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Natural Wasp Spray: We Got Rid of our Wasps, No Raid Required!

Looking for a natural wasp killer that won’t hurt you in the process? I’ve got your solution for how to get rid of wasps!

Natural Wasp Spray without chemcials, how to get rid of wasps

Long pants and a hoodie sweatshirt on a 95-degree day?

You bet, if you’re trying to get rid of wasps (just remember not to nab the bees!).

I hope you didn’t think that was our new sun protection solution! 😉 No, and in fact, we’re always adding to our massive natural sunscreen review so that people can truly find the best non-toxic sunscreen out there…

Spraying for Wasps: Our Wasp Problem

I was doing some yardwork (I’m a lazy gardener but still have to spend some time out there!) when I realized that I kept hearing buzzing as I went in and out of the garage through the side door – imagine my surprise (and horror) to see a softball-sized wasp nest right above the door, with plenty of angry wasps swarming around! Yikes!

My husband immediately wanted to go buy some wasp spray, but I was determined that we could kill those wasps naturally. There had to be a way!

He tried to buy some toxic wasp spray too, but he was a half-hour late for the local hardware store’s small-town closing time.

Natural wasp spray, how to get rid of wasps

Providence, I thought.

A Natural Wasp Killer Spray

LG Hose End Sprayer

I was just certain my homemade insecticidal soap that we use to kill ants naturally would work awesome as a natural wasp killer, and after a little bit of Swagbucks searching which yielded positive results for soapy water killing hornets and wasps, he agreed to try.

We knew it was a bad idea to kill bees, so we confirmed that we didn’t have cute little fuzzy things – no, definitely wasps.

Donning the proverbial wasp killing outfit, with his sweatshirt hood pulled up around his face, my husband wielded our weapon of choice: a hose-end sprayer filled with hot water and dish soap. (image at right from Zoysia Farms)

I crossed my fingers as he exited the door, hoping I wouldn’t be eating foot for dessert. (As in, “Open mouth, insert foot,” because I was so very wrong.)

He returned in one piece and in awe.

“That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” he stammered. “They just…died.”

natural wasp protection

He strongly emphasizes that the power of the water spraying gave him an advantage over the wasps, who were stunned and then died before they could chase him.

How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest

Here’s our advice to you for getting rid of your wasp nest:

wasp nest

This was probably about the size of ours above the door. Plenty scary enough!

  • Use a good amount of dishwashing liquid in a hose-end sprayer, about 1/4 cup.
  • Get the water going until the suds begin.
  • Blast the nest from as far away as you can be (wasp? ha!) while still maintaining a powerful spray.
  • Do the deed in the evening (dusk or later) after all the wasps have come home for the night.
  • And wear long pants and sleeves, just in case…especially if you have low water pressure. Winking smile

The soapy water works, by the way, because insects of all kinds wear their skeletons on the outside. The cohesive property of water generally prevents the water from entering their exoskeleton, but soap breaks the surface tension of water. Soapy water ultimately drowns wasps, hornets (and ants, if you’re battling them in the house) and for that reason is a very effective natural wasp killer. Although I must say that this 3-minute DIY non-toxic solution for getting little ants out of the kitchen is so easy, you won’t believe it. 

It shouldn’t matter whether you use conventional or natural dishsoap – if it cuts grease, it will get your stinging enemies! But of course I’d recommend natural cleaners for your health and the environment whenever possible.

Can’t see the video? Click here to watch.

Natural Wasp Killer Spray PrintableWant a Quick Reference Guide?

Download this handy printable so you are prepared whenever wasps try to set up residence near your home!

Get The Printable Reference

Should You Kill Bees?

Beekeeper holding up a frame of bees

There’s one huge caveat to this advice: Don’t kill bees.

If you actually have a honeybee hive rather than a wasp’s or hornet’s nest, you should call a beekeeper, who will likely be happy to take the bees off your hands. They might to do it for free, since they benefit from having more bees in their stock.

