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How to Kill Yellow Jackets With Detergent

Alicia Bodine

Yellow jackets are a type of wasp that will sting when threatened. This becomes a problem for homeowners who discover yellow jackets have taken over their property. Sending the children out to play, or pets to get exercise becomes dangerous, especially if anyone is allergic to yellow jacket stings.

Female yellow jackets have the ability to sting humans and pets.

It is best to kill the yellow jackets as soon as you discover them. This can be done with dish detergent.

Yellow Jacket Trap

  1. Cut the top section off of a 2-liter plastic soda bottle.

  2. Pour soda in to the plastic bottle until it reaches 3 inches in height.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon of dish detergent.

  4. Invert the top portion of the plastic soda bottle and stick it on the top of the bottle. Staple or tape it in place.

  5. Set the yellow jacket trap near the nest. The yellow jackets will fly in to the trap when they smell the sweet soda, but won't be able to get back out. They will then drown in the soda.

  6. Clean the soda bottle out every couple of days and replace with new soda and dish detergent. Continue doing this until you no longer see any yellow jackets in your trap.

Destroying the Nest

  1. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water.

  2. Add 1 cup of dish detergent and stir to combine. Water and dish detergent combined make an all-natural insecticide that you can use to kill the yellow jackets.

  3. Wait until nightfall when temperatures are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Yellow jackets are less active during this time and will all have gathered back in their nest.

  4. Pour the entire bucket of soapy water directly in to the yellow jacket nest. Quickly make your way back indoors.


Wear clothing that covers all of your skin or a beekeeper's suit when attempting to kill the yellow jackets with homemade insecticide.


Do not attempt to take care of the yellow jacket problem if you are allergic. The risk is not worth your life. Hire a professional to do it for you.