Does Soapy Water Kill Wasps? We Asked a Pest Expert

Wasps can be unwelcome guests in our outdoor spaces, posing a threat with their painful stings and aggressive behavior. 

When dealing with these flying insects, many people prefer to avoid using harsh chemicals or pesticides that can harm the environment, pets, or humans.

That’s where a simple household item like soapy water comes to the rescue. But does soapy water really kill wasps? Can it be a safe and effective solution for wasp control? 

Important Note: If you're tired of pests and want a reliable solution, then you should definitely consider seeking help from a professional pest control company. DIY solutions can be effective, but if you're dealing with a significant pest infestation, you don't want to rely solely on DIY methods. Pest control companies typically don't charge huge fees. You can fill out this form to receive free quotes from the top local pest control companies, and compare the quotes and see for yourself. Then, finally, your pest problems will be eliminated for good.

In this article, Skye will share his expertise and provide valuable insights on soapy water as a natural alternative for dealing with wasps to help us better understand how to manage and prevent wasps’ problems. 

So, let’s dive in..!

About Skye Sakuma

Skye Sakuma, the owner of Y’s Pest Control, a family-owned and operated company based in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. 

With over 15 years of experience in the pest control industry, Skye has become a trusted and respected expert in the field. 

His company is known for its exceptional service and commitment to providing effective solutions to clients dealing with pest problems.

Does Soapy Water Kill Wasps

According to Skye “ Yes, Soapy water can be effective in killing wasps. The soap breaks down the wasp’s exoskeleton, causing them to suffocate and die. However, it’s important to note that this method may not be effective against all types of wasps.”

How to Use Soapy Water for Killing Wasps?

Let’s take a closer look at a step-by-step guide on creating and utilizing soapy water.


  1. Liquid dish soap (preferably a mild, biodegradable one)
  2. Water
  3. Spray bottle


  1. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap into a quart of water. Avoid using too much soap, as it may leave a residue that can harm plants or other surfaces.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with the soapy water solution.
  3. Locate the wasp nest or the area where the wasps are congregating.
  4. Spray the soapy water directly onto the wasps or their nest from a safe distance. Aim for the head and thorax of the wasps for maximum effectiveness.
  5. The soapy water will coat the wasps’ bodies and interfere with their breathing ability, causing them to die.
how to use soapy water to kill wasps

Precautions to Take When Dealing With Wasps

Taking precautions and prioritizing safety is essential when dealing with wasps. Ed, a Pest Control Expert from Orange, California, Whom we interviewed earlier, advises against using the “Do it Yourself For Wasps” method, stating, “I see recommendations online for it, but I would not recommend using it.”

Stay Away From The Nest During Daytime

Skye suggested “The best time to use soapy water to kill wasps is when they are least active, such as early in the morning or late at night. This is because they are less likely to be agitated and aggressive during these times.”

However, if there is a big wasp nest, you should avoid handling it by yourself. Here we would like to mention that Ed Carter advises “Do not attempt to handle any wasp nest other than an umbrella wasp nest, on your own

Handle Umbrella Wasps with Caution

When it comes to dealing with umbrella wasps, Ed recommends waiting until the evening close to dark, when they are least active and most of them have returned to the nest. 

However, if the nest is located high in the eaves of a house, he strongly advises hiring a professional for safe removal. 

If you choose to do it yourself, wearing protective clothing such as a long sleeve shirt, pants, and a hat is essential.

Recommended Products for Wasp Control

In terms of product choice, Ed suggests using a specialized wasp control product like Spectracide Wasp and Hornet Killer. 

While there may be other products available that are more effective, he cautions that they should only be used by licensed professionals.

Seek Professional Help

According to Skye Contacting a pest control company is usually a better option than dealing with a wasp nest by yourself. Professional pest control companies have the expertise and equipment necessary to safely and effectively remove the nest without putting yourself or others at risk. Additionally, they can provide advice on how to prevent future infestations.”

Note: It’s important to note that these DIY methods like soapy water may not be effective in fully eliminating wasps, and may only serve as temporary solutions. 

To ensure optimal outcomes, it is advisable to seek guidance from a reputable pest control service for the formulation of a comprehensive treatment strategy. 

If you are from the South Bay area in Los Angeles, you can get professional help from Y’s Pest Control for the best results.

does soapy water kill wasp

Frequently Asked Questions about Soapy Water and Wasps

Will Soapy Water Kill Wasps?

Yes, soapy water can be an effective and environmentally-friendly way to kill wasps. The soap breaks down the wasp’s exoskeleton and suffocates them, making it an inexpensive and non-toxic option for wasp control.

How long does it take for the Soapy Water to Kill Wasps?

The duration for the soapy water to kill wasps can vary depending on various factors such as the concentration of soap, temperature, and the size of the wasp. 

In general, the soapy water may take a few minutes to an hour to effectively kill wasps. Some users have also claimed that soapy water can instantly kill wasps.

Can you use any soap for making Wasp Killing Solution?

No, using soap to create a wasp-killing solution requires a specific type of soap. Castile soap or dish soap are commonly used as they break down the wasp’s exoskeleton, leading to its demise.

Can we use Soapy Water to Kill Yellow Jackets or Hornets?

According to SkyeSoapy water can also be used to kill yellow jackets and hornets. The same principle applies – the soap breaks down their exoskeletons and causes them to suffocate

However, it is important to exercise caution and use appropriate safety measures when dealing with hornets as they can be aggressive and pose a threat.

Should I use Soapy Water if there is a Big Wasp Nest On my Property?

Skye suggests “If you have a big wasp nest on your property, it may not be advisable to use soapy water as a method of control. This is because it may not be effective against a large population of wasps and could be dangerous if the wasps become agitated.”

how does soapy water kill wasps


As insights shared by our pest control expert “Skye Sakuma” using soapy water can be a natural and effective solution for controlling wasps. 

However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety by following precautions, such as avoiding the nest during the day, wearing protective clothing, and using specialized products.

Effortlessly eliminate wasps with our curated list of top-notch specialized products. Our detailed information on the Best Wasp Killer Spray will save you time and guarantee effective results.

Always prioritize safety and follow local guidelines for effective wasp control.

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Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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