If the beehive is difficult to get to (in a wall, for example), the beekeeper will likely ask for (and deserve) a removal fee. Far better to pay a beekeeper to do it right than an exterminator to do it halfway (and a beekeeper in the comments says an old hive with dead bees actually smells quite attractive to more bees…so an exterminator is only a temporary solution anyway.)

Other types of bees pollinate as well even if they don’t make honey, so as long as they aren’t in a dangerous location or damaging anything, leave them be.

At this point in history, we’re in a bit of a bee crisis – they’re dying in droves and puzzling scientists and beekeepers, and the state of our food supply is at risk. Wasps can also pollinate and even kill pesky insects in your garden, so if their hive isn’t in a dangerous location, leave them alone, too.

No bees, no pollination, no food.

So please, identify your targets before you shoot. If they’re cute little honeybees, small and grey, like this one:

You Can Help The Bee Population

Don’t shoot.

Call in an expert.

Learn more about the honeybee population crisis and colony collapse disorder. And better yet, ways you can help revive the honeybees (without becoming a beekeeper).

Picnic Pests?

Ant poison

Just like wasps can be pests at a picnic, those little black ants aren’t always my friends either.

If you’re dealing with ants in the kitchen (or other rooms in your house), my post on getting rid of ants naturally is a treasure trove of information!!

I have plenty of personal experience with this one – Let’s just say I was working late one night and looked down to see 200 ants under my computer desk. Eck. Luckily, I knew what to do, and I learned a few new tricks too! Watch me make non-toxic ant poison in less than a minute in this helpful video.

Bugs Be Gone!

best all natural insect repellent

There really are safe, natural bug repellents to keep mosquitoes and ticks away from you family – but if you like more black and white science, the EPA registered insect repellents really aren’t that abhorrent to a naturally minded family.

And what about the bugs inside you? Here’s how to get rid of parasites with herbs and other natural tools.

What are your best tricks to battle the insects that infiltrate your house – without all the nasty chemicals?



Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

56 thoughts on “Natural Wasp Spray: We Got Rid of our Wasps, No Raid Required!”

  1. Forgot to add… these were wasps (I wouldn’t try to kill bees). Tiny black ones with a mean sting. The nest was right next to an outside wall of my house that I need to paint.

  2. I used a water, dish soap solution, then added vinegar to the mixture, sprayed several times, several days, then last night added some tabasco to the mix… nest abandoned this morning. Yaaay!

  3. I appreciate that you’re using non-chemical options and that you have advised to ensure to not kill honeybees, however I strongly feel you should remove any reference to killing any bee in this post. Many many species of bees are endangered and it is human caused. Humans require bees for survival as they pollinate the plants of the food we eat. We need to educate people that bees are the good guys and only care about your flowers. That being said, thank you for mentioning to have a beekeeper remove a honeybee hive. A Bumblebee hive however is quite exciting to have on your property.

  4. I have wasp nests and yellowjackets. I don’t kill them. I don’t see why you feel you have to kill them. They don’t attack us. In fact, one of the nests is right about the hummingbird feeder, and everyone co-exists. Birds, squirrels, coyote, rabbits, raccoons, and humans.

  5. Pingback: Estate Progress, Week 3: Wasps and Water Pumps | The Thomorian Estate

  6. Wasps can be very beneficial. I didn’t know why God would make wasps until I started growing broccoli. Now I have y own caterpillar patrol working for me. By the amount of butterflies, I should be overrun with cabbage loopers, but the wasps are on the hunt, and my broccoli is happy.

  7. sprayed wasps with 1/4 c dish soap in hose sprayer last night about 8:30 pm. Hose water on high & sprayed for many minutes. At 10 am this morning there were massive numbers of wasps out repairing their nest.

    1. You MUST wait until it is well after dark and preferably on a COOL night. You also must not wash off whatever substance it is you are spraying on them. 1/4 cup will get out of the sprayer pretty fast. Any extra spraying just gave them a bath.

  8. We have wasps. We DO NOT kill them unless they are in a nuisance place. THEY ARE IMPORTANT PREDATORS that kill lots of plant damaging insects in the garden. I have only been stung a couple of times in the 11 years we have lived here and only when the nest has been in a traffic area.

