wasp nest in roof
Insect Control

How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest

Wasps have a habit of invading our personal space. It is irritating enough when the odd one or two gatecrash our picnic or an outdoor meal or barbecue on a sunny day, but when a whole colony moves into our home, we need to take action. 

Luckily, with a little preparation and the right products, wasp nests can be dealt with quite easily. Having said that, destroying a whole colony of angry wasps is not to be undertaken lightly and should be treated with the utmost respect.

Below, we outline the best approach for dealing with a wasp nest in the most common places. Please bear in mind that, although a ladder is the most obvious way to reach a wasp nest at height, it is to be avoided if at all possible. Wasps are erratic and unpredictable, especially if you are threatening the nest, and your knee-jerk reaction to one heading straight for your face is likely to land you in A&E. 

Please do not attempt to treat a wasp nest if you are allergic to wasp stings. It is just not worth the risk. Also, please remember that permethrin, a common active ingredient in wasp treatments, is highly toxic to aquatic life. It should never be used close to water courses and if used in a loft space, water tanks should always be covered

How to get rid of a wasp nest in a bush or shrub

Wasp nests in bushes or shrubs are relatively easy to get rid of because they are usually visible and at an accessible height.

Take some time observing the nest before treating it to establish the flight path of the wasps. There will be a definite in and out route and this will help you determine where the entrance is.

  1. Use a wasp nest destroyer spray or foam aerosol, such as Insecto Wasp Nest Destroyer, to saturate the outside of the nest. Most sprays have a reach of 12 to 15 feet, allowing you to maintain a safe distance.
  2. Alternatively, use an insecticidal powder containing permethrin to treat your nest. Residex P is ideal. You will need a dust bellows to apply it effectively. Permethrin will not agitate the wasps. 
  3. Make sure you are well covered up. Wear gloves, a hat, boots and long sleeves and trousers. Ideally, wear a bee veil so your eyes are protected.
  4. If using an aerosol, stand 12 to 15 feet away from the nest with the wind at your back and spray or until the nest is saturated. 
  5. If using an insecticidal powder, fill the powder reserve on the bellows you are using and cover the nest with powder
  6. Try to direct some powder very gently inside the nest entrance
  7. Treat your nest either at night or early in the morning when most foraging wasps will be in the nest and the cooler temperatures mean the wasps are less active.

Check the nest after 24 and treat again if there is still wasp activity

How to get rid of a wasp nest in the eaves

House eaves are probably the most common place for wasps to nest and cause problems.  If you see a lot of wasp activity in this area, it is more than likely there is a nest there. 

Because a nest in the eaves is at height, using a wasp nest destroyer foam or spray is not ideal. Although they have a powerful projection of 12 to 15 feet, the fact that you are required to spray upwards means most of the product will be lost to gravity.  

An insecticidal powder is the better option in this case, but you will need a duster to apply it where it needs to go. A Dustick duster is the best tool because it allows you to treat from the ground. Other dusters will work but will require the use of a ladder, and ladders and angry wasps are not a good combination!  Whatever applicator you choose will need a tube, extension in order for you to get the dust just inside the nest. This is all you need to do, as the wasps will carry the dust further into the nest as they enter. The dust will be easier to direct safely if you use a duster with an extension tube. 

  1. Choose an insecticidal dust, such as Residex P, which contains permethrin, or Quartz powder, which contains azimethiphos.
  2. Make sure you are well covered up. Wear gloves, a hat, boots and long sleeves and trousers. Ideally, wear a bee veil so your eyes are protected, particularly if you are planning to use a ladder.
  3. Treat the nest either at night or early in the morning when most foraging wasps will be inside and there is less activity.
  4. Fill your powder reserve with the insecticide of choice and puff the dust gently into the nest entrance with the use of the extension tube.  A little will be enough. The activity of the foraging wasps will take it further into the nest

How to get rid of a wasp nest in a roof or attic space

Wasps have a habit of getting into your loft via the roof tiles and flashing, and nests are often found around dormer windows or hanging in the roof void. Although these nests are easily accessible, a roof nest is risky because the area is enclosed, badly lit and often full of obstacles. Exiting the area after treatment can be tricky.

  1. Make sure you are well covered up. Wear gloves, a hat, boots and long sleeves and trousers. Ideally, wear a bee veil so your eyes are protected. This may be uncomfortable in the confines of the loft and a bee veil will be in your way, but it is essential to be properly protected in such a vulnerable, enclosed space.
  2. Have a can of effective fly/wasp spray with you to knock down any active wasps as you approach the nest. Insecto Wasp Destroyer is excellent. You will probably need a light to detect the nest and direct light will put the wasps on alert
  3. Keep as much distance as you are able. A liquid wasp nest spray or foam, such as Insecto Wasp Nest Destroyer or Digrain Wasp Nest Destroyer, would be advisable for roof nests, as your main priority is to treat the nest and get out as quickly as you safely can.  Most wasp nest sprays will allow you to saturate a nest from as far away as 12 to 15 feet. Wear a face mask to avoid inhaling the spray. Take extra care with a hanging nest in a loft, just in case it falls and breaks open on impact.

How to get rid of a wasp nest in a chimney

We get a lot of calls from people who have wasps nesting in their chimneys.  It seems to be one of their favourite places to nest.  Chimney nests are tricky because they are obviously difficult to access and treatment is a little hit and miss.

  1. Make sure you are well covered up. Wear gloves, a hat, boots and long sleeves and trousers. Ideally, wear a bee veil or goggles so your eyes are protected, and protective overalls
  2. Have a look and see if you can see the nest. You will need a torch to do this, but proceed with caution, because the sudden light will aggravate the wasps. 
  3. If your nest is visible, you have the option to administer a liquid or foam wasp nest destroyer. Insecto make an excellent one. For this to be effective, you need to soak the nest, or a large portion of it.  These products project for 12 to 15 feet. If the nest is further up the chimney than that or you can’t see it at all, these aerosols are unlikely to be effective. Also, be prepared for a large amount of the product to come back down the chimney onto you.

If an aerosol is not appropriate, you have the option of using an wasp smoke bomb or a quick release insect fogger.

  1. To administer the wasp fumer, stand it safely as close to the chimney entrance as possible. 
  2. Press the nozzle down until it clicks and leave the room. The aerosol will dispense all the insecticide up the chimney. Keep all doors and windows closed and do not re-enter the room for a minimum of two hours.
  3. Upon re-entry, ventilate the room well for a minimum of 1 hour.
  4. Check for wasp activity after 24 hours and re-treat as necessary
  5. To administer the insecticidal smoke bomb, stand it safely, as close to the chimney entrance as possible, on a plate or baking sheet.
  6. Light the touch paper and the smoke will start to dispense, naturally rising up the chimney. The fumer will not emit any sparks.
  7. Leave the room immediately. Keep all doors and windows closed and do not re-enter the room for a minimum of two hours.
  8. Upon re-entry, ventilate the room well for a minimum of 1 hour.
  9. Check for wasp activity after 24 hours and re-treat as necessary

Recommended Wasp Nest Products

Below is a handpicked list of recommend products for dealing with a wasp nest. There are different types of products available including wasp nest sprayswasp nest powders and wasp nest smoke bombs depending on the location of the wasp nest.

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