Contrary to their bad reputation, wasps are anything but permanently bad-tempered insects that only seek to inflict painful stings on people. Unfortunately, the attic is one of the preferred construction sites for a wasp nest. This circumstance makes even the most animal-friendly housemates uncomfortable. The question arises, how to remove a wasp nest under the roof? This is how it works without killing the beneficial insects or getting bitten yourself.


  • Insect family of the wasps (Vespidae)
  • Subfamily: Wasps (Vespinae)
  • Main subspecies: German wasp (Vespula germanica) and common wasp (Vespula vulgaris)
  • State-forming species with up to 7000 members
  • Typical dark cave nests
  • Unmistakable characteristic: yellow-black ringed abdomen
  • Diverse food sources: pollen, nectar, insects, animal and vegetable matter
  • Only mated young queens capable of overwintering
  • Protected species according to Section 39 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act

Within the genus, scientists list a total of six colony-forming species, of which only the German wasp and the common wasp are important in nest building. The remaining four wasp species form colonies of a few hundred workers who are rarely seen.

lifestyle and nest building

If you familiarize yourself a little with the way of life of wasps, the distance may not be necessary, because a wasp nest is only inhabited for a very limited time.

In the spring, a young queen wakes up from hibernation and immediately sets about building a nest. She invests a lot of time in the selection of the location beforehand. The search focuses on dry, preferably darkened, quiet locations, such as in hedges, hollow tree trunks and in treetops. The attic or the roller shutter box are often targeted with seemingly fantastic conditions for a wasp’s nest.

The queen creates up to a maximum of 20 combs on her own. This is where the eggs are laid, which she fertilizes with seeds she carries in a bag. The industrious regent takes care of the larvae completely independently until the first workers hatch from them. Their only task in life is to expand the nest and take care of the larvae that follow. As a result, workers are generally sterile. The queen gradually withdraws from brood care to concentrate on producing more workers. The winged population increases steadily throughout the summer, while the wasps’ nest grows proportionately with it. Censuses showed up to 7000.

Only in late summer does the queen begin to ensure the continued existence of the dynasty. Now young queens and drones hatch. The males leave the nest to mate with the young queens of neighboring wasp colonies and then die. When winter is just around the corner, the last hour has come for the old queen and her workers. Only mated young queens are capable of overwintering. The wasp’s nest is abandoned forever.

Note the requirement for approval

Wasps are subject to the Federal Nature Conservation Act. This fact implies that they must not be caught, injured or killed. A wasp nest under the roof may only be removed in justified exceptional cases. The regional regulatory office usually decides to what extent a special case exists. In larger cities, the Lower Nature Conservation Authority takes on this task. If, for example, a resident has an allergy to wasp stings , the responsible officials can be persuaded to grant a permit. Sometimes plagued property owners get through with the argument that there is a bedroom in the converted attic in the immediate vicinity of the wasps.

Wanting to get at the wasps without official approval can result in a hefty fine. If necessary, you decide to live peacefully with the insects, especially since they leave the nest in autumn anyway .

Remove wasp nest yourself

If there is permission to remove a wasp nest under the roof, the wording is usually limited to a resettlement of the colony. Destruction is only considered in extreme emergencies. For example, there may be compelling reasons that make a move impossible from a technical point of view. Who carries out this measure is not prescribed to the person concerned. Consequently, there is nothing to prevent you from taking care of the matter yourself. The method described below is only suitable for the period from April to the beginning of August. As a result, the wasps’ nest is too big to be relocated by hand. A possible procedure is then to professionally suck off the wasp colony into a special transport container. The huge nest is dismantled separately and reattached to the new location.

material list

  • White beekeeper suit with head protection
  • Sturdy shoes
  • spray bottle with water
  • Close-meshed web, larger than the nest circumference
  • spatula
  • Holzleim
  • Big box with lid

In addition, a new location for the wasps’ nest should have been found that is at least 3 kilometers away from the wasps’ previous home.

Tip: If possible, approach a wasp nest only in white or light-colored clothing. The workers mistake their dark, fluffy sweaters and jackets for the fur of their predators, which they have to attack.

Choose early morning or late evening hours for resettlement. At this time, all wasps are under construction. Carefully approach the nest and spray water through an entry hole. For a short time, the insects are unable to move. Quickly pull the net over the cave and use the spatula to loosen the wasp nest from the ground. Without delay, place the nest in the waiting box and close the lid. Now drive the wasp colony to the new location. Since the nest is made of wood, you can easily fix it to a new place with glue.

