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What happens if you cover the entrance to a wasp nest?

Quick Answer

Covering the entrance to a wasp nest will trap the wasps inside, preventing them from getting in and out. The trapped wasps will become agitated and aggressive as they try to find a way out. Eventually, they will die inside the nest if they cannot escape. Covering a wasp nest is not recommended, as it can cause the angry wasps to find another way out and attack.

What are some key things to know about wasp nests?

Wasp Nest Locations

Wasps often build nests in sheltered areas like under eaves, in sheds, garages, attics or crawl spaces. Nests can also be found in trees, shrubs, old rodent burrows, or cavities in walls. The entrance is usually at the bottom of the nest.

Nest Structure

Wasp nests are made of a paper-like material chewed from wood fibers mixed with saliva. The nest often has a honeycomb structure of hexagonal cells where larvae develop. Nests can range from the size of a golf ball to basketball sized or larger.

Number of Wasps

A typical wasp nest may have between 100-1500 wasps. Larger nests can hold several thousand wasps. There is usually only one queen wasp that lays eggs.

What happens if you block the entrance?

Wasps Become Trapped

If the entrance to a wasp nest is completely sealed, the wasps inside will be unable to get out. With no way to exit, the trapped wasps will frantically search for a way to escape the nest.

Increased Agitation and Aggression

The trapped wasps will become more and more agitated as they try unsuccessfully to find a way out. Their natural aggression will be heightened as a result. Wasps are defensive by nature, so blocking them in can provoke an attack response.

Attempts to Escape

The determined wasps will desperately try to chew, bite and claw their way out. If there is any small gap in the seal over the entrance, they will exploit it. Some may even try to build a new exit route from the nest if possible.

Decline and Death

With no way in or out of the nest, the wasps will eventually die inside as their resources deplete. Trapped wasps can survive for several days with no food or water before perishing.

Time Trapped Wasp Condition
24 hours Agitated, desperate to escape
2-3 days Weakened, lethargic, dying
5-7 days Most wasps dead

Dangers of Trapping Wasps

May Prompt Aggressive Attack

Blocking wasps inside can make them angry and prone to attack. Even a small gap could allow some wasps to get out and sting defensively.

Wasps May Find Another Exit

Persistent wasps will chew through surfaces to make a new way out, allowing the nest to restart. This new exit could be in an undesirable spot.

Nest May Be Hard to Remove Safely

Covering a nest makes it more difficult and risky to remove later. Dead wasps inside decay and encourage other pests.

Not a Long Term Solution

Simply covering a nest does not kill all the wasps or get rid of the nest entirely. Professional pest control is needed for effective removal.


Blocking the entrance to a wasp nest traps the insects inside, which will become increasingly aggravated as they try in vain to escape. While covering a nest may seem like an easy fix, it can stimulate attacks and fails to fix the problem. Safely removing the entire nest is the best long-term solution.