We all like DIY solutions when possible, but sometimes an infestation can be too dangerous to tackle alone.
Depending on the type of wasp, this is especially true.
While there are peaceful solitary species such as paper wasps and mud wasps, communal wasps (including bald-faced hornets and yellow jackets) can cover you in painful stings if you threaten their nests.
Let’s face it, this is a good example of when it might be best to seek professional help.
But doesn’t a wasp nest removal cost a lot?
Let’s take a look at how much a wasp exterminator costs, the services involved, and key questions to ask before hiring.
How Much Does a Wasp Exterminator Cost?
As with all exterminator services, the exact cost of wasp removal can vary greatly.
Note: Due to inflation, the average cost for some forms of wasp removal has skyrocketed. While it only cost a national average of $300 in 2022, the 2023 average is now $450.
For most treatment needs, the cost will depend upon the size of the bee or wasp infestation as well as how difficult it is to access the nest.
Let’s take a closer look at the average range for different bees and wasps, as well as other factors that affect price.
Cost by Type of Wasp or Bee
Africanized Bees (AKA Killer Bees): $200-$1,000+
Due to their extremely aggressive nature, it’s a lot harder to deal with Africanized bees safely.
Carpenter Bees: $400-$1,050
Carpenter bees and wasp species that live in the woodwork are a pain to get to.
Left untreated, they can cause extensive damage.
Your local beekeeper will often gladly take honeybee colonies off your hands for the cost of transportation.
They may also take other non-aggressive bees such as bumblebees.
Beekeepers won’t remove nests from inside walls, however.
Hornets are a type of wasp that usually lives a very peaceful life.
They get their bad reputation because of a specific, aggressive species.
That species, the bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata), is actually a species of yellow jacket and costs more to remove.
Mud Daubers and Paper Wasps: $175-$350
These are beneficial, solitary wasps that rarely pose a sting risk.
It’s usually easy to remove a mud dauber nest or paper wasp nest by yourself.
However, you may need to hire an exterminator if the nest is hard to reach, such as in the eaves.
Red Wasps: $150-$425
As with mud daubers, you can just leave these critters be.
However, if removal is necessary (perhaps due to a severe allergy), the cost will vary based on accessibility.
Yellow Jackets: $175-$1,100+
Yellow Jackets are extremely aggressive when their nest is threatened, making them a scary adversary.
Even worse, a yellow jacket nest is buried deep in the ground, making it difficult to reach them.
In many cases, the exterminator will need to make multiple visits to completely remove the nest.
Wasp nests can be located in multiple places, which can greatly affect the final price.
An easily visible nest will cost very little to remove.
Nests in hollow trees are also relatively inexpensive.
However, ground nests, those in tree canopies, and those inside the walls of human structures can be extremely difficult to reach and thus quite expensive.
Read Also: What Do Wasps Eat and Drink?
You’re not going to pay a lot for a peaceful, solitary species of wasp.
However, when faced with a communal nest of angry yellowjackets or Africanized bees, the cost will be much greater.
Number of Visits
Depending on your location, it might be better to sign up for a quarterly plan.
This is great if you live near places that have a lot of nests, such as woodland.
A quarterly plan will generally only run around $100-150 per quarter and tends to include preventative treatments and an inspection.
Type of Treatment
It can cost a lot of money for regulated chemicals or special equipment.
The type of protective gear and materials or equipment needed will have a big effect on the final wasp removal cost.
Read Also: What Does a Flea Exterminator Cost?
When to Use DIY Methods
So let’s say you have a small infestation or are dealing with a solitary wasp.
DiY methods can work well in these cases.
Some popular methods include:
- Companion Planting (alliums, citronella, lemongrass, members of the mint family, and wormwood all have natural repellent properties)
- Contact Pesticides (usually in aerosol spray form)
- Peppermint Oil
- Soapy Water
- Wasp Foggers (for enclosed spaces)
Make sure you have a pest control plan in place before starting these treatments.
Wear proper protective clothing and try to attack the nests at night.
In the case of mud dauber or paper wasp nest removal, you can usually do this during the day if you know the nest’s owner is out and about.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Wasp Exterminator
When it comes to larger infestations or hard-to-reach nests, it’s better to hire a pro.
Professional pest control companies provide an entire package deal, not just one service.
They’ll do an initial inspection (sometimes at no cost) to assess the situation.
Once they’ve identified the type and severity of the infestation, they’ll come up with a battle plan.
This plan includes the most effective removal method, at least one follow-up visit to ensure the infestation is gone, and preventative measures you can do to keep the infestation from returning.
10 Must Ask Questions Before Hiring a Professional Exterminator
When hiring a professional pest control service for your wasp infestation (or any infestation, for that matter), it’s important to do a little vetting.
Morgan spent 18 years in the field before starting RMC, and has seen a lot of scams during that time (many of which he had to clean up after).
As a result, he recommends that you ask ten different questions when looking for an exterminator.
The first five are important for catching scammers, while the last five focus on the actual treatment process.
Here are his ten essential questions to ask before you sign any papers and why they’re so important.
#1 – How long have you been in business?
You know the old saying “practice makes perfect”? Well pest control is no exception.
An experienced company will often have better equipment and the appropriate protective gear for any situation.
They’ll also have a much more intimate knowledge of dealing with particular critters.
Of course there’s an exception to this rule: when veterans start their own company.
But you’ll be able to verify if this is the case with the next question.
#2 – Do you have any testimonials or referrals?
Any company that refuses to give you access to both the positive and negative feedback has something to hide.
Even a brand new company should have at least some feedback.
