Summer should be a time for enjoying the outdoors, especially a garden where the children can play. That’s why a wasp nest on your property is bad news. The flying insects can be aggressive and sting multiple times if they perceive you, your family or your pets as a threat.
Call a pest controller specialising in wasp extermination to clear your land of this menace. Typically, in the UK, the cost of wasp nest removal ranges from £50-£100, with prices for follow-up treatment of around £50 per visit, in the rare case that it’s needed. However, these prices vary depending on several factors we’ll look at later.
This guide discusses how much wasp control costs and the factors affecting them. Also, we consider how to identify different types of wasps, their nests, and how to remove various nest types.
How Much Does Wasp Nest Removal Cost?*
Removing a wasp nest is straightforward for a professional as they have the training and equipment to make it easy. The table shows the typical price range for various procedures. Remember, you’ll probably discover unscrupulous wasp removal companies that:
- Charge very high rates because they believe the customer will pay more to rid themselves of this pest.
- Charge seemingly low prices. However, when they arrive to do the job, they add on a variety of extra expenses such as fees for using a ladder, mileage charges, call-out fees, and removing the nest from your property fee.
Don’t use these contractors. Instead, choose a fully-trained BPCA pest controller who’s clear and transparent with their fees and only charges industry-accepted amounts.
|Wasp Nest Insecticide Treatment
|Follow-up Insecticide Treatment (rarely required)
|Nest Removal (optional, when treated)
*Disclaimer: We compiled the fees in this guide from primary and secondary sources. They are correct at the time of writing (October 2022) but are average and estimated amounts that vary with many factors. Therefore, for accurate wasp removal prices, always contact a local pest controller, who will survey your property for the nest’s location and provides quotes. Generally, the contractor bases their quotation on an hourly rate of around £50/hr.
Complete the form on this webpage, and we’ll help you find a suitable pest controller.
6 Wasp Nest Removal Price Factors
Wasp nest removal isn’t a one-price-fits-all scenario. Instead, various factors affect the cost of removing a wasp nest, and you should consider these when researching a contractor.
1. Wasp removal service
Few people realise that you don’t need to remove the nest once the wasps are dead. Wasps only use a nest for one year and never return to the nest once they’ve left it. Furthermore, the nest consists of a paper-like material stuck to the building’s surface, which won’t damage its structure. In fact, there’s more chance of causing problems when removing the nest, and subsequently, the building’s surface often needs repair to ensure it’s watertight. So, you only need to remove the nest for cosmetic purposes.
There are a few different services you can choose from.
- Treat the nest – This involves injecting or sprinkling insecticide into the nest. Typically, prices range from £50-£100 depending on the location of the nest and its size.
- Follow-up treatment – Very rarely, as in the case of a large nest, the initial insecticide application doesn’t reach the entire colony, and some insects remain alive. Typically, this service costs £30-£70 for each additional visit.
- Nest removal – After eradicating the wasps, you can remove the nest. Removal isn’t strictly necessary, but some people prefer this option. Typically, physically removing an empty nest costs £50-£200. These prices mainly depend on the nest’s location and accessibility. Also, you might have to pay extra for specialist access equipment. Prices also depend on how easy it is to carefully remove all traces of the nest from the supporting surface.
2. Nest accessibility
Most wasp exterminators carry short ladders on the van as standard. But, if the nest is too high, the contractor must hire long ladders or mechanical access equipment such as a cherry picker. These two items significantly affect the cost depending on the hire rates, which vary depending on the rental company. Typically, extension ladders cost £30-£60/week, one-man scaffold towers cost £60-£100/week and cherry pickers cost £50-£80/hr with a minimum of four hours. Furthermore, scaffold and mechanical access equipment on a public pavement or road requires council approval. Permit costs vary depending on the council.
Sometimes, if the nest is within a cavity wall or other enclosed space, insecticide injection and nest removal will be impossible without removing brickwork. Usually, the customer must hire a suitable builder to create an access hole in the wall and repair the damage after nest removal. Typically, these costs will be separate from the customer’s invoice.
3. Whereabouts in the UK?
London and southeastern England’s labour costs will be more than in other regions. Typically, these labour rates are £4-£8/hr more than elsewhere.
