Wasp's Nest--seeking Non-toxic, Non-treacherous Solutions!

Updated on April 06, 2010
L. asks from Mobile, AL
10 answers

Hey all,

My daughter found the beginnings of a wasp's nest in her playhouse. I don't want to spray in there, and I'm thinking I'll just have to whack it (with a broomstick or something). There seems to be one wasp hanging around all of the time (just one), so I'm sure that's not too risky. Any other ideas though? Anything I can do to keep them from coming back (without spraying)?


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So What Happened?

Well, I ended up whacking it after all, since I wanted to do it before egg hunting and didn't have anything else on hand. The nest was really tiny, and there was just one wasp hanging out. I missed with my shovel the first time (nice), but the wasp flew away! I whacked the little nest the next time and ran. Later I swept it out of there. I totally appreciate the suggestions, though, because I want to spray one of the non-toxic options to prevent a repeat. The inside of the play platform is sheltered and peaked, so I know it is super appealing. We also seem to get them always by the back and/or front door, so it'll be good to be armed with options. Thanks SO much!

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answers from Washington DC on

I would not touch a wasp nest with a 10 foot pole. Call an exterminator they have plant based stuff to deal with it and it is non toxic to humans and house pets.

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answers from Philadelphia on

at Whole foods (and probably other stores too, especially online) they sell a bug spray called "Orange Guard". I'm not sure if it works on wasps, but it's safe to use around kids, pets and food. it smells good too! haha!!!


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answers from Minneapolis on

Dish soap mixed with water or boiling water works well - do it on a cold night when they can't fly.

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answers from Reading on

Spray any wasp you see NOW, before the larvae mature. I just use dish soap diluted in water, in a plastic spray-bottle. The soap breaks the surface tension of the water, and drowns any insect inside of two minutes. They are also incapacitated as soon as they are soaked with soapy water, not on the warpath. I am allergic to wasp/bee/hornet/etc stings, but I don't want the risk of poisons around my daughter and dog. Diluted dishwashing liquid works fine, and it's nontoxic.
Now if it's an established colony, especially underground, I have used store-bought wasp/hornet killer, early in the morning, before they have enough heat from the air to start flying around.
Since it's a tiny nest, and it's in your daughter's play area, I would spray each wasp you see with the soap (don't be shy, soak the bugger), wait 5 minutes, and remove it (beat the dead wasp if if makes you feel better). If you can spray into the nest, go for it. If you got the only wasp and no others appear, scrape off where the nest had been attached, and for good measure, leave the soap! They can't rebuild if the surface has some dried soap on it.
And one caveat from a sting-allergic-designated-dangerous-critter-remover: always leave yourself a clear escape route, in case you bite off more than you can chew. Better safe than in the ER.



answers from Atlanta on

Hi L.,

I clean with a line of products that contain tea tree oil and the oil is a natural bug repellent. I can spray a nest and if they don't die, they usually simply leave. I have not had a problem with any kind of bug since I started using them.




answers from Savannah on

You can use a hand sprayer from Lowes or Home Depot and fill it with a water and soap solution. Spray the insects and they will either fall to the ground, or fly away and suffocate. The soap makes covers the wings, and they can no longer fly, and also covers the mouth and they suffocate. For the nests, I have heard that you can spray them wih brake cleaner, and the insects die quickly and the nest is destroyed by the solvents in the cleaner. Then you just knock the empty nest down and throw it away. I make it a habit to step on it as well to ensure that any larvae inside can't hatch later, even though they should have died. Nothing worse then tossing trash and opening the dumpster to find a couple hanging out in there.



answers from Tulsa on

If the nest is small and you're SURE there aren't lots more inside, you might try spraying with the water hose. Non toxic, and the playhouse gets washed down into the bargain!



answers from Nashville on

I don't know the exact method, but I know you can smoke them out. That might not be easy in a playhouse, but if you smoke the nest, they should leave to escape the smoke, and then you can remove it. I would google it and see exactly how you should do it. Good luck!



answers from Decatur on

A LONG time ago, we had this plastic hanging thingy, which we filled with water and a few drops of dish soap. Its design (sort of like a big donut, with holes, I guess, on top) somehow got the wasps to climb up and into the soapy water (probably drawn by its scent but also by the water and perhaps the orange color of the thing itself?) and drown! It actually did seem to help.

We're having an awful time already with wasps this year. I may try to find another one of these things. I think it might be carried by natural/organic gardening companies, but I'm not sure. Another possibility is "Whatever Works," which is a pest control company and catalog.

Good luck to all of us!



answers from Baton Rouge on

If possible soak it with venigar. than sweep it out.
Good Luck God Bless Happy Easter

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