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Yellow Jacket Nest

Summary: Thinking of removing a yellow jacket nest yourself? Take some real care before taking on this task. Yellow jackets can be harmful to your health.

Grace M; Waterloo, Ontario asks: I have a yellow jacket nest above a soffit in the corner by a door that we use to get from the house to the pool. I have sprayed foam insecticide in the areas four times, but the next morning they are right back again. How can I get rid of these pests without removing the aluminum soffit?

Dear Grace: The most effective way to kill off a yellow jacket nest is by using pesticide dusts. You pump the dust into the entry hole of the nest with a powder duster such as those sold under the Centro Company bulb dusters name. For extra safety you can buy a Gotcha Sprayer Pro extension pole that


holds the powder duster and keeps you fifteen feet from the wasp nest. You can purchase pesticide dusts at most lawn and garden stores, but the Gotcha Sprayer Pro extension is only available on-line.

The pesticide dust coats the wasps as they leave and enter their hive and kills them in short order. But, be very careful, as yellow jackets are very aggressive. They are not very social and often sting even when you haven't threatened them. Do the work in the dark using a flashlight and wear protective clothing. Or, call a pest control professional to do the work.

The longest surviving member of the colony is the queen, but she will die in the nest in the fall. All the adult reproductive wasps will leave the nest to mate. The remaining worker wasps will slowly die out as the weather turns cooler. The nest is never re-used by the wasps. So, once all wasp activity ceases the only task you are faced with is removing the nest from the soffit so it does not attract other insects that feed on dead insects.

Click here to watch my short video on how to control wasps.

Ask Rick A Question


Tony Edwards
30 Aug 2014, 11:20
I believe we have a nest in our bedroom ceiling due to the sound and a stain. I have 2 big cans of yellow jacket killer. Would you suggest drilling a hole in the middle of the stain and spray or outside the stain?
02 Sep 2014, 21:46
I have yellow jackets in the hollow space of my porch railing between the cedar shingle clad siding. They enter and exit from two holes on either side of one of the shingles.

For the past week I've set bottle traps on the rail and have emptied them with dozens of dead wasps several times. The last few nights I've also used a powder with pyrethrin at one entrance.

Today I found a queen in one of the traps. Is the situation resolved by killing the queen? Do I have to take apart the railing and remove the nest or can I just seal the openings once the weather turns cold??
Mommy to 5
03 Sep 2014, 00:34
How concerned should I be? I have yellow jackets entering outside between my brick basement wall, where my siding meets the wall (about two foot off the ground). They have discovered a way inside (into the basement). They are pretty docile even when under attack. So far in two weeks we've swept up nearly a hundred dead in the basement, rarely we see one flying around down there but they die in a few hours. I've sprayed, disturbed and dusted. Soon it will be getting cold up north where I am but after researching I'm worried how big this nest may be.. Males die after mating... Could this be what is going on or possibly dying from lack of the outdoors? I just dusted the entrance tonight and if they remain in the next few days, I am calling professionals but don't want to if I don't have too.
Ask the Exterminator
03 Sep 2014, 14:21
Don't use liquid sprays or aerosols when treating yellow jacket entry holes. Use insecticide dust and don't seal the holes.

When cold weather comes the nest will die, but the fertilized females will find hiding places to survive the winter. Next spring they will emerge and start building a nest from scratch in a new location.

The old nest should be removed even if it means having to open an interior wall. The dead nest will attract other insects that ultimately can infest your home and damage woolens, leather and feathers.
04 Sep 2014, 15:14
Why not use aerosols?
Ask the Exterminator
04 Sep 2014, 15:20
There is no guarantee the application of an aerosol (or liquid spray) will reach the entire nest. Plus, there is the chance the aerosol will saturate an interior surface and create a stain on the opposite site of the wall.

The application of insecticidal dust provides a long lasting residual that allows more of the wasps to come in contact with the poison. Aerosol sprays soak into the surface, leaving little to no residual.
22 Oct 2014, 10:09
I have yellow jackets in an interior wall and they are coming into my house. I called a local exterminator and he sprayed dust at the entry way. How can I get them out without removing walls and cabinets? I think they are coming through a pocket door and we sealed it off but that same wall leads to my master bath which also has a pocket door and now I have them in the master bath too! Please help!
Ask the Exterminator
22 Oct 2014, 10:46
Ask your exterminator if he sealed the entry hole after he treated with dust. If he did, it needs to be reopened to allow the wasps a way to get outside. My guess is their egress hole is closed and their only way of leaving the nest is via a route that leads inside.
26 Oct 2014, 16:56
I have a yellow jacket nest in my front yard (under ground). Being it is October I would like to think the cold weather will come and kill them off but being I live in Georgia, the cold weather may take awhile to get here. I've taken out 2 of their nest but it seems they just move a few feet away and start over again. I've bean using foaming spray that I have been spraying directly in the hole with an extension straw but obviously it isn't stopping them from just relocating. So I really have 2 questions. Should I switch to the dust? And once I kill a nest, how can I deter any future nests from popping up?
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