Yellow Jackets are wasps. They are usually less than one inch in length. Here is a short video showing one at rest and taking to flight.

In case this is not what you’re looking for, we also have in depth articles on:         CICADA KILLERS          DIGGER WASPS          EUROPEAN HORNETS          HORNTAIL WASPS          MUD DAUBERS        WASPS


If left to mature naturally, Yellow Jacket nests will reach maturity in August or September. Most nests are in the ground under stumps or shrubs. But they also nest in voids. These voids may be in a tree or house. Such locations can be difficult to treat.

Yellow Jackets are territorial and will defend their nest. Be careful when moving around a suspected nest site. Their sting is painful and most encounters involve many stings.



Yellow Jackets are a nuisance at locations like garbage dumpsters, decks, pool areas, picnic areas and generally any place people like to be. They are attracted to the same food we like. Soda, chicken, steak or candy will all attract Yellow Jackets. In fact, this problem is so common in the United States that just about everybody knows how intimidating and annoying a yellow jacket flying around their drink or food can be.



Bug Vacuum ZapperHand Held ZapperIf you have this problem around your home, use a HAND HELD ZAPPER to help keep them at bay. If they’re getting inside the home, the BUG VACUUM/ZAPPER maybe the better of the two to have. Both of these devices will help control the foraging scout yellow jackets coming around the home, but don’t expect the problem to go away. Yellow jacket nests are quite large so expect them to keep coming. And once food is found, Yellow Jackets will fly on, in or around their target trying to get a taste.

Hand Held ZapperHand Held Zapper:

Bug Vacuum ZapperBug Vacuum Zapper:



This food is then brought back to their nest to feed larvae. Yellow Jackets work for nothing other than feeding their young. Though this sounds noble, the adults have self motivated intentions. They get a sugary food from young larva in exchange for the protein they provide.

Yellow jackets are no doubt one of the more aggressive wasp species around. If threatened, they will sting. In fact, yellow jackets will sting more readily then most any other wasp. And since they can sting so over and over without loosing their stinger, it’s best not to irritate them. Unfortunately a simple reaction to one buzzing around your head, arm or leg can be enough to irritate it so be careful if you have any that seem attracted to you.

Since yellow jackets use both vision and odor to find food, people will many times become the target of their focus. This is due to many reasons. People regularly sweat which yellow jackets love. They will readily seek the salty moisture where they can find it and during warm hot dry spells, people become a prime target.



Furthermore, the colognes, anti-perspirants and other scents we wear can all contribute to yellow jackets finding us attractive. Certain colors will catch their eye as well and though there is no real pattern for this behavior, it is clear that bright colors during certain times of the year will attract them.



Deet AerosolDeet LotionIf you are someone that tends to naturally attract yellow jackets, there are two products you can use to help minimize this behavior. If it’s your sweat and general body odor they find attractive, use some DEET LOTION or DEET AEROSOL on exposed skin areas like arms, legs, neck and facial regions. Deet will help keep yellow jackets off treated skin.. Whether the Deet is masking your natural odor or if yellow jackets just don’t like it, we don’t know for sure. But it these formulations will help keep them away.

Deet LotionDeet 20% Lotion:

Deet AerosolDeet Aerosol:



Permethrin AersolNow if it’s your wardrobe they are more attracted to, apply some PERMETHRIN to it before going outside. This product has no odor and we sell a lot of it for mosquito, tick and chigger relief. It will also work to keep yellow jackets off you since the Permethrin is highly repellent to them.

Permethrin AerosolPermethrin Aerosol:



In the end, you’ll probably need to do some yellow jacket control if you want them gone for good. If you know where the nest is, you may treat it directly. Nests in the ground may be treated by drenching. This method should be done in the evening when the colony is quiet and resting. You are less likely to be stung at this time. There are two ways to drench. If the hole is big enough, you may be able to mix your chemical in a bucket and pour the finished material into the entrance hole.