Please bear in mind that the wasps, which were unable to fly for a short time, have recovered in the meantime and are not on good terms with you. The removal of the protective net is probably the most critical phase, with a high risk potential for your health. To tackle the project without a professional beekeeper’s suit would be bottomless carelessness.

Destroy only in exceptional cases

In the rare event that a wasp nest is in an inaccessible place under the roof and needs to be removed urgently because a resident is allergic, the authorities will authorize its destruction. A special wasp foam has proved its worth. This preparation combines several insecticides and is introduced directly into the wasps’ nest. Here’s how to do it:

  • Protective clothing and respiratory protection are essential
  • Early morning or after 9pm is the best time to apply
  • Spray the wasp foam directly into the access opening in the nest
  • Pay attention to the required safety distance and the wind direction
  • The structure must be completely filled and covered with foam

The foamy consistency prevents insect attacks during the short time until the effect develops. However, you should not do without full body protection, including head and hands.

After using wasp foam

Although the foam collapses quickly after application, a subsequent waiting period is strongly recommended. Give the active ingredients 24 hours to unfold and act on a longer-term basis. Often some insects are still outside and only find their way back to the nest later. These stragglers are also caught by the wasp foam. In addition, a prematurely removed burrow could crack. If there are still animals in there that have not died, they can get out. In the worst case, all the effort was for nothing. As a result, the final removal is only possible after 24 hours, when absolute peace has actually returned to the wasp’s nest.

Tip: Repeated spraying is recommended for a particularly voluminous wasp nest.

Examples of commercially available preparations are:

  • Bayer wasp foam Blattanex with d-phenothrin and tetramethrin
  • Neudorff Permanent wasp foam with pyrethrine
  • Compo wasp power spray with tetramenthrin and d-phenothrin
  • dr Steel wasp foam immediately barricaded the entrance
  • Schopf wasp foam with deltamethrin and d-tetramethrin
  • Florissa power wasp foam is also effective against ground wasps

Prices range between 6 and 23 euros. What the price differences are based on is not immediately apparent.

The ingredients are also available as a spray. The disadvantage here is that a spray cannot be used as specifically as foam. Especially when removing a wasp nest under the roof, experts advocate the application of wasp foam. When it comes to fighting individual specimens, the properties of spray are an advantage.

Note: Always read the package insert carefully. Although the preparations are over the counter, there are still toxic ingredients that you are dealing with. Observing the precautionary measures outlined is for your personal protection.

The fire brigade only comes in emergencies

Although the nature conservation law has existed since 1978, concerned citizens still turn to the fire brigade when they discover a wasp nest under the roof. Since the vast majority of wasp species are protected species, the fire brigade only gets involved if there is a sudden, immediate danger to the public. In all other cases, certified pest controllers or volunteer consultants from nature conservation organizations are responsible. If you still call the fire brigade, the operation can result in high bills.

Find expert help

Dealing with a wasp nest in the attic is no small feat. As long as the insects are left alone, they are peaceful. On the other hand, if they sense danger, they transform into winged fighting machines that act extremely aggressively. For this reason alone, it is far from everyone’s cup of tea to remove a wasp nest by hand, even if official permission has been obtained. It’s good to know that help is available from a wide variety of directions in this regard.

At the first attempt, the officials of the public order office or the lower nature conservation authority will be able to give you valuable information on who to contact. In addition to professional pest controllers, volunteer consultants offer their help. First by telephone and, if necessary, on site, expert wasp experts provide valuable educational work. They identify the wasp species by the nest and, if necessary, capture a specimen for this purpose. Then they explain the way of life and the beneficial effects of wasps in nature.

If relocation is unavoidable despite all good will, the experts either do it themselves or they have a list of specialists at hand. If there is no volunteer advisor in your area, contact a beekeeper.


If a wasp nest appears under the roof, there is no need to panic. Bear in mind that the insects may have been romping around there for weeks or months, busily taking care of the brood without causing any damage. It is therefore advisable to consider peaceful coexistence as a first step. By the beginning of winter at the latest, the entire colony, apart from a few young queens, will die anyway. If you prefer to remove the wasp nest from the attic, official approval is required for this purpose. In the rare exceptional cases that the authorities allow destruction, the specialist trade offers special wasp foam, which you can use to remove the nest under the roof.

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