Most contractors have a specific radius within which they do most of their business. Within this radius, they include travelling time and fuel costs in their usual company overheads. However, when going outside this radius, they’ll charge an extra travelling fee on top of the standard charge.
5. Minimum charge
To prevent a wasted trip, many contractors charge a minimum fee. Typically, the minimum charge is £30-£60.
We should reiterate that most people don’t remove wasp nests once the insects have gone. However, if you want it removed, expect to be charged depending on its location. For example, removing a nest from a tree or garden shed is easy. In comparison, removing a nest from a roof void might take many hours and cause damage to various parts of the building, which then need repairs. Generally, physically removing empty wasps nests cost £50-£200 depending on their whereabouts, accessibility and ease of removal.
How To Identify Wasp Nests
Surprisingly, many people think wasps and bee nests are similar. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bee nests are made from wax, while wasps make their nests from chewed-up cellulose, extracted from several different raw materials:
- Tree bark
- Rotten wood
- Woody plant stems
After emerging from hibernation in the spring, the queen wasp looks for a nesting site. Then, she finds the raw materials and transports them to the nest site, where she mixes them with saliva to form a cellulose paste. Slowly, using this papier-mâché material, she builds the nest in layers, forming hexagon-shaped cells for her eggs and larvae, walls and access tunnels. Finally, she provides a waterproof outer skin to protect the nest from rain. Once the construct has dried, the nest is habitable, and the queen lays her eggs.
Identifying the nest
The nest can be many colours depending on the material used to make it. But, generally, it’s grey or brown. It has a rounded, approximately spherical or tear-drop-shaped outer surface and can either hang from a central stalk (or petiole) or adhere to a surface in a corner, crevice or enclosed space. After the eggs hatch, the queen forages for insect grubs, aphids and other protein-rich food to feed her young. They grow quickly and eventually turn into fully formed wasps which fly around your garden in mid-summer. By this time, the nest will be densely populated.
Identifying a nest is easy because of the area’s vast number of flying wasps. You might see the nest itself, but often all that’s visible is a small hole in a fascia board or the mortar between bricks. It’s here where the wasps continually enter and leave the nest, hidden within the building’s structure.
Locating an outdoor nest
Wasps are predators and hunt for grubs and insects to feed themselves and their larvae. However, they also find other food sources, which is one of the ways to locate the nest.
Suppose the nest is in your garden, your home or outbuildings; wasps plague the area. They will forage for food, and if a scout relays the message that there is a food source nearby, the insects will swarm, all hoping for a piece of the action.
First, identify the food source. It could be that the bin isn’t closed correctly, or perhaps one of your children has an iced lolly, or maybe a sugary drink. The insects carry the food back to the nest, soon to be replaced by others.
Notice where the wasps fly to and from, and identify their flight-paths. Eventually, you’ll recognise where they congregate and the nest.
During summer, expect to find the occasional wasp battering itself against the window glass, trying to find an exit. Don’t worry; it’s normal. However, if you see many wasps in your home daily, there’s probably a nest somewhere indoors. It could be in a wall cavity or loft, and they’ve found a small hole in the skirting board or ceiling through which they can fly. Alternatively, there might be a nest in a disused wardrobe or behind a ceiling downlight.
Underground nests are more challenging to find as they’re usually covered in leaves or other garden debris. Favourite nesting places are old compost bins, under shed floors, in disused playhouse equipment, hollow trees, beneath wooden decks and patio slabs, and even birdboxes.
5 Common Wasp Nest Removal Methods
Before looking at the ways to remove wasp nests, consider the different types of wasps.
There are two general types.
As their name suggests, solitary wasps live alone and don’t usually cause humans any trouble. In fact, unless you know what to look for, you probably won’t notice them. Typically, they build nests in one of four locations:
- In holes left by other insects, such as beetles.
- In small wood or mud-built nests.
- Inside prey. Some solitary wasp species paralyse prey, such as a caterpillar, and lay their eggs in its body. When the egg hatches, the larvae feed on the prey’s body.
Social wasps live in colonies of up to 10,000 and are a problem for humans. They construct nests of cellulose and saliva within:
- Attics and lofts
- Under house eaves
- Hollow trees
- Cavity walls
Social wasps cause bother during summer. However, they abandon their nests in the autumn and don’t return. Therefore, solitary wasps do no harm, whereas at best, social wasps irritate us when we want to be outside during fine weather and, at worst, attack and sting us, our children, and pets. However, both wasp types are integral to the natural world and perform an essential function. So, if you can put up with social wasps, and their stings don’t cause allergic reactions, it’s a good idea to leave them alone.