This is also a great way to find out if a new company has a seasoned veteran, since they’ll bring their personal referrals and feedback with them.
Just make sure the veterans are at least supervising any green recruits.
#3 – Do you offer a service guarantee?
Once you’ve established whether the company has a good reputation, this is the biggest question to ask.
According to Morgan, a service guarantee is vital, and you should pass up any company that won’t provide one.
This is because they can come in, do just enough to make it look like they’ve eliminated the pests, then run off with your money.
Without that guarantee, they’re not legally obligated to do more than a single visit for even a severe infestation, leaving you back at square one.
They can also slip in hidden fees if you try to get them to return (see next question).
Finally, if the pest is a common species in your area, you might be offered a limited service guarantee.
In most cases, this is okay as long as the terms cover at least one year and/or guarantees more than a single visit.
#4 – Do you offer your quotes in writing?
There was a time when a man’s word was his bond.
Unfortunately, verbal contracts rarely hold up in court, especially when it comes to businesses.
It’s not unusual for a company to lowball the cost of wasp extermination, only to add in hidden fees later.
However, if they’re willing to put everything in writing, including any potential additional fees, this is a really good sign you can trust them.
More importantly, if you need to take them to court for some reason, that paperwork could be the deciding factor regarding breach of contract or other claims.
#5 – Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Last but certainly not least on the “is this company trustworthy” list is the question of legal qualifications.
Every state has its own laws regarding pest control licenses and license renewals, so they must be covered in your particular state.
The license covers usage of regulated pesticides and equipment, as well as the ability to treat protected species.
It’s just as important that the company is bonded and insured.
This means they’re legally liable for any damage to your property.
In most cases, they’ll cover the cost for repairing any damage to walls or similar structures they caused during the extermination process.
The insurance also means that you will not be held liable for any on-the-job injuries to the exterminators.
#6 – What is the recommended treatment plan?
Once you’ve established that you’re dealing with reputable pest control professionals, it’s time to get into the actual services offered.
Morgan says that you can tell the quality of a company by the amount of planning.
Shady companies will do a one-time pest control visit, figuring things our as they go.
Decent companies will inspect the property and come up with a few options they want to try.
Meanwhile, top-grade companies will inspect the indoor or outdoor location on their initial visit.
These last five questions will usually happen at your initial inspection.
Before leaving, quality agents should have come up with a detailed battle plan, including:
- Identifying the type of infestation as well as the nest location
- The methods and materials to use in the removal process
- Estimated treatment costs
- A list of possible extra fees or damage risks
- Plans to return additional times to ensure the infestation doesn’t return
- A full breakdown of their plans and ways you can help prevent the pest from coming back
#7 – How do you decide which treatment method to use?
There are different types of treatment for different types of pest.
The method used can have a huge impact on the average price for removal.
Before agreeing on a treatment plan, be sure they can explain why they arrived at that exact method.
Some of the things they should include in their treatment assessment are:
- Severity of the infestation
- Whether it’s a first offense or a recurring infestation
- Effectiveness of the chosen method on various life stages
- Any regulations involved or potential health risks (see next two questions)
In many cases, the best companies will try to balance the cost of removal between two factors: effectiveness and safety.
For example, they may go with a safer but potentially less effective treatment for nests in attics than they would nests in sheds or other less trafficked areas.
Nests in eaves or tree canopies will require additional equipment to reach.
These may also need special considerations if you live in a windy area where pesticides could spread and harm beneficial critters.
#8 – What types of chemicals do you use?
Speaking of pesticides, it’s important to ask about the various chemicals being used.
According to Morgan, refusal to answer this question is a massive red flag.
Some chemicals are no longer effective or have been banned or severely regulated.
A reputable company should volunteer this information when discussing their battle plan, including any risks, regulations, and how effective the chemicals are.
Some decent companies may simply not think to explain these things, so be sure to ask if they don’t.
In the event they don’t volunteer the information and refuse to answer when you ask, stop working with the company immediately.
#9 – Do we need to vacate or is the treatment safe around humans and pets?
You may already know the answer to this if the inspecting agent explained the planned treatment to you.
Since this is a huge hidden cost, make sure you get an answer before signing a treatment contract.
As we mentioned before, the method of treatment chosen by a skilled service may be affected by whether your family will be exposed.
They may choose a less effective but safer method for indoor infestations and stronger, more dangerous chemicals for outdoor nesting grounds.
However, this isn’t always an option.
In the event you need to vacate the premises, the typical price for the treatment won’t change.
However, now you may need to pay out of pocket for temporary lodgings for you, your pets, and possibly even your houseplants – just don’t be a relative about it!
Even worse, you may also need to hire a professional cleaning service before you can return home, creating a second out-of-pocket fee.
Thankfully, bonded pest control companies will usually be able to cover the costs for any drywall repair if the nest was in your walls.
#10 – What about follow-up treatments?
With a good company, the average removal cost automatically includes additional visits.
However, with shadier companies, that same cost only covers a one-time visit.
If a company doesn’t automatically tell you they perform follow-up inspections when they explain their battle plan, be sure to ask.
Morgan says it’s best to ask this question last, because it confirms everything you’ve already asked.
You can catch a lot of scammers this way.
Simply put, any company that said yes to the first five questions should say yes to this one.
After all, follow-up visits are part of any good service guarantee, and should also be brought up during the initial inspection.
Just because the pest control expert goes over preventive measures with you at the inspection doesn’t mean they don’t have to come back and make sure the treatment worked.
Since you likely spoke to one person during the phone call and another during the inspection, this question will also ensure the company has its story straight.
If the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing or the company doesn’t include follow-up visits in their pricing and in writing – don’t hire them!