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Controlling Stinging Insects

Date: April 1989 (Revised April 1995)

Source: NDSU Extension Service Entomologist

If wasps, hornets or yellow jackets are becoming troublesome around the home or yard area, don't attempt to control these stinging insects during the day when they are actively foraging for insect food. Any attempt to control them at this time will invariably result in someone getting stung.

Wasps, hornets and yellow jackets build gray paper-like nests under the eaves of homes, in shrubs, trees, holes in the ground and other protected places. Many of the insects in this group have alternate yellow and black bands across the rear portion of the body.

Stinging insects should be controlled in the evening when they are resting in their nests. At this time they are not active and the entire colony will be in the nest. Spray the entry hole of the nest with a specialized spray bomb such as Hornet and Wasp Killer containing Baygon. The spray should be directed into the nest opening at the bottom of the nest for approximately 10-20 seconds in order to completely fill the interior of the nest. Protective clothing should be worn as a safeguard against being stung.

If no insect activity is evident the following day, the nest can be removed and destroyed. If stinging insects are present, however, the control procedure should be repeated again in the evening and the nest can be removed the day after.

If a person should get stung, the pain can be eased by applying a cold pack to the swollen area. The stinger should be removed and if swelling persists, a physician should be consulted.

If you have further questions, contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service for additional information on controlling stinging insects.

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