Controlling wasps

There are several species of wasp. Some are solitary, others are social and build large nests. By far the most abundant are the common wasp and the German wasp, both of which can nest underground, in trees or in cavities, garden sheds and roof spaces. 

Although wasps can be helpful in the garden by killing many garden pests, they are widely feared for their ability to sting which can be very painful and very rarely fatal, usually due to the anaphylactic shock. Wasps do not die after stinging, unlike bees, and can sting more than once. They can become a problem when they nest in and around domestic properties, especially in late summer when they become irritable with the onset of cooler weather and feeding on fermenting, over ripe fruit juices.

It is only necessary to destroy nests when they are in or near buildings, or near sensitive areas, such as play areas for children.


Wasps are generally easy to control using a number of commercial products if you can get near to the nest or nest area. You can see where the nest entrance is by looking for the flight lines of foraging worker wasps going into or out of the nest.

  • nests should be treated after dusk when wasps are at their least active. Always wear protective clothing
  • including gloves, tight fitting sleeves and trouser cuffs
  • make sure other people and pets are kept well away
  • only treat a nest if you can reach it easily - leave difficult to reach nests to professional pest controllers

Our pest control section carry out wasp treatments for a small fee.

Find out more about the cost of pest treatments

You can treat a nest with wasp insecticide by - 

  • dusting - apply insecticide powder around and into the entrance of the nest. The powder is then carried on the bodies of the wasps, where it contaminates the centre of the nest and eventually kills the queen and remaining wasps
  • spraying - apply a liquid insecticide spray directly onto the nest or to the entrance holes of the concealed nest. The spray contaminates the nest in the same way as the powder

Dead wasps can still sting so remember to sweep up and safely dispose of any dead ones.

Please remember that pesticides are dangerous. Always read the label and follow the manufacturer's instructions at all times. Keep pesticides away from children and pets at all times. If a wasps nest is situated close to a fish pond do not contaminate the pond with insecticide as fish are very susceptible to insecticides.

Non harmful wasps and bees

Make every effort to avoid using control treatments on non pest species of wasps and bees - many of these have a beneficial role as pollinators and predators of garden pests. 

If you're not sure what species you have or have any questions about this information or would like a treatment, please contact us on tel: 01482 300 300 


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