dark surfaces.

  • LambdaStar UltraCap 9.7 - residual spray to spray vulnerable wasp nesting areas(prevent future nesting sites).
  • Cyper WSP - residual spray to treat and prevent furture nesting sites.

Wasps - Social Wasps and Solitary Wasps

There are two types of wasps, social wasps and solitary wasps. The social wasps such as Yellow Jackets, Hornets, and Paper Wasps usually have a larger population than solitary wasps, like Mud Daubers. The stinging wasps belong to the family, Vespidae. One way to identify a stinging wasp is to note their wings when they are at rest. They fold their wings lengthwise, making them seem half as wide as they are. Most wasps build their nest from wood fibers, producing a paper like shelter. These wasps are inactive during the winter months and hide in protective coverings. The queen builds the nests and feeds the young larvae. Some solitary wasps build their nests in the ground, like digger wasps and cicada killers. Cicada killers are very common in the USA.

Difference between a Wasp and a Bee

The main difference between and wasp and bee is that wasps feed on other insects, while mostly paralysed arthropods and bees feed on a mixture of pollen and nectar.

Wasps have smooth bodies as opposed to bees that have hairy bodies. They are about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long in a variety of colors and shapes. They live off other insects, primarily spiders.

Social Wasp

  • Typical "wasp" body type: - a short, narrow attachment between the thorax and the abdomen, which is spindle-shaped and tipped with a long stinger.
  • Thorax and abdomen brightly marked with yellow, red or brown on a black background. Many hornets are confused with yellow jackets.

Yellow jackets- bright yellow and black patterns.

Bald-faced Hornet - white and black.

Paper Wasps - yellow, brown or red patterns on black.

The Paper Wasp of the family Poliste, commonly builds its nest under the eaves of houses or porch roofs.

Giant European Insect Hornet - brown and yellow.

Giant European Hornet Nest

Hornets nests resemble a large, inverted tear-drop shaped ball tha typically is attached to a tree, bush or side of a building. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed. Insect Hornets are most commonly are found in hollow trees. However, hornets nests also can be found in barns, attics, hollow walls, and abandoned bee hives. The hornets nests built in unprotected places are covered with a brown envelope (paper) composed of chewed plant fibers.

Hornets- Many Hornets have large grayish-brown cartons like structure, many times hanging from a tree or bush. They are considered wasps. Some hornets are yellow and black and are confused with Yellow Jackets.

Control: Treating hornets and other wasps should be done at night, without shaking or disturbing the nest. You will need a quick spray of Bonide Wasp and Hornet Aerosol or PT Wasp and Hornet Killer.

  • Care should be taken when spraying directly on trees and bushes with product, spraying as little as possible. If you spray on a house, it is recommended that you clean the area the next day, because of their oil bases.
  • When dealing with social wasps, such as hornets, wear protective equipment including a bee hat, long-sleeved shirt, coveralls, eyewear and gloves.
  • Locate the wasp nest by examining all protected areas in the vicinity of wasp activity. Simply removing the wasp nest will not resolve the problem, because surviving wasps will reconstruct a new one.
  • The best strategy is to treat the wasp nest at night when all the workers and queen are present. Spraying into hornets nests should ALWAYS be done at night. They are far less aggressive and are all at home. This tactic maximizes the effect of the pesticide application by killing most if not all of the wasps. If a treatment is made at night, avoid shining a light directly on the nest or use a red filter on the flashlight to dim the shine.
  • Daytime treatments are successful when the wasp nest is treated, or if the wasps present on the nest are killed. Then, the wasp nest is removed, and the attachment area treated. Returning workers looking for the wasp nest contact the residual and die. Complete the job by removing the wasp nest, particularly if it is in an attic, wall void, etc. This service prevents secondary infestations by dermestids or other pests.

Solitary Wasps Characteristics

  • 1/4- to 2-inches in length.
  • Dull black or brown to brilliant red, yellow or blue, many with a metallic sheen to the bodies or wings.
  • Wasp body type, frequently with a long slender petiole (connection) between the abdomen and the thorax.

Mud Daubers and sphecid wasps are solitary wasps. Many mistake the Cicada Killer, for hornets. True hornets do not excavate burrows in the ground, such as the Cicada Killer.

Habits: Mud Daubers come out in the spring. At this time they mate and build their nests. They either capture or sting insects or spiders for food. For this reason, solitary wasps are seen as beneficial insects.

Cicada killers and spider wasps burrow in the ground in order to build their nests. The cicada killers, spider wasps and digger wasps can be highly active in high traffic areas like lawns and may be of concern. They can be controlled by applying residual dusts such as Tempo Dust into the burrows. We have several dusters for application of dusts.

Mud Daubers

mud dauber nestMud daubers build a variety of mud nests, including organ-pipe nests and globular nests.

Mud Dauber wasps are not social wasps. Many paralyze spiders to provision mud cells built to enclose eggs, larvae and pupae. The mud cells form long clay tubes or large lumps. Mud Daubers are slender; they are shiny black or brown, orange or yellow, with black markings. Many have long slender thread waists.

Like Carpenter bees there is no protective worker caste; these wasps are not aggressive; they will not sting unless pressed or handled. Mud Daubers place their mud nests in protected places like electric motors, sheds, attics, against house siding and under porch ceilings.


Mud dauber and potter wasps can be eliminated easily by tearing down the nests and killing the adults with an aerosol product such as CB 80 Pyrethrin Aerosol

Health Risks: Mud Daubers have stingers but are usually not aggressive and sting only when handled.

Paper Wasps

paper wasp nest

Paper Wasps are social wasps.

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets construct nests of a paper-like material which is a mixture of finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions of the wasps.
Paper wasps typically build their umbrella-shaped nests under eaves and ledges.

Paper Wasps Control: These wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets or hornets and can be eliminated rather easily with a wasp and hornet sprays such as Bonide Wasp and Hornet Killer or PT Wasp and Hornet Killer.

Ater that, dust an insecticidal dust like Tempo Dust into the their entrance at night. Wear protective clothing and try not to use any lights. Even with Paper Wasp, you still can get stung. Treatment can be accomplished by applying a wasp and Hornet aerosols.

Hornet Control:

Hornets are far more difficult and dangerous to control than paper wasps.

Hornets nests have a single opening, usually toward the bottom, where the wasps enter and exit.
It is essential that the paper envelope of the nest not be broken open during treatment or the irritated wasps will scatter in all directions, causing even greater problems.

A full wasp suit sealed at the wrists, ankles and collar is recommended when disposing of a hornet nest.

Treatment of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets is best performed at night; paper wasps can be eliminated during the daytime provided you do not stand directly below the nest during treatment.

Most wasp and hornet sprays cause insects to drop instantly when contacted by the insecticide.
Standing directly below a nest increases one's risk of being stung.