How to Get Rid of Yellow Jackets

Closeup of a Yellowjacket perched on a leaf

They’re like bees, but angrier and more heavily armed. Yellow jackets, a type of social wasp, spend most of their time gathering food and pollinating flowers but can act with boldness and aggression in response to perceived threats. Their bite can be extremely painful, and their stingers lack the barb that limits bees to a single sting. When food becomes scarce in the fall, yellow jacket nests become hubs for thousands of starving, angry wasps. Before they eventually die off in the winter, desperate wasps will sometimes raid beehives to eat the bees, their larvae, and their hard-earned honey.

Everyone knows the dilemma of facing uninvited yet persistent wasps but fearing the painful repercussions of trying to shoo them away. Wasp removal can prove scary, difficult and impermanent. The internet abounds in bad ideas regarding removing wasp nests, so we’re here to clear up the misinformation and false advertising. 

There are a few decent ways to remove yellow jacket nests, but they can still prove dangerous and tedious. They often require special products as well as safety equipment. More, there’s nothing to stop yellow jackets from showing up again and making your home theirs once more. 

Professional yellow jacket control plans are the only solution that provide effective results and continued peace of mind. Pure Pest’s stress-free plans provide guaranteed services and speedy responses to your pest control needs. 

Below, we’ll share the different wasp removal methods, both DIY and professional. We’ll discuss the costs and merits of each strategy and also cover ways to prevent wasps from ever nesting in dangerous areas. While some products market themselves as effective solutions, most are flawed and difficult. Only Pure Pest can offer continued professional wasp control that keeps you and your family safe. 

Identifying a yellow jacket infestation

Yellow jackets can look similar to bees, so it’s important to make a correct identification before you move forward with any removal plans. While they look relatively similar, yellow jackets have distinctly narrow midsections and far less fuzz on their bodies. Some yellow jackets make their nests in the ground, but other species frequent human structures like sheds, homes, and other sheltered crevices. The nests appear light brown, yellow, or gray and possess a paper-like consistency. Nests can be football or teardrop-shaped or less defined in other cases. 

Preventing infestation

As with any household pest, a bit of prevention can save a headache down the road. The most important element of yellow jacket prevention is making sure your property contains nothing that attracts yellow jackets and encourages them to build a home. This means cleaning any outdoor cooking and barbecue areas well and securing/removing trash diligently. Keep an eye out for individual insects and nests, since younger colonies are easier to control. 

DIY Tactics

Sprays: Easily purchased at your local home improvement store, these aerosol foaming sprays are used to tackle small- to medium-sized nests. In general, one can locate yellow jacket nests by following single wasps back to their colony. Once located, locate the entry and exit points, as these are the primary targets of the spray. It’s best to take precautions like protective clothing and targeting colonies at the right time (before dawn and after dusk are ideal since the yellow jackets will likely be at rest in the hive and have less ability to see you clearly). Prepare an escape route. Once the plans and precautions are in place, spray the aerosol in the entry and exit points, and proceed to cover the entire nest and any yellow jackets visible.

While the spray can seem like a quick and easy fix, it often fails to solve the issue and can exacerbate the problem or result in painful stings. The spray must come into direct contact with the yellow jackets in order to kill them, so any yellow jackets hiding safely inside the nest can survive and find a new way out, potentially burrowing deeper into your home or structure. More, applying the spray requires one to make a nest of thousands of yellow jackets–an already aggressive wasp–angry from only a few feet away. 

Traps: Traps are simpler but even less effective than sprays. Instead of targeting the entire colony, they simply seek to lure individual yellow jackets into traps through chemical bait. While they can attract individual wasps, they fail to target the heart of the issue, the nest and the colony within. Even with chemical lures, yellow jackets are still attracted to human food like meat and sugary liquids and may even prefer these to artificial bait. 

Whatever DIY solution one tries, yellow jackets often make their new home just yards away. No product purchased at a store can guarantee a permanent solution.

Best Practice: Trust a Professional Like Pure Pest

Unlike DIY strategies, Pure Pest offers a 100% guarantee behind their wasp and insect control. Their specialists have a deep knowledge of the St. Louis area and design pest control strategies to best combat the local yellow jackets and stinging insects. These solutions come from decades of serving the local community and building expertise in the strategies proven to work. Their professionals can often get started with control measures the same day you call.

Most importantly, Pure Pest offers protection plans that provide ongoing, stress-free protection for your home and property. This means any customer requiring service will see a professional at their door in 24 business hours or receive a $50 credit on their next bill. Pure Pest stands by their treatments with a 100% retreatment guarantee, meaning they will pay any cost to eliminate an infestation not dealt with the first time. 

Ongoing protection plans ensure that when pests decide to invade your home, you will have a trusted ally to take care of the issue. Plans come in three different coverage levels to meet any budget and need. Trust your local, experienced St. Louis pest control company to get the job done right and provide ongoing protection for your home and your family. Call today for a free inspection, with phones answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.