Updated: November 2017

Yellow Jacket Nest Removal:

Do you have a wasp nest in your back yard? Maybe you see yellow jackets coming and going from the ground? When we recently moved into our new house we realized that large amounts of yellow jackets were flying in and out of the rock wall in the backyard. Most of the yellow jacket nests I remember seeing as a kid in California were all above ground and up under awnings around the house or in trees. I didn't know what to do with a nest that was essentially underground and buried within a large wall of boulders. After talking with a few neighbors about similar issues they'd had, I decided that perhaps using a store bought wasp and yellow jacket spray might work. The problem for me was where to shoot the spray to make it effective plus make sure that I wouldn't get stung a bunch once they realized what was happening. I figured my best chance to surprise the yellow jacket nest would be at night when their activity was always at a low.

The aerosol spray cans you can buy are about $10 and they can shoot a pretty solid spray up to 20 feet and they are accurate. I put on some heavier clothing and went out when it got dark. I had marked the opening in the rocks where they yellow jackets had been going and used a flashlight to get my aim. I stood just about 3 feet from the opening and unloaded the spray can. The spray is supposed to "freeze" yellow jackets and wasps on contact and the ultimate goal is to kill the queen inside the nest so that the others will leave the location. Unfortunately it takes a few days to determine if the spray has worked and in my case even after a week the activity levels of the yellow jackets had not subsided enough for me to think that the spray had worked. I had to look into a yellow jacket nest treatment to try to eliminate the pests from our yard. From my research I found out that it is best to treat a yellow jacket nest earlier in the summer than later so that the colony doesn't have time to build up. Pest control experts also urge most homeowners to leave nests alone that you find in late summer or early fall, especially if you live in a cold weather climate. The yellow jackets don't like cold weather and they will probably abandon the nest. In our case we had to deal with the nest in July since we knew we had 2 more months of summer at least and our kids wanted to play in the yard during the good weather (in Portland, Oregon you need to take advantage of the summer months). I called around to a few pest control services and had one come out the next day to deal with the nest.

How Much does it cost to remove a yellow jacket nest?:

A yellow jacket treatment to the nest runs about $100 for a guy to come out to your house or yard and stick a wand into the nest area and spray a chemical freeze into the nest. The freeze will kill the yellow jackets and most importantly it will eradicate the queen which is the key to the whole thing. Once the queen is dead the rest of the yellow jackets will abandon the nest. It was a quick process and the pest control guy was dressed in a relatively protective suit as he approached our rock wall area and located the nest. Within a few seconds of inserting the wand into the nest and spraying he was done. I never saw a bunch of yellow jackets come flying out so I assume they were pretty much dead instantly and had no time to attack. Throughout the next day or 2 we saw some straglers coming back to the nest and they obviously found it destroyed. Since the nest was hidden in the rocks we could not remove it completely, but the company that did the treatment told us we shouldn't have a problem and they guaranteed it for at least 45 days. It's been 2 years now since the nest was treated and we have had no issues with yellow jacket nests in our yard since. We do still get a limited amount of yellow jackets that fly around our yard but we have put up traps to take care of those few. Otherwise we are free of yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets.

DIY Yellow Jacket Nest Treatment:

As we mentioned above, using a yellow jacket or wasp foam spray is an option if you can get access to the nest opening and effectively shoot the spray. My situation was less than ideal as the nest was located inside some rocks and I couldn't get a clean shot. I did purchase the foam spray and attempt it, but after my failed try I called in the experts and paid the money. You can see the top selling yellow jacket sprays and treatments online here.