“Remove the nest at night time. Wasps are more docile during this time so are less likely to sting”
— Pretty much every ‘Wasp Nest Removal’ guide, like this one
Two young girls had an unhappy meeting with wasps and had no interest in more encounters. It was up to us to remove the threat on the lot next door. While clearing brush, buzzing around us increased, letting us know we were closing in on the nest. It’s size impressed us once we found it.
Active wasp nest in tree
I suggested we return at dusk to remove and burn the nest. I was voted down. Paul decided he and Scott would remove it right now.
In the middle of the day.
When the wasps are most active.
Timing is everything
When NOT to remove a wasp nest, according to my memory:
In the middle of the day
When the wasps are most active
We could not wait eight hours until dusk for reasons never explained.
Sack on a stick
A sack was found and attached to the end of a stick. I walked away. A rope was tied around the sack’s top with a slip knot (to be pulled tight once the ENTIRE nest was inside the sack). I walked further away.
Execution (what could go wrong?)
Scott carefully lifted the sack on a stick around the nest so as not to disturb the inhabitants. Paul encouraged him, yelling “arriba!, arriba!, arriba!” (up!, up!, up!) faster, louder, and higher pitched each time.
Up, slowly, gently, avoiding branches along the way, Scott guided the bag and was covering half the nest. Self-inflicted near-disaster struck when Paul could wait no longer and pulled the rope as he ran away. The knot closed around the center of the nest and pulled it free from the tree.
The nest fell completely out of the sack on a stick and hit the ground with a thud.
Wasps swarmed the area. Scott was now left with a sack on a stick and a swarm of angry wasps. He dropped the sack and raced to join the rest of us watching from afar.
Watching from afar
(click photo to enlarge)
Someone attached a burning corn husk to a long stick and tossed it on the nest, rendering it partially burned and fully smoke filled.
Once the fire died down, Scott took a few whacks with a stick and broke up the nest. Miraculously none of us was stung. We did not stay to finish the brush trimming.
The next day, the nest pieces lay empty. Whew! All’s well that ends well!
I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!