Eliminator SprayerIf the hole is small, get one of our SPRAYERS, remove the nozzle and then stick the extension without the nozzle into all entrance and exit holes. Make sure you know where the holes are. There are usually one or two and they are usually close to each other. If the nest is well established, the holes may be several feet apart. If you know there are more than one hole be sure to treat each one with equal amounts of product.

Eliminator SprayerPump Sprayer:



There are two treatment options that work well for yellow jacket ground nests. The first option is to drench the nest using a quick acting material. Most nests will require 1-2 gallons of finished material. Large nests will take more.

If the nest is under a stoop or deck, you will have to use one of our sprayers to insure proper coverage. Make sure you know where the nest entry/exit hole is located so you direct the spray where it counts!

If the nest is around a shrub or under mulch, you may need to prepare the ground by moving the ground cover aside. If you fear doing this prep work during the day, work at night. This will minimize risk of being stung as the nest will be settled and quiet.

Spreader StickerViper CypermethrinThe best material for ground drenching is CYPERMETHRIN. It’s very active on yellow jackets and mixes easy with water. Add some SPREADER STICKER to the mix which enables the chemical to adhere to target wasps faster and more thoroughly. This makes it work quicker. In the days following the treatment, you should expect them to be active. If you treated right, this activity will decrease every day. The nest should be dead and activity should cease after five days. If you continue to see workers moving in and out of the nest more than a week following the treatment, you need to follow-up. This may happen as nests can be large and your chemical may flow to some sections of the nest and miss others. This is not unusual. The second treatment should penetrate missed sections of the nest and enable you to gain control of the situation.

Viper CypermethrinCypermethrin:

Spreader StickerSpreader Sticker:

Drione DustHand Duster



The second option for ground nests is to hit them with DRIONE DUST. This material is fast acting and essentially dehydrates insects by cutting through their exoskeleton. Use a HAND DUSTER to make the application and be sure to puff a good 2-3 oz of dust into any nest treated. Drione will penetrate nests like smoke when puffed down their hole and because it contains pyrethrin, they cannot ignore its presence. This means they’ll have to walk and crawl over the treatment thus insuring their doom. The following video shows how easy it is to dust a nest and how quickly you’ll see results. When done properly, the nest should be shut down within a day of being treated.

Drione DustDrione:

Hand DusterHand Duster:




There may be times when the nest is in a wall void, attic or other section of the home. Direct treating their holes in the ground by dusting with Drione or drenching with Cypermethrin is quick and effective. But if the nest is high on the side of your home, there are other factors to consider. Fortunately, you have options.

First, go outside and watch their activity to see where they’re entering and exiting. Its almost always a single hole.

Now remember that the side of the home can have many “sections” or layers. If you see them entering under planking (home siding), they could be nesting between any one of several “layers”.

The first layer will be just under the siding. Next there is a layer under the decking between the decking and insulation. Then the space between the studs where the insulation sits as well as the space between the insulation and the interior wall (sheetrock or paneling).

This structural example is about as “minimum” as can be and no doubt, there are some homes with more layers. So just because you see them entering the side of the home, its hard to say for sure how deep the nest might be and this is important.

So when you see them entering the siding on the house, you need to determine if there is a risk of them finding your living space before you decide if you want to treat from the outside or inside.

The way to make this decision is to first access how deep the nest might goes and is it opposite a “sensitive” part of the home.

So if the entry way is above all rooms by the attic or if its below the first floor opposite a basement or crawl space, the risk would be small. But if its opposite a bedroom or living room and you can go inside the house and hear them in the wall? That’s bad. Basically if you can hear them buzzing around while inside the home, the rule is simple: DO NOT TREAT THEM FROM THE OUTSIDE!

The reason you don’t want to treat from the outside is that if they are that close to being inside, there is a chance the treatment will push them further into the space and ultimately, they could find their way into the living space and that would be a problem.

So the first rule with treating wall nests is that if you can hear them from inside the home, its usually best to treat by drilling small holes in the wall from the inside and through these holes pumping the dust or aerosol listed below.

