How to Get Rid of Paper Wasps: A Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 13, 2023 · 4 mins read


DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably enjoy spending time in your backyard during the summer months. However, nothing can ruin a relaxing afternoon quite like encountering a paper wasp nest. These stinging insects can be aggressive when threatened, making it important to know how to safely remove them from your property. In this guide, we’ll go over how to identify paper wasps and provide tips on getting rid of them.

What are Paper Wasps?

Paper wasps are a type of social wasp that build papery nests in sheltered areas such as eaves, porch ceilings, and tree branches. They are typically brown with yellow markings and have slender bodies. Like other social wasps, paper wasps live in colonies with a queen who lays eggs and workers who forage for food and build the nest.

Identifying a Paper Wasp Nest

Paper wasp nests are distinctive in appearance and can be easily identified by their papery texture. The nests are gray or brown and often hang from a single stalk attached to a surface. If you see a nest that looks like an upside-down umbrella, chances are it’s a paper wasp nest.

Why Remove Paper Wasps?

While paper wasps are beneficial to the environment because they help pollinate plants and eat other insects, they can also pose a threat to humans. Paper wasps will sting if they feel threatened, and some people can have severe allergic reactions to their venom. Additionally, paper wasps can become aggressive if their nest is disturbed, which can lead to painful stings.

How to Get Rid of Paper Wasps

Getting rid of paper wasps should always be done with caution. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Wait until nighttime: Paper wasps are less active at night, so it’s best to remove the nest after dark when they are less likely to sting.

  2. Wear protective clothing: Cover your entire body with thick clothing, gloves, and a hat to protect yourself from stings.

  3. Approach the nest slowly: Use a flashlight to locate the nest and approach it slowly and quietly.

  4. Spray the nest: Use an insecticide spray specifically designed for wasps and hornets. Aim the spray at the nest entrance and soak the entire nest thoroughly.

  5. Wait and observe: After spraying the nest, wait for several minutes to ensure that all of the wasps have been killed. It’s important to note that some wasps may still be alive and could become aggressive if disturbed.

  6. Remove the nest: Once you’ve determined that all of the wasps are dead, use a long stick or pole to knock down the nest. Place the nest in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash.

Preventing Future Paper Wasp Nests

The best way to prevent paper wasp nests from forming is to eliminate potential nesting sites. Here are some tips:

  • Seal cracks and crevices: Paper wasps can enter your home through small openings, so it’s important to seal any cracks or crevices around windows, doors, and utility lines.

  • Remove potential nesting sites: Keep your yard tidy by removing piles of leaves, brush, and other debris. Additionally, trim tree branches to prevent wasps from building nests in high places.

  • Use decoys: Some homeowners have had success deterring paper wasps by hanging up fake nests or using commercial decoys.


Paper wasps can be a nuisance for homeowners, but with the right knowledge and precautions, they can be safely removed. Remember to always approach paper wasp nests with caution and wear protective clothing. If you’re unsure about removing a nest on your own, consider hiring a professional pest control service.