  9. I’ve also heard a mixture of vinegar, garlic & hot pepper will repel insects. I sprayed a little of that yesterday after my cat got stung, resulting in a $90 vet visit (she’s okay). Smelled terrible, but we’ll see how well it works. I’ll try some of the ideas listed above, too.

  10. Tried peppermint/orange/soap in water concoctions several times, even upping the peppermint. Sadly it’s not working for me.

  11. My family has lived in our home for 25 years. It is on land and has a lot of wildlife, which includes a large number of insects. Up until recently the red wasps and I have co-existed just fine. I have exterminated some nests over the years when they were close to our doors and buzzing us, but I was unaware of any alternative. In the past month I have been stung twice. I find it strange that their behavior has changed. Especially since I have not disturbed their nest or been agressive toward them. One time I had no idea it was there until I was stung. The other warned me off, then came after me anywaay. Unfortunately it looks like the nest is inside of the overhang, so I have no idea how big it is. I hope Tony posts the “recipe” to use. I would prefer to run them off. I have animals and a granddaughter to consider, as well as, I am tired of getting stung.

  12. Tony

    Will a spray of lemon water work? I have so far been spraying water to drive the wasps away, and then knock down the nest when they are gone. However, I dont want to do that right now cause the nest has little cocoons in it and I dont want to killl the little ones. Whats a good way to make them go away without harming the little ones
    And where do I get the ingredients you talked about

  13. this is my problem I am having I live in an apartment that is brick and I live on the first floor in Delaware and I have seen yellow jackets flying around for like 4 weeks now I know that they are coming from a crack in the brick under the over hinge from the apartment over me on the second floor my husband have a reaction to them if stung and I don’t know it my son would and my son has autism I am afraid to go out my door do you have a help that you can offer

  14. Robert Wilson

    Great web; I also have MUCH trouble with fire ants, any suggestions? By the way, I have found that putting a screen, (as in screen wire) behind a powerful fan like the ones sold at Home Depot will draw mosquitoes into the screen. You put the fan where ever you decide you need it the most. Leave it running for 24hrs, then spray wash the screen to kill the remaining live ones with 50/50 water/alcohol.and to clean the screen. You can duck tape the screen to the back of the fan.which is basically water resistant, but I unplug mine, and allow it to dry out before re-use, or to clean it. RW

  15. Kyle L. Jennings

    **Interesting article after reading it. I have wasps that just love to hang around the back of my house. They usually like to hang up high as I’ve noticed the ones I have try to make their nests in outside corners & our heater vent. I don’t dare remove the nest or simply try to kill them right then & there because I’m HIGHLY allergic. —

    I remembered the last time I was at my camp –(which was about 6 years ago)– I actually got stung by 1 for the 1st time. Within a matter of seconds, I got an allergic reaction: abnormal sweating, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, etc. It was so bad that I had to be brought dircectly to the nurse who managed to diagnose me but she wasn’t able to do anything. I was very fortunate tho, that they managed to bring a holistic doctor who was able to cure me. (Not for good tho considering I almost died from the allergic reaction.) To this day, I am still allergic & not recommended to be around them in my condition.

    — But back to the current issue I was describing, I can’t go out & do anything about it. I was wondering if anyone has any better solutions? I’m keeping a lot of what you say in mind, but I wouldn’t be able to try the hot water & dish soap treatment as I have low water pressure. If anyone has any better solutions or recommendations, I would be happy to hear about them! 🙂 Although there’s 1 other thing to keep in mind, since I’m currently jobless I can’t really go out & buy anything. :/ ** I just pray that someone can help with this dreadful situation of mine!