But if the void they are entering is a soffit or some other area which is not directly linked to a main living area of the house, you should be able to dust with Drione safely and effectively. Drione is very “light” and smokey and if the entry hole is large enough, it should readily flow to the nest and in turn, kill it quickly. But to be sure of complete coverage, drilling some holes into the wall may be needed. Send pictures of the location in case you’re unsure about proceeding with or without drilling holes and we’ll try to further advise.



Bee SuitBee HatBee VeilBee GlovesIf you feel there is no way to gain direct access to the nest from the inside, you can do a few things to make the outside treatment effective. First, equip yourself with a BEE VEIL. This can be used with a BEE HAT for a tailor fit but can be used with any hat which has a strong brim. Be sure to use several layers of shirts and pants – preferable three – to insure stings won’t be able to penetrate. Get some BEE GLOVES on as well since your hands will be close to the nest while treating. If you don’t feel like wearing all those clothes, get one of our BEE SUITS. This will protect you from any sting altogether which will allow you to treat without hazards from the wasp.

Bee VeilBee Veil:

Bee HatBee Hat:

Bee GlovesBee Gloves:

Bee SuitBee Suit:



CrusaderDrione DustNow that you are properly equipped you can directly attack the nest by first drilling some small holes and then pumping some DRIONE DUST into the nest which will provide quick and easy control. Drione is very active on yellow jackets. It acts as a dessicant which dehydrates them quickly. Most importantly, it lasts for a long time providing residual which is needed for the long term control of this pest. The dust will be around for a few months which means that as eggs hatch, they will die preventing the nest from coming back. Use a HAND DUSTER to apply the Drione. It will puff the dust out several feet ensuring good coverage. Drione is light like smoke and will filter throughout the void. Don’t be surprised if you see some emerging several feet down away from where you are doing the application. This is very much desirable and insures you are getting proper coverage.

Drione DustDrione:

CrusaderHand Duster:


BG 1152-A QT DusterMany times there are cracks and crevices through which you can apply the dust but if there is only one hole, it would really help if you drill some small holes large enough to get the tip of the Hand Duster in. Drione naturally seeks out seams, cracks and crevices which makes it very effective for this type of job. If you think the nest is rather large and you don’t want to spend your time refilling this little hand duster several times, you can do your application with our DUST-R. This device holds almost a whole pound of dust and will enable you to treat most any nest with one tankful. Though generally used by professionals, this device will save a lot of time and effort for anyone doing a lot of treating. It’s pumping action lets you get massive amounts of dust out rapidly.

BG 1152-A QT DusterDust-R:



BG Long Reach Dust-rIf the nest is 6-12 feet up, you might consider the LONG REACH DUST-R which is essentially the same unit except it has a series of extensions which allow you to reach high places. It, too, will hold a lot of dust, but by being able to treat the target sight while on the ground, it gives you a big advantage.

BG Long Reach Dust-rLong Reach Dust-R:


DustickFor nests which are really high, you may need the DUSTICK. This tool is a basically a duster which is on top of several extensions which will enable the applicator to reach nests located over 25 feet high. It’s excellent for treating up under siding, facia boards and soffits. Again, the ability to keep both feet on the ground when attempting this work is much more comforting then dealing with a bunch of mean wasps while on top of a ladder.




Hornet Killer 15 OZAnd regardless of where you are when making the treatment, another good tool to have by your side is a can or two of some WASP KILLER. This new generation Wasp and Bee Killer is both quick acting and far reaching. It’s always a good idea to have some in your pocket “just in case”. Don’t rely on it for treating yellowjacket nests; it won’t do the job. You need the penetration of the Drione Dust to get deep into all the voids and spaces nests will reach. However, being able to spray and kill a few rogue yellow jackets that were lucky enough to escape death from the dust is just what the Wasp Killer can do for you.

Hornet Killer 15 OZBee Hornet Freeze:



D-Force 14 OZ AerosolIf the nest is treatable from the inside, you will be able to kill it both quickly and completely with a few precautions. First, you will need to use another product we sell which comes in an aerosol can. It is called DFORCE AEROSOL. It has a small tube which allows you to use very small treating holes which is important if you have to treat through finished walls which have wall paper or some other nice finish. These holes can be small enough so that they don’t let any of the wasps get inside either.

