How to get rid of wasps in aluminum siding … for good!

After finding yellow jackets in my siding I tried everything to get rid of them… sprays, dusts, waiting… they just would not go away!  Tired of spending money I found a quick and easy way to take care of the pests for good.  This will work with any flying pest, too.

Items Needed:

  1. A Shop Vacuum
  2. Bleach
  3. Long Extension Cord
  4. An hour of time

I think you know where I am going with this, as it is pretty straight forward.  First, take about 1/2 gallon of bleach and put it in the bottom of your shop vacuum, then fill it about half way with water.  Place the lid back on and make sure the exhaust port is not open and the filter is connected to your vacuum.

Now you are ready to take out some wasps.  Carefully move your vacuum over to your siding hive and carefully move the suction tube close to where the wasps are flying in and out of their hive.  It is okay if you do not get it perfectly near the hive, within a few inches is perfect.  Next run your extension cord to the nearest outlet and plug in your vacuum and turn it on.  You will need to let it run for about 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes go back to your wasp killing machine.  You should see no bees coming in or out.  If you do, just give it a few more minutes, you can enjoy watching what is left get sucked into the tube.  If you have come out to find no wasps left you can walk up and bang on your siding with your open hand.  This will shake up the last of the wasps protecting the hive.  They will fly out and get sucked into your trap.

At this point you should be able to turn off the vacuum.  SLOWLY open it up and you will see just how many you caught!  Wait until tomorrow and see if any wasps are back.  You should be good to go, but if there are any just suck them up like the day before.

After a few days the queen should die and it will be over, you won.  What about the nest you say?  Well, new wasps will not come and use that nest so you can leave it.  When winter comes go outside and seal up any holes that the wasps were using.

26 Responses

  1. Nathan December 28, 2009 / 1:43 pm

    nice… I suppose this fixed your problem? (I also suppose that it is winter now and any wasps left over would now be dead).

  2. Andy August 31, 2010 / 1:27 pm

    Worked like a charm. Captured/killed all the wasps then sealed up the hole.


    • Justin April 5, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      You need to be careful when sealing up the holes to make absolutely certain that the nest is empty – if you seal the access holes while there are still living wasps/yellowjackets, they can and will chew through your drywall and come into your house. And trust me, you don’t want a swarm of angry yellowjackets in your home! When the first one stings you, he implants you with an enzyme lighting you up as a target for the other yellow jackets to attack, and you don’t have to be allergic to yellowjackets to die from their stings – the primary difference is when you’re allergic, one sting can kill you, while those who are not allergic, if stung enough, can still die. So exercise caution and wait more than a day or two before plugging the holes – once the Queen is dead, the rest of the wasps will leave – but not until that point.

  3. John D February 3, 2011 / 10:45 am

    LOL! Wow, this almost seems “mean” to the poor little wasps 😛 But kudos on a practical and effective home-made solution to your problem.

  4. SEO in Richmond February 20, 2011 / 3:48 pm

    You like to walk on the wild side. Sounds risky. And FUN! LOL Usually I find yellow jackets in the ground. Soak a rag with gasoline, dump some down the hole, drop the rag on top, drop a brick on that. And…run. heh. One piece of advice is to do this at night when the bees are all in the nest so you won’t be harassed by ones returning to the nest.

  5. KyleCaulfield February 23, 2011 / 7:25 pm

    HA! Yes, I wanted to watch them burn … hopefully next time they will be away from the house 😉

  6. Wasp Control June 10, 2011 / 2:35 am

    I had a problem with wasps last summer. I found a wasp’s nest in my loft and due to the size of the nest I had to call out a wasp removal company who were able to removal the wasps nest and seal up any holes. I’ve had no wasps since then. Great advice given above but I would recommend calling out an expert if there is a number of wasps due to the dangers.

  7. Vikki August 30, 2011 / 5:55 pm

    Wondering if they came back?
    We have a steady stream of wasps going in & our of a hole just under our siding right near our front door. The spray has done nothing. We are finding wasps in the house now though 🙁

    Hopefully my husband isnt too chicken to try this!

  8. John Wrigley September 17, 2011 / 11:41 am

    The vac works great, but I have been doing it every day for over a week and still they keep coming1 Last time I emptied the vac, there were hundreds of them in the bleach soup, all dead. they are also somehow getting through the window frame and into the bathroom.

    • KyleCaulfield March 14, 2012 / 4:42 pm

      John – Do you leave your shop vac on all night? I found I had to leave it on 24 hours a day for about 2 days until they died out. They also never came back and no other bugs reused the nest… Remember to seal your holes!

  9. Joe September 27, 2013 / 1:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I had a nest above my front door, but it was inside the wall, so I could not see or get to the nest. I checked my crawl space (attic) and the nest was not there, either. They were going in and out through a gap above my front door. I tried sprays, powders and everything I could think of.