We advise correct identification of the wasp species before exterminating them, as some might be protected by law. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) advises the UK government on flora, fauna and their habitats in the United kingdom through their Biodiversity Action Plan. Wasps, bees and ants belong to the group known as Hymenoptera, and the law protects some of these.
Tips to safely remove a wasp nest
If you intend to remove a wasp nest, take precautions to prevent stings.
- Wear long-sleeved clothes, long trousers, face and eye protection, and gloves.
- Use a good quality insecticide designed explicitly for wasps. Otherwise, you won’t kill all of them. Also, you might harm other wildlife, your pets and children.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions to use the insecticide correctly.
- Ensure you know how to treat wasp stings and have the correct first aid remedies on hand.
Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times, and they’ll sting if disturbed or if you get too close.
Methods to remove wasp nests
The following list highlights methods to remove nests from various locations
- Wasp nests on the ground are the easiest type to remove. Puff the insecticide powder around the nest, especially the entrance. The powder sticks to the wasps’ legs, carrying it inside the nest to kill the colony.
- If the nest is in a shrub, sprinkle the insecticide around the entrance, allowing the insects’ legs to carry the powder inside.
- Nests in the eaves, behind fascia boards, are difficult to reach. If you can get to the entrance hole in the fascia using a ladder, puff some insecticide through the hole. Once again, there will be enough to stick to the insect’s legs. If you can’t reach the fascia hole, try to access the nest from inside the loft space and puff the powder from there. If this method is too difficult, call a professional pest controller who will have special tools and skills.
- Many houses have airbricks in the outside walls to ventilate the underfloor cavity. Wasps love to build nests here, as they’re undisturbed, dry with plenty of room, and often many insects for food. Even if the nest is 2-3m from the airbrick, puff insecticide powder through the brick holes over a few days, and there’ll be enough to kill the wasps. Remember to spray all the airbrick holes because they might use one particular hole as the entrance.
- Use a professional company to treat any location, too high or difficult to access. They’ll have the training, access equipment and the correct protective clothing to do the job safely and correctly. Therefore, use a contractor from the British Pest Control Association (BPCA). They have full training using hazardous chemicals (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations), working at height, and complete insurance cover.
Will wasps return to a destroyed nest?
Wasps tend to use a nest for one year only. Once the colony has died, the queen hibernates in a sheltered location and won’t return to the nest. Therefore, if you can put up with the wasps during the summer, they won’t return.
What happens if you leave a wasp nest alone?
Social wasps have a particular lifecycle. The queen is active from spring onwards when she starts to build a nest and lay her eggs. From June to September, the larvae have turned into adult wasps, which forage for food in your garden and home. Wasps start to die after summer has ended, and the nest will be empty when the cold weather arrives. Also, by that time, the queen will be hibernating through the winter before starting again in the spring.
If you want maximum benefit from removing a nest, find it in early summer before the adult wasps have hatched. There’s only the queen to contend with at this time, and you’ll have a wasp-free summer.
If you want to leave the nest alone, you only have to take care during the summer because the colony will have gone from the nest by autumn.
Can I remove a wasp nest myself?
Yes, you can. However, most people end up annoying a few thousand wasps with the associated stinging problem. Yes, having an active nest in your home or garden is risky; trying to remove it is even riskier.
Wasps can be very aggressive and territorial when protecting their colony. So, ensure you take the correct precautions outlined elsewhere in this guide, and use a good quality insecticide designed for killing wasps.
Whatever happens, DON’T remove or destroy the nest until all the wasps are dead. However, for safety, we recommend using a professional pest controller to exterminate the wasps and remove the nest, as they have training in the correct methods and have the proper protective clothing.
Most people want to enjoy their garden in the summer without fear of attack by wasps. Usually, you’ll notice a few flying around the place looking for food, and that’s how it should be. However, when hundreds or thousands of wasps are in your garden, take care and have them exterminated professionally.
Complete the form on this page, and you’ll receive up to four quotations from local wasp removal contractors who know what they’re doing and will clear an active nest from your property.