    1. I too am allergic to wasp been stung put in hospital but cant afford that epipen.Thank God mu sister comes and sprays the wasp the stuffed brown paper lunch bags seem to help but im terrified of wasp and most people dont understand that but I do what I need to do early in mornings avoid wasp

  16. Thank you for the advice on the soap and water, my husband is extremely allergic to bees, wasps, etc. Another tip we discovered when we built our home 25 years ago was to sprinkle Boric acid in the walls before the insulation and dry wall were put up. It has kept 99% of the roaches out here in Florida. We were renting a house here before building and sprinkled it in all the outlets and behind the appliances. Remove all outlet covers and carefully use the spout on the container or a small syringe to put it in the outlets, then put the covers back in place. The place we were in had tons of roaches until we did this. About every 10 yrs we got into our attic now and sprinkle an additional amount down the outside walls. Makes a big difference here with all the roaches around.

  17. I have to say I am really dismayed by this post and the number of comments it has generated.

    Wasps and bees (of all sorts) are vital to our very existence on this planet. Without bees to pollinate, 70% of our food stuff would die out.

    Without wasps our gardens would be over run by herbaceous insects (they eat your plants).

    There is no reason to kill (almost never) reason to kill either.

    If you spray the nest (wasps) or hive (bees) with concentrated mint / orange oil, it will cause them to desert it and go else where.

    I have several (20+) wasp and solitary bee hives in my garden and we co-exist just fine. I value their efforts and they leave me alone.

    I occasionally have Carpenter bees attacking my wooden soffits but a simple re application of the above spray soon dissuades them, and they move to one of the numerous ‘bee hotels’ I have built for them in the orchard.

    I am not trying to blame anyone, but it really saddens me that the first reaction is to kill without even trying pausing to understand the benefits that they bring.

    As a child I was stung several times by both wasps and bees and learnt not to aggravate the nests/hives.

    If you are allergic that is a totally different matter and you need to ‘persuade’ them to move out pronto. Spaying the nest at night will cause the queen to desert in the morning, problem solved, no stings, no harm, no foul.

    I hope this post is read in a positive manner, If it saves just one bee colony, or one wasp colony, I will be happy.

    They are only insects looking to survive, not daemons from hell out to get you. Make they chosen residence less inviting and they will move.

    A win win situation

    1. Thanks for this respectful comment, Tony. I’ll put a little note in the post linking down here so people can read your thoughts – you’re right about needing our insects, and I love that you shared a solution to simply chase them out. I’ve never read that one before and will definitely try it if we have another nest too close to our living area! Thanks, Katie

    2. Thank you for this post. We lost both our honeybee hives the year before last and it seems like wasps of all kinds have decided our porches (under and over) and gutter overhangs are the place to be now. We even had a nest built inside one of the gutter drains right at the corner of the house where we park. The usual deadly stuff doesn’t really get rid of them, it just kills a few and the next week or two (or after a good hard rain gets rid of the residue) some new ones try to move in the same area. Besides, since you’re often spraying UP, a lot comes back down covering the porches and our outdoor furniture and putting who-knows-what into our water supply – yuck! We rarely have trouble with harmful pests/predators of any kind (besides fire ants) but wasps at your door is a problem, and we’ve tried everything I’ve come across, deadly or deterrant, but I hadn’t heard of the mint and orange (Bonus, I already have some on hand!). I really appreciate having an alternative to killing them, especially since killing them doesn’t deter them or work for long anyway besides the potential ecological effects. Maybe they will finally get the hint and move out closer to the gardens this year 🙂 thanks again!

      (By the way, if you come across a good way to get rid of fire ants, I’d love to read it. Our climate is too humid for the instant grits and such to work and the horrid killer stuff just makes them close up that particular entrance so they pop up a few feet away)

      1. I have been told a equal mixture of sugar and baking soda will get rid of fire ants. I haven’t tried it yet.

    3. Tony, I love you. Thank you for your helpful suggestion in dissuading wasp hives without destroying wasps.

      A great book to better understand the importance of bees for our planet (I learned a lot), please check out “Bee & Me,” by Elle J. McGuinness (no relation).

      Again, thank you, Tony, for your insightful comment.

