How to Get Rid of the Tarantula Hawk Wasp

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Insecticide dust

  • Flashlight

  • Shovel

  • Moist soil

  • Resmethrin

  • Steel wool

  • Protective clothing

  • Fuel

  • Wet towel

  • 2 liter bottle

  • Citrus-flavored soda

  • Dish soap


Only attempt to get rid of a wasp nest if you know you are not allergic to bee and wasp stings. Rubber clothing and gloves will fend off a sting better than cotton or wool clothing.


If stung and you suddenly cannot breath or start swelling uncontrollably, call 911 immediately. You may be having an allergic reaction. Do not try to get rid of wasps in the daylight hours as they are most active during that time.

The tarantula hawk wasp can grow up to 2 inches in length.

The tarantula hawk wasp has one of the most painful stings of all wasps. It lives just about anywhere, from India to Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia and the U.S. The female hunts tarantulas. She will sting and paralyze a tarantula, dragging it into a hole where she lays a single egg on its abdomen. She then covers the entrance and moves on. The egg will hatch and the larvae will feed on the alive but paralyzed spider until it becomes an adult wasp. Getting rid of the tarantula hawk wasp is much the same as getting rid of other species of wasp.

Step 1

Put on protective clothing. Protective clothing consists of thick fabrics, gloves, boots, a veil to cover your face and a hat. Only attempt to kill the tarantula hawk wasp at night, as this is when they are inactive and in their nest. Gather all your supplies beforehand so that you aren't looking for something with a swarm of angry wasps hot on your heels. Determine the location of the nest during daytime hours so you can gather the appropriate supplies.

Step 2

Apply insecticide dust at the entrance to a nest in the ground. Cover the opening quickly with moist soil, preventing wasps from escaping. Wait one to two days for all wasps to die before digging the nest out of the ground and disposing of it. Another solution for in-ground nests is to pour fuel in the entrance and cover with a wet towel. The fumes will kill all wasps inside. Dig the nest out of the ground in a day or two and dispose of it.

Step 3

Handle hanging nests a little differently. Locate the nest during daylight hours. At dusk, spray the nest with resmethrin, then dust it with an insecticide dust, such as Sevin dust. Cover any openings to the nest with steel wool dusted with the insecticide dust. Wait a couple of days to be sure all worker wasps returning to the nest are dead before removing the nest.

Step 4

Make homemade traps for tarantula hawk wasps for a safer, chemical-free alternative. Cut the top off a 2-liter bottle. Turn the top upside down, without the cap, and place it inside the bottle, forming a funnel. Fill the trap with a citrus-flavored soda, such as Mountain Dew, halfway to the bottle opening and add a few drops of dish soap. Place the trap near the nest and watch as wasps are drawn to the sweetness of the soda and drown.


Shawn Lehrke

Based in Wisconsin, Shawn Lehrke began writing in 1989. Her work has mostly appeared on Internet blogs, including the blog Live, Laugh, Blog. She also writes for eHow on topics such as health and beauty. Lehrke hopes to someday write a humorous book about being a mother.