How To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets If You Can’t Find The Nest

If you've been plagued by yellow jacket wasps, you know how difficult it can be to find and destroy their nests. If you don't want to spend hours looking for the nest but want to get rid of yellow jackets, we researched the solutions. Here are some great tips to help you get rid of them when you can't locate their nest.

If you can't find the yellow jackets' nest, here's what you can do:

  1. Set up a yellow jacket trap
  2. Use a chemical spray or repellant product
  3. Put screens on your windows and doors
  4. Use natural repellant sprays such as vinegar, lemon, and peppermint oil

Yellow jackets are aggressive and they can both sting and bite, causing pain, inflammation, and allergic reactions. If you see them flying around your home, it would be prudent to take measures to get rid of them. Read on as we discuss further the steps you can take to keep them away and protect your home.

freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl - How To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets If You Can't Find The Nest

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets?

An Eastern Yellowjacket is resting on a green leaf. Taylor Creek Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Yellow jackets are a type of wasp that can be found in most parts of the United States. They're known for their bright yellow and black coloration, which makes them easy to spot. They can be found in both urban and rural areas, and they thrive in warm climates.

Yellow jackets are a nuisance, and they can be difficult to get rid of. If you're trying to keep yellow jackets from causing problems in your yard or home, here are some tips for how to get rid of them if you can't find the nest.

Yellow Jacket Trap

Put up a yellow jacket trap around the area where you see yellow jackets lingering around. It will lure them into a food bait and keep them in a specific area so you can spray them with insecticides. You can make a DIY yellow jacket trap or purchase one online, both will work.

Check out this RESCUE! Reusable yellow jacket trap on Amazon.

Repellant Products

Gardener white sprinkle Diatomaceous earth( Kieselgur) powder for non-toxic organic insect repellent on salad in vegetable garden, dehydrating insects.

An insecticide is one of the best ways to get rid of yellow jackets and their nests. There are many different types of insecticides available, including sprays and dust (e.g. diatomaceous earth).

Sprays should be applied directly to the nest, while dust can be applied directly onto surfaces where you think yellow jackets may be nesting.

The best way to use repellants is on warm days when the yellow jackets are most active—typically between mid-April and mid-October. Apply repellant early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler. This allows enough time for it to dry.

Aside from wasps, it can also ward off mosquitoes that start flying around at sunset and will help prevent bees from coming back into your house after dark due to their attraction to light sources like porch lights or open windows.

Check out this wasp and hornet spray on Amazon.

Window And Door Screens

Make sure all windows and doors are closed. Putting a window and door screen works better because it allows you to open the windows to let the air in without letting in insects and other elements.

Spray window screens with insecticide; this will kill any yellow jackets that try to get inside via the screen. If possible, replace old and dilapidated screens before spraying them to ensure there aren't any old holes you might have missed.

Limiting the number of entrances into your home that the yellow jackets can use to get inside will help keep them out. Seal all possible holes around the house that may serve as their entrance.

They will be more aggressive in trying to get in at night when they see open lights inside the house because the light and heat attract them to it.

View this expandable and adjustable net screen on Amazon.

Natural Repellants

If you're not into harsh chemicals and pesticides to get rid of yellow jackets, you always have the option of using natural repellants using very simple ingredients you can find in your pantry.

These sprays, however, will not eliminate them but only keep them away. You may also need to spray more frequently and regularly to maintain the smell around your home. Below are some of the ingredients and procedures on how to make a DIY repellant spray.


Try spraying vinegar on areas where you see yellow jackets gathering. This will make them leave and find a new food source elsewhere.

To make the vinegar repellant, mix equal parts water and white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Put it inside a long-range spray bottle.

Take note that the recipe for the mixture varies in different sources. Some sources say to use pure vinegar while others will say to use 1 part vinegar and 8 parts water. You may experiment with different mixtures and see which works best for you.

Spray the mixture around outdoor areas and furniture such as play equipment and patio furniture. Just be aware that vinegar might ruin wood varnish and corrode some metals so be wary of where you spray it.

View this pure distilled white vinegar on Amazon.

Lemon Juice

Lemon spray is a natural way to repel insects, including yellow jackets. It requires just two ingredients: lemon juice and water. Spray lemon juice mixture on areas where you see yellow jackets gathering—they won't like it and will move on to another area.

Peppermint Oil

Spray peppermint oil is a very effective ingredient to get rid of yellow jackets and other types of wasps because they do not like the smell. Spray it on areas where you see yellow jackets gathering—they won't like it and will move on.

To make the repellant mixture, combine water, a few drops of dish soap, and a few drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Spray it around your home and in areas where you often see yellow jackets flying around.

You can purchase 100% pure peppermint oil on Amazon.

Other Reminders

  • Use LED bulbs because it produces less heat and is less attractive for wasps
  • Avoid sweet smells around your home, even perfumes, because wasps are attracted to them

How Do You Find A Hidden Yellow Jackets Nest?

Wasps entering and leaving underground nest in a lawn on a wet day

Finding a hidden yellow jacket's nest can be a difficult task. These insects build their nests underground, in trees and bushes, or under your home or other structures where they might be hidden.

Their nests are made out of paper-like pulp that creates a sort of honeycomb structure where they can lay their eggs and raise their young.

The best way to find a hidden yellow jacket's nest is to look for its most common signs. First, look for areas where there are lots of yellow jackets flying around. This means there's a nest hidden nearby.

Ground Nests

If you have a big yard, one thing you can do is just start walking around and look for holes in the ground. If you see a hole, you may want to observe it for a while to check if wasps are flying in and out of it. Do not try to poke it with a stick or stomp on it, otherwise, hundreds of them might come out and come after you.

Tree Nests

Southern Yellow Jackets (Vespula squamosa) at the entrance of Nest Hole in ground

Another way to find out if there's a hidden yellow jacket nest near your house is by looking at tree branches. Yellow jackets love making their homes in the branches of trees because they can build their nests high up undisturbed.

If you look at your tree branches and see little piles of mud and sawdust, those are probably signs of a hidden yellow jacket nest nearby.

If you do find a yellow jacket's nest, don't try to remove it or spray on it without protective gear. There are ways to get rid of a wasp nest safely. You can check out this article we have that covers how to get rid of a wasp's nest: "How To Find Bald Faced Hornet Nest?"

Wrapping Up

You can get rid of yellow jackets through preventive measures and by using a mix of methods. However, if the above suggestions don't work and there's still an infestation of yellow jackets in your area, call an exterminator immediately.

It's possible that there may be more than one hidden nest in your area, that's why the yellow jackets won't keep away. Professional exterminators will be able to get rid of them for you quickly and efficiently.

For more information about wasps, you can check out our other articles.

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