D-Force 14 OZ AerosolD-Force:


To start, you first need to locate just where you think the nest is situated. This can be determined by listening. Where the sound is loudest is a good clue and probably the best place to start. Another clue is a sagging or rotting look to some part of the wall or ceiling. Since yellow jackets chew through ceiling and wall coverings, they will push the material out or make it look and feel soft to the touch. Most times they will chew right to the brink of the wall or ceiling falling apart. I have seen several nests where I couldn’t understand how the ceiling or wall wasn’t crumbling apart from the weight of itself. I have learned that the wasps will repair these weak spots up so it won’t fall down. I have also learned not to touch or mess with nests until I am ready to treat.



For these kind of treatments, I like to use the Dforce Aerosol. The wall or ceiling covering is so fragile that you simply slide the straw of the can into the bad section and then spray away. Since they can’t get out and you are able to treat where it counts, the nest will be dead within a few minutes. On several occasions I actually used some Duct Tape to help secure the ceiling before I did the treatment to insure it didn’t fall on top of me. If done right, you should expect the colony to be dead and all activity to stop within a day or two.

When treating nests from inside the home where there is a risk the cavity may fall apart, be sure to wear protective equipment. Always be prepared for the worst event. It is a good idea to wear some of the protective equipment listed above. I also like to keep a strong Shop Vac close by. It will come in handy if the nest falls inside. As they land, simply vacuum them up. It is easy to do and actually quite effective. Don’t waste your time trying to spray them; it is hard to spray accurately in the home and generally all you will do is make a mess. However, the Hand Held Zapper comes in quite handy for when you have activity like this and is a great tool to have around.

If you are unsure where the nest is but have a colony located in the home or somewhere close to the home, there is another method you may need to use for control. Baiting for yellow jackets is both effective and easy. When we talk about baiting, we are not talking trapping. Trapping yellow jackets is usually a waste of time. Traps typically catch foraging workers or scouts which will be readily replaced by the colony. There is usually a never ending supply of these scout yellow jackets and the colony will thrive as if they hadn’t lost any members. In the end, trapping usually doesn’t work but you may decide to try it first. Just make sure you understand the difference between “trapping” vs “baiting” (which will be discussed shortly).



Wasp and Yellow Jacket TrapWasp Glass TrapYellow Jacket TrapSo if you decide to start by trapping, go with a standard YELLOWJACKET TRAP. The newer GLASS YELLOW JACKET TRAP looks even better and comes with a special pheromone lure just for yellow jackets. What’s nice about these traps is you can use them over and over again. Unlike the traditional “disposable” traps like the first one we showed, the Glass Trap has a removable cork on top that allows you to empty it’s contents every two weeks. New REPLACEMENT YELLOW JACKET LURES can be put in the trap and it will be as good as new. It also can be used for “baiting” should you discover that trapping isn’t working.

Yellow Jacket TrapYellow Jacket Traps:

Wasp Glass TrapYellow Jacket Glass Trap:

Wasp and Yellow Jacket TrapYellow Jacket Lure:


As mentioned above,”baiting” is not “trapping”. It costs more to bait compared to trapping but in the end, the bait technique will work a lot better. The great thing about baiting yellow jackets is that it will enable you to kill off nests which are located on structures that you cannot access. Baiting will also enable you to effectively eliminate nests which may reside on another property. Since yellowjackets will forage great distances in search of food, they can be a continual nuisance until the nest is destroyed. The concept of using a bait is both practical and effective. By taking advantage of scout wasps and that which they do, you are able to get them to bring back a food which not only they will eat but they will feed it to the entire nest.



