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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


23 Sep 2011, 15:08
Urgh... we thought we had closed off the way the yellow jackets were entering our living space (removed a light bulb and taped over a recessed light fixture). We were good for about 2 weeks, but somehow they have found another way in. When will the nest die off? I live in Westchester county, NY.
Ask the Exterminator
25 Sep 2011, 11:21
The nest will die with the onset of cold weather.
Ask the Exterminator
26 Sep 2011, 16:48
Suzanne: Watch the video at this link: Stop with the foam treatments already!
12 Oct 2011, 11:59
We had an exterminator treat the entry point with dust about 4 days ago. I'm still getting some inside the house, although mostly half dead, but some very much alive, and they look bigger than the first ones we saw.

There is no activity outside whatsoever.
The exterminator said wait a few more days until they all die, but it's very stressful! Since they seem to be mostly coming in the laundry room, I was thinking hanging a yellowjacket trap inside and leaving the light on to draw them out. Or what do I do, just wait it out?
Ask the Exterminator
12 Oct 2011, 13:29
Try the inside trap. Can't hurt!
14 Oct 2011, 11:08
I have located a Yellow Jacket nest entry point in a foundation wall near my woodstove chimmney. While I have found no workers in the house, I have been killing what appear to be larger yellow jackets (queens maybe) in a basement room 15 feet away where there is a window to allow light in. I am pretty sure they are from this nest, lost looking for a way out. I have no access to the nest and as we are in mid-October feel that leaving it and allow the colder temps soon to occur to kill it off. My concern is that since this nest is right where I'll be firing up the woodstove soon, would that allow for winter over (I am in Upstate NY). Also, since I have no clue how large this nest may be, I don't know how long I will see these queens/ males in the basement. Should I try to dust the entrance or use a trap inside the room where they are seen? Thoughts?
Ask the Exterminator
14 Oct 2011, 13:32
The fertilized queens may move towards the heat of the stove's flue pipe to over-winter, but they will not remain active, regardless. Dusting the entrance would be best. Doubtful that the queens will me attracted to a food source at this stage in their lives. They just want to "shut down" for the winter.
18 Oct 2011, 13:44
As a follow up, I had quite a few queens/males plus some smaller worker getting in now that the nights are colder. I took action and dumped 1 can of Spectricide Spray (non-foaming) into the top of basement wall where the sill is and luckily hit the target about 3-4 feet down with a 5 second burst of spray. Must be enough got onto the nest as I heard quite a bit of buzzing in the wall, but today silence. I ran out last night and it might be overkill but I am armed with more today and will be giving another application.
18 Oct 2011, 17:37
I live in Maine,Yesterday I was stung by a yellow jacket 3 times,twice on the knee and once on the hip..We don't know where the nest is or how to find and destroy it any suggestions?
Ask the Exterminator
19 Oct 2011, 20:33
Yellow jackets are extremely aggressive at this time of year. They are near the end of their lives and are mating. You either must find the entry hole to the nest and treat it, or stay away from the area where you were attacked until cold weather kills off the nest.
03 Dec 2011, 00:37
I live in the Northwest of Oregon. We noticed a large amount of yellow jackets coming in and out of a wall paneling outside our house. We sprayed the entrance but we didn't know where the nest could be located. In September some yellow jackets found our way in the house. In October a lot start coming from cracks in the ceiling. It's slowed down but we've still been getting a few a day. I'm worried they won't die off in the winter. our house is warm inside. But it's very cold outside. We have a few heaters. A heater is nextra to the wall we believe the nest is. Will they survive? Also, is there a chance the new queen will build her nest near the old one? In spring we will put traps outside the old entrance to try and draw her there or any others. I would really appreciate your insight.
Ask the Exterminator
03 Dec 2011, 09:07
These are fertilized females trying to move away from cold exterior walls. There is no nest. I've got an article about this. You can find it by clicking the "wasp" category found on the left side of this page.
03 Oct 2012, 15:52
Hi, Thank you for your sharing, it was really helpful to solve the ant problem in my house.
By the way do you think is it good idea? Because actually I already tried it before.
But I will try again according your article saying. Thanks! Have good one!

