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How to Get Rid of Wasp Nests—Without Gasoline

Closeup of wasps on their nest

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok this summer, you’ve probably seen people attempt a viral wasp-killing hack where you cover a nest with a cup or bowl of gasoline. But the hack seems iffy at best and dangerous at worst, so are there other ways to get rid of wasps?

While yes, the TikTok hack works thanks to the strong vapors from the gasoline, you don’t have to use it. Instead, consider some safer—and just as effective—options for wasp nest removal. We’ve got you covered with a few ideas.

Why Are People Using Gasoline on Wasp Nests?

Wasps building a nest on a house
Chris Alcock/Shutterstock.com

The fumes of gasoline are toxic. When people hold up a cup of gasoline against a flat surface surrounding a wasp nest, it essentially suffocates all of the wasps inside. They inhale the toxic fumes and they’re robbed of oxygen in seconds. As a result, they fall from the nest and you’re left with a cup of dead bugs.

Unfortunately, gasoline fumes are toxic to humans, too. Plus, you can’t pour it down the drain when you’re done, and if you use the wrong material to store it, it could eat through your container and get on your skin.

Needless to say, no matter how effective it might be, gasoline on wasp nests isn’t exactly safe.


Wasps in gasoline!!! #wasp #gasoline #wasphack

♬ original sound - Taylor

How to Get Rid of Wasp Nests

Paper wasps building a nest
Kelly Marken/Shutterstock.com

So, how can you get rid of wasp nests without using gasoline? There are plenty of safer methods that are just as easy. Your main goals should be to avoid getting stung, to use products that won’t harm you or your home, and to make sure your methods are effective so the wasps don’t return.

Let’s cover a few tried and true ways to stop wasps in their tracks.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner

If you’re dealing with a small wasp nest and you don’t want to use any kind of chemical or liquid spray, simply suck it up! A heavy-duty vacuum with a long nozzle, like a ShopVac, is best for this kind of job.

Move slowly toward the nest and position the nozzle as closely as possible to it before turning on the vacuum. Then, cover the nest completely and let the vacuum work for a few seconds until you’re sure it’s sucked up everything.

CRAFTSMAN 16-Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac

Grab a heavy-duty shop vacuum for spills, debris, dust, and wasp nests.

Choose a Wasp Spray

One of the old tried and true methods for getting rid of wasp nests is using an insecticide. They’re formulated to kill wasps quickly and they allow you to stand several feet away from the nest itself.

While these sprays typically don’t knock down the nest, you can rest assured that they will kill all wasps inside, so you can safely knock down the empty nest with a stick or shovel a few minutes later.

Soap and Water

Soap and water might seem harmless, but they can help to kill wasps and get rid of their nests quickly when used the right way.

Mix about two tablespoons of dish soap into a spray bottle filled with water. Standing at a safe distance, spray the nest several times, wait a few minutes, and repeat if necessary. This combination clogs the breathing pores of the wasps, essentially suffocating them without putting you at risk of inhaling any harmful fumes!

CSBD 16oz Plastic Spray Bottles

Clean up those nests and get rid of wasps around the home.

Create a Deadly Trap

Okay, that sounds more sinister than it is. But, if you want a more hands-off approach to killing wasps from a nest, you can create an all-natural trap to lure them in.

Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, and water to a bowl and mix together. They’ll be attracted to the sugar, but the vinegar will get into their system and slow them down before they can escape the liquid.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With the Mother

Wasps and vinegar just don't mix.

Go Out at Night

Wasps need rest, just like humans! If you’ve spotted a small nest nearby, you might be able to get rid of it quickly by going out at night while they’re dormant. Wear protective gloves and clothing, and quickly place a garbage bag over the nest. You can scrape it against the flat surface holding the nest and tie it closed. If you’re able to work quickly, you should be able to toss the bag away without too much buzzing!

Keep in mind, though, that this method is arguably the most risky for stings. Exercise extreme caution with this one.

Hefty Strong Tall Kitchen Trash Bags

Just when you thought there weren't any more uses for trash bags...

How to Prevent Wasp Nests

A red house has white porch stairs and shrubbery lines a walkway.

It’s often much easier to keep wasps away than it is to get rid of them! But, with a bit of effort, that’s easy to do. One of the most effective ways is to spray vinegar around areas of your home exterior where you’ve seen nests in the past.

You should also seal all entry points to your home, make sure your outdoor garbage bins are always shut, and use natural repellents like peppermint oil, eucalyptus, or basil to deter wasps from coming close.

Wasps can be dangerous little creatures, and it’s understandable to want to get rid of them quickly. But, if you want to avoid the gasoline hack and the risks that come with it, try some of these solutions to safely get rid of wasps and keep them away for good.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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