To bait, you’ll need a unique form of pesticide that’s microencapsulated. Basically the active ingredient is hidden inside tiny capsules which make the product time release. At some point someone experimented with these formulations and discovered these compounds could be mixed with food attractants that target pests. Apparently they weren’t able to detect the microencapsulates added to the food and would eat as if the offering posed no threat. But once the product makes it’s way into the digestive system of the target pest, the capsules eventually hatch and expose them to the pesticide hidden within. This process will take days to happen and because it takes this long, the bait will have been shared by most of the colony which means the vast majority of them will die. This in turn will shut down the nest making it possible to treat nests which are remote and far off your property.



Logan Wasp Bait 16 OZSalmon Paste 16 OZOnslaughtNow it only takes small amount of active ingredient and the food attractant will flavor the capsules effectively. And the product to use for this process is known as ONSLAUGHT. You’ll also need a good food attractant and our SALMON PASTE will prove to be a base food bait the yellow jackets cannot ignore. Fish flavor seems to work great and they seem to really love Salmon. But in the rare instance they’re not interested in salmon, go to our LOGANBERRY PASTE. It’s sweet and high in complex carbohydrates for those “sugar sweet bees”.


Salmon Paste 16 OZSalmon Paste:

Logan Wasp Bait 16 OZLoganberry Paste:


Of course, having some of both is your best option. Yellowjackets will be targeting either a protein or sugar based food so having some of both pretty much insures one will be readily accepted.



Here are some tips to follow if you believe you will be using this method.

Salmon PasteLoganberry PasteFirst, you need to identify just what they want to eat. Do this by setting out different foods in small portions where you have seen yellow jackets. Start with a few small placements of our LOGANBERRY and SALMON paste. If you have yellowjackets, they will go to one one of these two items.

Loganberry Paste:

Salmon Paste:


OnslaughtBAIT GUARDSecond, once you discover which flavor they want, add some of the ONSLAUGHT mentioned above and place the mixture in our TRAP BAIT GUARD. Keep the bait refreshed by renewing it once every 2 weeks during the active season and this will both kill existing nests and keep new ones from forming. Add 1 oz of Onslaught per 16 oz of either bait. This works out to .5 oz of Onslaught for every 8 oz of bait; .25 oz of Onslaught for every 4 oz of bait. Use no more than 4 oz of bait per Bait Guard.


BAIT GUARD Bait Guard:

Third, do not to add too much Onslaught. The yellow jackets will avoid any mix which is too strong so the recommended mixture rate listed above would be the most needed. And remember these Bait Guards can be hung on a tree branch or out a window so children or pets cannot reach the placement so make it inaccessible if possible. Remember, yellow jackets have a tremendous sense of smell and will find it quickly.

Some more notes on baiting:

  1. This method of control is very effective in areas of the country where yellow jackets are a constant nuisance at picnics and barbecues. If you have a problem with these wasps appearing every time you grill hot dogs or hamburgers, than set out some bait for quick control. Since yellowjackets can travel great distances and will do so when searching for food, the nest could be in someone else’s yard. Nests located on other property may never be accessible by you or any service company so you might not ever be able to destroy it except by baiting. If a remote nest like this finds your home and/or property, the only control option you may be able to employ would be baiting.
  2. Don’t waste too much time with yellowjacket traps if you have significant yellow jacket activity. Yellowjackets are prolific and will quickly replace the workers and scouts your traps keep. If you have used the traps and find that after only one week they aren’t working well enough, start with a baiting program. It will prove 100% more effective.
  3. Remember that there can be many nests in any given area and that activity at your bait stations could go on for many weeks. This means that you have multiple yellowjacket nests finding your bait. Usually any nest that finds the offering will feed for 2-5 days and then stop. Once they stop another nest will undoubtedly find the station and start feeding so the transition is seamless.

Now if you see yellow jackets feeding over a period of several weeks it means you have been attracting several nests which are near by. This is not uncommon and happens in many places around the country. Be sure to have patience and keep your bait placements fresh. This will insure you are killing off all of the nests which are active on your property so that you can go about your business yellow jacket free. Keep in mind that we have many customers who will make bait placements all summer long. Though these placements may only be fed upon periodically; the fact that they keep the placement fresh and available they are able to prevent any new nests from forming – a critical benefit of season long baiting.