    4. To clarify, mint AND orange oil or mint OR orange oil. And what concentration? We had a hive of bees in the far back yard (in my raised vegetable garden bed 🙁 ) but left them for the summer and they moved on by the next summer but wasps we have had build two nests with in 3 feet of each other (!) under the floor boards of the deck right under our back door. I’m afraid we had to exterminate that one, but had I known there was another way I would have tried that and blocked the entrance for a couple days. As it was, we barred access to that door for a couple weeks until we could figure out where they were exactly (it’s a barely raised patio, 6 inches), we didn’t want all the neighbour kids coming over to play and being bit or stung!

    5. Tony,

      Would you mind sharing how to mix up some of that oil mixture you mention? And how to use it? (Is it just oil? Add water? Put it in a spray bottle, or use a hose? etc…) I think we have hornets (black with a NASTY sting) in my DD’s bedroom wall that I would like to get rid of. We’ve had both girls on antibiotics after being stung and getting an rapidly spreading infection in the underlying tissue. It was awful and I’d like to drive the little buggers away before they strike again. Dr. says the next sting COULD/perhaps cause a more intense reaction. (anaphylaxis)

      Any help/advice you can give would be very much appreciated, especially since I have 5 kids and my own history of allergic reaction to stinging creatures. I prefer natural remedies to toxic chemicals, but will use whatever I must to keep my littles safe.

      Thank you!

    6. Jyoti Shekhar

      Hello Tony, thanks for the informative comment. I also would not like to be an eco villain while trying to save my house from wasp invasion.
      My problem is that the wasps have founded a colony inside the Switch board of my first floor balcony. So I cannot even think of using any kind of water spray. But I donot want to use any of the pest killer sprays either. What could be an alternate solution.?

    7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just bought a new house on some farm land in Maine and there are WASPS EVERYWHERE. They scare me deeply, and getting stung is no fun at all. I don’t want to brutally murder them, I just want them to leave me alone! This is PERFECT THANK YOU!!!!

    8. Thank you for this advice.
      I also do not believe killing is the answer to anything and being non-violent is truly the only way to learn how to live in harmony with everyone and everything.

    9. only reason i want to kill/run wasp off is cause im allergic makes me swell where im stung and we got a nest in back yard above where turn water on so can water our garden.

    10. Thank you tony! I do not believe in killing any bugs, even wasps (except black widows). I rescue spiders and teach the kindergarteners I work with not to kill spiders. We had wasps in our garage for years and we coexisted peacefully. They would fly in and out slowly and I would just duck or step aside, no problem. They have not been around for a couple of years, until now. They have just started to congregate outside my back door. I’d rather get them to move than kill them. I have sprayed them with water, but they came back. Also sprayed the wood posts with diluted bleach, but they still came back. Going to try the mint and orange oil today. Are you talking about the little bottles of extract that you cook with? That would take an awful lot. There is a furniture or counter top cleaner that comes with orange oil in it. If that works, I will let you know.

    11. Just wanted to drop a note to say thanks for the solution. I’m going to try it out this evening! 🙂

    12. I have a wasp nest on the eaves of the extension to my back deck. I am interested in your remedy of peppermint/orange oil to chase them away. Could you please give me more details as to how to go about this,
      for example
      – how much of both types of oil,
      – do I mix it with water,
      – do I use a spray bottle ,
      – is it to be sprayed on the outside or also into the hole where the wasps enter/exit?
      – will the wasps just leave the nest
      – do I knock down the nest after they leave?

    13. Tony,

      Thanks for this comment! We have been co-exisitng with wasps around our house for some time. I clicked on this article only because there is one nest that is very close to where we hang out regularly and 2 of my 4 kids have been stung recently. No aggravating the nest other than getting to close (which can tell you that it is too close! haha)!

      My husband is the one who first came on board with not killing the wasps around our house. I watched this year as wasps have been active in our kitchen garden killing the insects that are trying to eat my veggie plants!

      We also have a horrid time with Carpenter bees and while they do not bother us, they bother our landlord (my father in law). We have successfully been able to persuade him to not spray with chemicals for several years, but feel we are losing that battle. Thank you for the suggestion of the mint/orange oil. We will be trying that soon!

      The bee hotels you are talking about. Can you provide more information so that we could build some?

      Thank you so much!

