Does Bleach Kill Wasps? + Some Other DIY Solutions

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Wasps have sent us scrambling for shelter during many outdoor adventures! Wasp stings really pack a punch. I don’t want wasps near me, my kids, or my dog.

Most people reach for commercial wasp killers to fight off these stinging insects. There are actually many ways to kill wasps without the use of heavy-duty chemicals.

Does Bleach Really Kill Wasps?

Bleach really does work as a wasp killer! The wasps have to have direct contact with the bleach for it to be lethal. Bleach will not kill wasps instantly, however.

How to Use Bleach to Kill Wasps

  1. Mix two parts water to one part bleach in a high-output spray bottle. You can also use a lawn sprayer with a wand.
  2. Cover up! Wear long pants and sleeves, gloves, a hat, and a mask. Try not to leave any skin exposed.
  3. Stand as far away from the nest as your sprayer will allow. I recommend a distance of at least two feet.
  4. Soak the nest and any wasps you see with the bleach solution.
  5. Repeat as necessary until all the wasps are dead. This may take a few applications if the wasps become enraged and you have to abandon ship!
  6. Once you’re certain the nest is empty, make sure to knock it down. You can soak it with more bleach to make certain there aren’t any survivors.

A Word of Warning

Bleach will not cause the wasps to drop dead instantly! Spraying them with bleach may cause them to become irritated. Keep your distance, and be prepared to run!

If you get stung by a wasp, some swelling and irritation is normal. If you experience nausea, vomiting, or dramatic swelling, seek medical assistance.

Bleach can discolor outdoor furniture and wood. Test a small area of your intended target before you spray bleach. You can experiment with a more diluted solution, though it may not be as effective against wasps.

Small amounts of diluted bleach shouldn’t harm plants or grass, but a large quantity may have an adverse effect on your lawn. Spray with caution!

Handle bleach with caution! Bleach is corrosive. Avoid getting bleach on your skin or in your eyes. If contact with skin or eyes occurs, immediately rinse with water. Do not drink bleach. If ingestion of bleach occurs, contact a health professional.

A Note About Wasps

Wasps can be helpful for fertilizing flowers and plants and killing pests. However, they are very territorial, and often sting anything or anyone who gets in their way!

What Other Things Kill Wasps?

Dish Soap

Dish soap suffocates wasps by clogging their breathing spores. You can put any dish soap in your high-output spray bottle. Use 30-60 mL of dish soap with every 500 mL of hot water. Shake your dish soap and water mixture until it is foamy. Use the same steps above for application.


Hairspray doesn’t kill wasps, but it will coat their wings. Once they are unable to fly, you can swat them!

Remove the Nest

New wasps can make themselves at home in an old nest. Once you are sure that the nest is empty, make sure to remove it. Wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and face protection, just in case there is a wasp or two left!

Once you’ve removed the nest, smash it, or soak it with bleach before you dispose of it. There may still be eggs or young wasps inside.

DIY Sugar Water Trap

You can purchase a wasp trap, or it is simple to make your own! The sugar water will attract the wasps to enter the trap. After they enter, they will be unable to exit and will drown.

You will need:

  • An empty, clean 2-liter bottle
  • A knife
  • A permanent marker
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • String or twine to hang the trap

Use a marker to draw a line about ⅔ of the way up the bottle. Cut at the line with the knife. Mix one part sugar with one part water. Pour this mixture into the bottom of the bottle. You could also try honey, jam, or even some meat, like hamburgers.

Add a small amount of vinegar. This will keep bees from landing in your trap. Remove the bottle cap, and place the spout of the bottle down inside the bottle so that the spout is towards the sugar water, but not resting on the bottom of the bottle. Either place the bottle outdoors or hang it with the twine.

Call a Professional

If you have an overwhelming number of wasps, it may be time to call a trusted exterminator. Do not attempt to remove wasps or wasp nests yourself if you have an allergy to wasp stings!

Final Thoughts

Don’t let wasps send you indoors! A wasp-free outdoor adventure is just a squirt of bleach away!

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