Yellow Jackets immune to common wasp sprays?

Asked September 16, 2014, 11:08 AM EDT

Hi, We've had an infestation of I think are common yellow jackets (see attached image) that have gotten behind a couple window frames on the outside of our home. And, of course they are getting into the eves and into our attic as well. I bought a can of Raid Wasp & Hornet, and doused them and the entrance to the wall void several times around dawn and dusk over a period of days, only to find the spray has no effect. Yesterday, I bought a can of Green Thumb, Wasp and Hornet, which has a different set of active ingredients. Same thing, no effect. So the question is, are yellow jackets, or this variety of wasp resistant to these consumer insecticides? Is there any other spray you recommend I try?

Chester County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

The manufacture has moved off of organophosphate based materials and have gone to other classes of active ingredients. You can use the sprays to douse the nests if you find them. Consider using a trap to catch adults. Several different brands of traps are available. Follow all label precautions when using insecticides and properly dispose of all used containers. For more info see:

Thanks, G.

Gregory, Thank you for the reply. From the photo, could you tell if these are common yellow jackets, or if they are honey bees?

After reading a bit, I've heard quite a few tales which emphasize the importance of getting to and/or removing the nest(s). Unfortunately for me, that would mean, at minimum, removing exterior trim...or worst case might mean removing drywall from the interior.

In your experience, would it be possible to use traps to exterminate the whole population so that I might be able to just seal up the void/entrances to the nests?

Its awfully hard to tell how extensive this infestation might be. During daylight hours I see a dozen, or maybe two, flying around the entrance. We've collected a maybe a couple dozen dead on the inside of the house over the last couple weeks. Obviously, I'm hoping we got this early. I cannot hear buzzing through the walls.

Any other insight you have would be appreciated!

They are not bees. The look more like wasps or hornets. I am thinking Hornets. Traps may not pull all the insects out of the nest. According to my research queens will move to a new location and build a new nest. after the first frost I would seal any known holes in siding or nest entry areas. Please review those guides I have linked to earlier. Also if you decide on a pesticide, be sure to fully read and understand the directions on the container. Good Luck, G.