Locate, eliminate stinging insect nests


April 28, 2019

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE Research Entomologist, Rockwell Laboratories

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE, Research Entomologist, Rockwell Laboratories

Stinging insects are unpredictable, and their nests can be difficult to find. If you suspect a nest is hidden at an account, here are some tips to help you locate and eliminate it:

  • Place several containers or traps at varying distances from the structure, using any sweet solution with a small amount of protein as bait. Containers that draw the highest number of wasps are likely closest to the nest.
  • Use a thermal camera, which can quickly identify heat produced by nests around and inside structures, or underground.
  • Mark foraging wasps with a fluorescent powder, then return at night to find the nest entrance using a black light. This method is commonly used by researchers.

Once the nest has been located, it can often be extracted without the use of pesticides. If insecticides are necessary, consider using a fast-acting dust that will not agitate the colony. After using an insecticide, to reduce the chances of reinfestation or of secondary pests showing up to feed on the dead wasps and larvae, always return to excavate and dispose of the nest.


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