I love this world because God gave us.
<a href="">vent crawl space</a>

Best Regards
05 Nov 2012, 10:04
I live in Houston Texas and have yellowjackets entering the house through the fireplace, only happens in early November. Our fireplace is double walled with a flue and an exterior pipe for insulation. They appear to be between these two pipes. Pretty sure about this as we had a pest control guy out and he couldn't find any nest. Last year we just waited them out. Any suggestions on how to kill them. I can't see any nest but can see them swarming the chimney. So far have killed 40-50 inside and have taped plastic over fireplace (which controls them).
Ask the Exterminator
06 Nov 2012, 16:50
Read the article at this link: tml
04 Apr 2013, 01:35
We moved into a home built in 58. We saw a handful of dead yellow jacket bodies. Then one or two would pop up here or there... mostly so lethargic, only one or two could fly. We haven't had them pop up through the winter... but now being the first of april, we found another one that can not fly walking around. They end up in most of the rooms of our house up stairs and down. We haven't seen them in our attic, and don't have a crawl space. What should we do?
Ask the Exterminator
04 Apr 2013, 10:30
Read my other articles about yellow jackets. The articles talk about fertilized female yellow jackets and what you are experiencing.
10 Sep 2013, 14:37
I just had an exterminator come to treat the yellow jacket nest that is living in the roof under the soffet. It's not a visible nest, but up inside the soffet and tons of activity through rain or shine. The exterminator treated with dust chemicals and like 2 hours later I went upstairs to check my sons room where the roof area is and there's tremendous buzzing coming from the area. I called the exterminator back and they advised it is the nest dieing and I still see them going in and out (a lot dead on the ground outside though) so option B they say is to come drill a hole in wall and treat from inside. Will this work? How do I get the nest out with all those dead hornets? I don't want it to cause structural issues to my's in my sons room! Right over his bed...thanks.
Ask the Exterminator
10 Sep 2013, 16:02
After a treatment, the nest should be totally dead within a day or two. If the noise persists the exterminator should return for a free retreatment. You paid him to eliminate the nest and he should do that. Once the nest is dead you will have to open the drywall and remove the dead nest. Don't do this until cold weather arrives.
15 Sep 2013, 12:18

First of all, very nice to give your time to this site.

I had Yellow Jackets make a nest above my gutter(a shingle had blown off so exposed the roof/the 2x4's/whatever that part of the roof is). The exterminator used a chrysanthemums based spray this past Tuesday(now it's Sunday). The nest really didn't seem to look very large at all, but was hard for me to see. The exterminator did say it was rather smallish. I went up to try to remove the nest since supposedly may attract other bugs, but couldn't feel anything to remove and hard to see into the opening of the "roof". Do you think the nest has already disintegrated? If not,does one really need to remove it?

17 Sep 2013, 21:13
How cold does it have to get at night to start killing off yellow jackets. I have a nest in my wall of my home. They were eating the drywall left soft spots. I have pets and children in the home. I'm scared to death there gonna come thur. We drilled a hole in wall and sprayed it with wasp killer. That just seemed to make them more pissed. Our nights are down to the 50's now.
Ask the Exterminator
19 Sep 2013, 10:22
It's going to take several hard frosts to kill off the nest. Once dead, you will need to open the wall and remove the nest.
07 Oct 2013, 11:04
I've got yellow jackets coming in a external hole in kit wall- old hs lots of cracks & rock ext basement. Don't know how fast they work- been a wk.Got a stethoscope, hear a few buzzes in wall but not much. Treated holes with spray & powder then they swarmed in basement ( so bombed it) & about 30 came up wall into kitchen. I've tried to seal but it's impossible unless I put plastic around outside of 3 windows- to trap in. Now they don't use their hole anymore- can I get more to exit wall 7 bomb or do I have to drill in wall?
Thank you!!
Ask the Exterminator
07 Oct 2013, 14:29
You are doing everything wrong. Treat the entry hole with pesticide dust. Do not use liquid sprays or aerosols. I recommend Tempo 1% dust which is available on this website. Do not seal the hole. The wasps have to be able to come and go. Otherwise, they will find another route that could result in them eating through your drywall and coming into your living space.
Dominick P.
14 Oct 2013, 13:03
I recently discovered yellow jackets flying in and out a corner of siding on the front of my home. My brother in law and I dusted the holes with Sevin powder. They were also getting into my basement i believe through the flooring and windows, i go down there everyday and kill a bunch or find a few bodies. After a few days of not seeing much activity I used silicone and sealed the area outside. I am still finding them inside my home now and a few have been found in my 3 year old daughters room as well as our closet. should i reopen the hole outside? its been a few days, wouldn't i want to leave it closed and let them die off by not being able to get food from the outside world? will they build another nest inside my house?? please help before someone is stung, i can not afford an exterminator to come in and do it.
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