I have a nest of yellowjackets (the not very aggressive european kind) that is just below my flat roof. I would normally just leave them, but I have no way of getting to the yard without passing by the nest at a distance of about a foot. Currently, this does not seem to make them swarm yet (though I can get hit by one as the swoop down a bit before entering the nest).

I'd like to get rid of them without using poison (the yellowjacket poison I can get in the stores here is a neurotoxin that also kills cats and there are a lot of cats in the neighborhood and they love that flat roof).

The nest itself is hidden. I can only see the entry points. Damage to the roof or walls is not a big issue (the entire building needs to be replaced in the next few years anyway).

  • 2
    Squirt with Ammonia water to make them vacate then knock down the nest with a pole before they come back.
    – Tyson
    Jul 6, 2018 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


You might consider building a "bee vacuum" from a box with some screened holes and a shopvac, like the one in this video by Matthias Wandel: Wasp Sucker. This would enable you to catch most or all of the adult wasps (you might need to do this a few times over a week or so, I'm not sure about the yellowjacket lifecycle) and then dispose of them through drowning in soapy water, controlled posioning (since your concern with using posion seems to mostly be about residue on-site), freezing in a block of ice, or whatever method suits you.

  • 1
    A vacuum works quite well gives them a good ride also but I would suggest capping the vacuum hose for a couple of days prior to cleaning the vacuum, I have done this on a job the owner did not want us to use chemicals, and I can't afford getting stung because eppi pens are really expensive.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 7, 2018 at 17:25

There are eco-friendly (pet safe) wasp/hornet sprays (they have a minty aroma) - sold by Hm Dep in the USA .. and the kicker they work like a bang bang canon shot. I have used the stuff and it works better than those neurotoxin ones ever worked for me and it does not stink like the others either.

If you see the nest you can encase it in foam.

If you wanted to try lemon juice that might work for the short term.

EDIT 7-7-2018:

A link was requested - I feel with the myriad of products available and the fact that I am not promoting one place over another I would leave the simple search up to the op. However since it was requested:

DuckDuckGo Automated Search for Home Depot

DuckDuckGo Automated Search for web results

BTW: Dish Soap (Dawn) 2oz per 8oz of hot water (you can add real mint/peppermint oil) or lemon juice to this mixture - fill your Hose connected sprayer and connect to a garden hose. In low level lighting (Dawn or Dusk) from a distance turn your water on (high) and spray the daylights out of the nest - you should be wearing some protective (long pants / sleeves) JIC. The Soap breaks down the Bees ability to prevent the water from reaching them - so you are basically drowning them - the mint / peppermint oil is a natural killer to the bees - along with the lemon juice the bees do not like either.

  • Can you provide a link to an example? HD has endless products, and the description is pretty generic.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 7, 2018 at 6:22
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    Unfortunately, the first link produces every bug spray sold by HD. The second produces a blank page. So I still have no idea what kind of "special" spray you're referring to. This solution is basically: go to HD, read the label on everything they sell, and pick something that claims to be eco- and pet-friendly. People would do that in the absence of an answer.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 7, 2018 at 8:54
  • @fixer1234 both links work fine and both demonstrate how to do a proper search in the SE for what the OP desires . If the OP does not know that op is looking for the ECO Pet friendly ones that show up in the results then the op has much bigger problems. I do not remember the brand I used, it is not near me now but I know it had a green label and was pet, child and enviro friendly and smelled very minty (I did get it at HD . Sorry if HD is a sore spot for you ) Label had something like Enviro or Eco on it - but I don't remember anything other than the stuff was awesome.
    – Ken
    Jul 8, 2018 at 10:41

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