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July 10, 2012

Debbie @ 7:12 pm #


I have a large yellow jackets nest inside the walls of my hot tub/spa. It’s a small hot tub (only fits 4 people). I really need to be able to use it again because I broke my back in a 3 story fall and it’s the only thing that gives me relief. I read through all of your solutions but couldn’t figure out which one would be best for my needs…also I should add I stepped in a yellow jackets nests when I was about 15 years old and was stung about 300 times…naturally I ran and for some reason when I got to a large clearing they finally left me alone but by that time I was already on my knees crawling and promptly pass out. I spent days and days in the hospital…it was actually interesting that they came after me because we had 2 dogs and about 8 other people standing right next to me when I stepped on the nest. Everyone else got no more than 5 stings…2 people didn’t get any…but they sure did zero in on me. Do I have a point to this story…yep, I’m scared to death of them…so would you please help me find an answer to getting rid of them please.
Thanks-Debbie S.

July 11, 2012
July 27, 2012

Rich Nugent @ 12:36 pm #


I have yellow jackets that have created a nest in my trailer which is loaded with branches and brush. What is the best way to kill them in this situation? Thanks.

July 30, 2012

Rebecca @ 12:35 pm #


I have a nest of yellow jackets next to my front door that appear to be in the light fixture. I’ve already been stung a few times. What would be the best product to get rid of them? Thank you.

August 26, 2012

Scott Shadd @ 8:40 am #


We have hummingbird feeders which attract yellow jackets. We have tried several types of traps that have worked a little but we have found several nests around the house the hard way and have destroyed those colonies. We need to find something to destroy their colonies. We live in a wooded area and try to keep the weeds cut about 200 ft around the house but we are getting into their nests. Please let us know what will work best in our situation.
Thank you.

August 28, 2012

Ken @ 2:11 pm #


I have a yellow jacket nest under the vinyl siding of my house at the bottom near ground. My dog was stung multiple times. I have two dogs total and was wondering what you recommend.

August 4, 2014

Frank @ 8:17 pm #


I have yellow jackets in my siding (a crack near the decking). Most come and go from this hole. There is another spot about 10 feet below it where I see a few coming and going. I bought your duster and powder. I also have a bee suit. I saw where someone dusted and closed the holes with caulking (in the Internet). He did it during the day.

When is the best time to apply the dust and how should I apply it? Can I expect the yellow jackets to attack even at night during or after the application? Any pointers would be appreciated; particularly on how not to get stung, but kill the nest.


August 5, 2014
September 1, 2014

Mike @ 3:35 pm #


We have outdoor teak furniture in one residence and ipe (ee’-pay) furniture and decking at another. In both locations, yellow jackets land on and nibble the wood, leaving minuscule troughs and discoloration. Where we have the ipe, they seem to be using what they chew for nest-building purposes, and we have had an exterminator destroy the nest. However, our teak furniture is outside our condo, and there is no nest in sight. I suspect they are traveling from a nest elsewhere to scour for nesting material and have hit the motherlode with our numerous chairs and tables.

Only thing I have been able to find online regarding this problem is treating the teak with a combination of 1/3 citronella, 1/3 eucalyptus oil and 1/3 menthol. I contacted the retailer of our teak furniture and she indicated she knew of the problem, but the only thing she offered is that there is a solution available in England that prevents the problem, but it is illegal in the U.S.

Are you aware of any legal treatments other than the eucalyptus/menthol/citronella mixture that will keep the destructive little buggers away?

March 11, 2015

Ron @ 1:51 pm #


I have yellow jackets building nests in the ceiling over my front porch. It is a large wrap around porch whit a plastic ceiling that drops out, thus there are many gaps that allow them to get in above the drop ceiling. Unfortunately I cannot seal that. I have dropped the ceiling out recently and found several small nests. It is late winter, so I just removed them. In the past a few have entered the house., although I can’t find the crack in the wall. I want to keep these nests out… What can I do to prevent this from reoccurring every year?

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