    One late evening, after dark. I taped up all but an inch of the gap above the door. I duct taped the hose of the shop back to end up right below the gap. I had to use a lot of duct tape. The next day, after work when it was still light, but I knew it would be getting dark in about an hour, I plugged it in. I collected several hundred that first day, but left everything set up. I waited two days and you could see there was not much activity left, but there were still a few there. I ran the shop vac again for 30 minutes, until I saw no more sign of them.

    This really worked. I would keep the system set up for a few days to make sure you get any stragglers.

    Thank you again, for helping me fix my wasp problem, without having to call a professional. I plan to seal up the gap with calk, to prevent this from happening again.

  10. Tom November 6, 2013 / 6:08 am

    Great idea Kyle. I read so many suggestions but most involved spraying (wouldn’t get right up into the wall) or calling in a professional (why spend the money?). Your idea was unique and so far, day one, it has worked.
    Going to check tomorrow and every day for the next few days until there is no activity.

  11. Brian August 9, 2014 / 12:23 pm

    Works like a charm even without the bleach. I have set it up a few times now and each time collect 100+ from the same spot. Once I see no bees for a couple days I will seal it up. Thanks for the tip.. awesome 0 cost solution.

  12. Kathy August 13, 2014 / 1:19 pm

    We (husband and I) use all kinds a pesticides and the Yellow Jackets Laugh at us ..For three weeks and did not kill any of them…Use this method and after following the rules ran for about an hour and watch from a distance the vacuum swallowing up the pest. Went out the next day zero Yellow Jacket. Thanks very grateful Kathy

  13. david young September 6, 2014 / 9:13 pm

    my problem is they are in behind the metal siding on our mobile home, behind the shower. there are so many that it sounds like water running. i dont want to remove any siding while it is hot weather or i will get covered up with them. what do you suggest? i really believe there are thousands of them.

    • Nichole March 16, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      Same problem here, only in a rented MH so cant do much to remove them. Terrified of the little demons! Someone help!

  14. Megan August 9, 2015 / 6:36 pm

    We are currently using this method. No need for bleach, just add a bit of dish soap to the water to break the surface tension inside the wet dry vac….it is taking much longer than 45 mins though- about 4 hours yesterday and another 4 hours today. There were about 500+ wasps in the vac yesterday. Hopefully we break ’em today.

    • KyleCaulfield August 23, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      That nest is HUGE! Good job at getting them

  15. Rebecca Sanford September 10, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    So we have tried getting rid of the yellow hornets by using the shop vac so we are now on shop vac 3 due to us burning up the first 2. its working great but have so many left coming from so many areas I’ve put duct tape in most areas but they seem to get through somehow I’m afraid they will start coming into the trailer . I would add a video but doesn’t look like there is a place to add footage. If you have any ideas that we might try I would be most greatful . We are thinking about finding the nest taking down the scerting and some siding I’m starting to wonder if this is a huge nest . Just hope nobody gets stung . Thank you so much for your time Tim and Rebecca

  16. Darius September 16, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this…
    I tried using spray in the space between the bricks and the siding where my yellow jackets were entering for 6 months and still had them flying in and out every day. I set up my shop vac yesterday, and ran it for a few hours during the morning, another hour during the late afternoon, and captured over 620 (yes I counted) nasty hornets.
    Today I ran it for another couple of hours and only got 14 new ones. Looks like I pretty well have the problem licked. I believe the queen will be forced to leave if for nothing else, but to try and find out where all her drones went 🙂

  17. donna March 12, 2016 / 1:03 am

    I have noticed there were some wasps flying dragging something and buzzing around my door frame plus window. I watched and they disappeared, I happened to have some blue tac lmao I plugged up the holes trapping the culprits. I haven’t seen anymore, perhaps they got the message,

    • KyleCaulfield August 23, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      Be careful closing the holes without taking care of the nest… They will try to find a way out some how and it might be through your drywall!

  18. Darlene Turnquist August 22, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    I have same problem, but how do I hook up shop vac hose when it’s about 3 feet over my head (ladder I know) but in such an odd corner of where the house meets the overhang there is no way to reach. I used 4 fans of wasp spray and they hardly noticed. How would I keep the hose up there. Plus, the area the bees go in and out is a crack in overhang about 6 to 8 inches long.
    Help please. I’m trying to do this alone, no big strong husband to do everything for me. So, any advice is helpful and appreciated.
    Thank you so much!!

    • KyleCaulfield August 23, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      What I did was get some of the rigid extensions for the shop vac and duct tape it up there. I know it sounds and looks horrible but get it close enough to the hole. The wasps will be curious enough to go close and then get sucked in. Just run it as long as you need, you will see them going in all day long. Be careful not to stir them up and get stung! At night is the best time to go out without being noticed.

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