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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


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.
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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