Wasp nest hanging from tree
Life

Wasp Nest Removal – Not A Recommend Method

“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.

 

Wasp nest hanging in tree
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.

 

Removing wasp nest with bag and stick

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.

 

Wasp nest removed
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.

Burning wasp nest

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.

 

Results

The next day, the nest pieces lay empty. Whew! All’s well that ends well!

 

Dead wasp nest day after removal

A branch nearby buzzed with new activity…

How would you have removed the nest?
Wasp Nest Removal - Not a recommended method

Emily is a US Expat in Ecuador. She grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. Emily's 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 Emily know what you would like to read more about!

8 Comments

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Emily – I've no idea … but definitely not that way … on the other hand being in Ecuador throws up a few other challenges – what's normal there … well I'm glad you weren't all stung all over! Cheers Hilary

    • Emily Bloomquist

      You bring up a good point, Hilary – what is normal here? As Paul was preparing the sack on a stick, I walked around asking each person if we should wait for dusk. Each one agreed that we should then said but we are not going to (mostly with smirks). So, I was outvoted. Ah well, it worked out in the end. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • Bill Baker

    The easiest way to remove one is to have someone else do it. 🙂
    They don't have wasp spray here but the multipurpose bug spray they do have works pretty good. The tiny wasps are not aggressive so you can get a little closer than normal. After a couple of sprays they are usually gone and you can knock the nest down. Lots of times the little ones build the nest so big it can't support itself and then it falls and they go somewhere else. I know you couldn't wait that long and that one looks pretty firmly attached.
    Well at least you know now what not to do. LOL

    • Emily Bloomquist

      Absolutely, Bill, having someone else remove it is the easiest way! Haha! We will have to pick up some of the multipurpose bug spray and keep it on hand. Those little wasps sure can build big homes and quickly, too. Thanks so much for your comment!

    • Emily Bloomquist

      Eva, very early in the morning would have been a great time to do this. I would even make this a recommended way to remove them if it had been at that time of day. It is nice to know this is how it is done there, too. Thanks so much for sharing!

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