    14. Thank you for this great alternative to killing! I hate killing bees or wasps but with a small toddler who loves to play in our small yard, there just isn’t enough room for stinging insects and her to coexist. I am buying mint and orange oil today in hopes of sending them elsewhere!
      Could you provide more details about how much to use and how exactly to spray the nest?

    15. Thank you Tony. I was upset that even the non-toxic remedies resulted in death for these wonderful social insects. I have 7 huge nests right now (yellow jackets & red wasps) under the roof eaves over my back porch. They co-exist peacefully with me, but have in the past made completely unprovoked attacks on guests sitting far away from them. I have to get rid of them this summer, because of having others move in with me in August. I’m so grateful for the essential oil suggestion!!

    16. Can you tell me the proportions of orange/mint oil to use? Do you use a regular spray bottle? Does it need to be essential oils and where does one get them?

      A friend removed my wasp nest and put it elsewhere. However, wasps have returned to rebuild it. I need not to have it in my courtyard, so I can have guests over.


    17. Nice thread Tony, I hate killing anything, even when its necessary [ie putting animals out of misery], so I will give this a try. I’ve got a wasp nest in my garage, up in the roof, and I would happily leave it, except every time I go to get something out, I get attacked. I’ll let you know how it goes, cheers.

    18. Could you please let me know concentrate, mixture, and what our how to use mint & orange oil top relocate wasps asap. Do you have to get on the nest?
      Mine is in a very dense, blossoming plum tree. Can’t see anything but swarming wasps, and am too afraid to be digging around there.

    19. You have just saved me from trying to extinguish the nest we have, I agree with your comments, they have as much right as us to exist.

  18. Make sure if u spray soapy hot water on a wasp nest to do it at night when all member are inside cause even late afternoon was not nice they did die in the nest but the ones coming in got pretty mad and had me ducking for cover lol!! but great cheap free what more could you ask for!!!

    1. Will kill the ones you can see the soapy water but not so good on ground nests…old lady told me u must hit them white cabbage dust if in the ground and wait for the activity to die then dig out the queen…I have hit this ground nest with everything so one more method won’t hurt lol.

  19. A builder friend put boric acid on the 2 x 4 construction area before adding sheet rock. The houses he builds never have bug problems . He charges extra but a good idea.

  20. If soap in water makes it possible to kill wasps, then could something in the rain be responsible for the BEEpocolyps? Just a thought, and I’m definitely going to try this soapy water trick on the wasps that plague our pool deck. 🙂

    1. The soap does work on wasps but you have to soak them, they literally suffocate. And having them all in one place helps, my problem is they try to build nests on my balcony outside my apartment (a very small space) so i have to be ready to duck inside when i hit them. They are also very persistent in Texas and huge nasty red ones, horrifying to see one dive bombing at you, super aggressive.

  21. I don’t know what kind of wasps you have, but yellow jackets that leave on my house, eat soapy water for breakfast! I tried spraying them with water mixed with carwash soap and they would just crawl away, shake it off and start flying again. I also used D.E. and it has zero effect on them. I even soaked one with hairspray, didn’t bother it much.
    Only nasty spray pesticides worked every time. These suckers are really tough.

  22. I was kind of skeptical about this at first but i had nothing else to get rid of two giant wasps nests in my van. I have been driving my parents cars a lot recently and my van just sat off to the side. I was cleaning it out and several wasps fell out! I used the soap and hot water and it stunned the wasps before they could fly away. So it does indeed work – terrible place to have two giant wasp nests.

  23. I would love to know how to get rid of those pesky little mealy bugs that not only get into flour, but also into any pegs of seasoning, etc. that I have in my cupboard.

    1. Add bay leaves to all your flours. You can also freeze your bags of flour, cornmeal, spices, etc., for 24 hours before you open them. That will kill they eggs that are hatching in your flour, etc. My cabinets got infested, too, so I had to take everything out (I threw it all away), cleaned everything & started over with treated foods.

      I put a bay leaf (one or more, depending on the size of my container) in EVERYTHING! No more problems.

      Wish roaches were that simple. I got some good ideas on this page, thanks!

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