One type of ground wasp is a yellow jacket.

Natural Ground Wasp Killer

by Megan Martin

Ground wasps are some of summer's most reviled pests. Ground wasps include various stinging insects that make their nests in the ground, including yellow jackets and cicada killers. You can employ a number of natural methods to kill ground wasps while caring for the environment.


Because many ground wasp species are sensitive to nest disruptions and very aggressive, it is crucial to take precautions before attempting to kill them. Wearing a full wasp suit with cinched ankles, wrists and neck is the best form of protection. If you do not have access to a suite, wear clothing that completely covers your hands, arms, legs, feet and face. Never approach a ground wasp nest during daylight when wasps are swarming, and keep at the safest possible distance while utilizing natural control methods.

Natural Soap and Water

One of the easiest ways to kill ground wasps naturally with items in your cupboard is to use natural or organic dish soap or laundry soap. Mix 3/4 cup detergent in 1 gallon of water. After the sun goes down and ground wasps are not visible outside the nest, pour this mixture into the entrance of the nest. It should drown the wasps.

Natural Insecticide Sprays

Natural insecticide sprays containing pyrethrin or other naturally occurring ground wasp killers such as peppermint oil and 2-phenethyl propionate are effective wasp killers. These natural sprays can be found at garden supply stores. To use a natural insecticide spray, wait until after sundown when wasps are inactive. Stand at least 12 feet from the nest with the wind at your back and aim the spray bottle at the nest. Press the button and spray into the opening of the nest, thoroughly soaking it. After 24 hours, check for any remaining wasps. If all wasps appear dead, remove the nest by placing it in a trash bag. If wasps are still active, repeat the treatment until they are gone.

Simple Trap

Traps are another method that will kill wasps without harming the environment. The simplest trap can be made using a glass cake cover or bowl large enough to cover the nest. At night, approach the nest, and place the cake cover or bowl over top of the nest, pressing it into the ground to prevent wasps from exiting. Leave the cake cover in place until you notice no moving wasps and dispose of the nest. This method starves wasps by preventing access to food and water. Keep in mind that it can take several weeks.

About the Author

Megan Martin has more than 10 years of experience writing for trade publications and corporate newsletters as well as literary journals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo Credits

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