Does Soapy Water Kill Wasps?

It is possible to drown many small, vulnerable insects with water alone. However, is it possible to drown wasps specifically?

Soapy water does kill wasps. While water alone cannot kill wasps, the dish soap assists in breaking through their exoskeleton. This ultimately drowns the wasp.

The remainder of this article will explore the effects that both water and dish soap have on wasps. In addition, this article will explain other substances that are ultimately lethal to wasps. If you want to know of these tips that can be used to control an infestation, read on.

How Does Soapy Water Affect Wasps?

Water, in combination with dish soap, is capable of killing wasps along with hornets and bees as well. A hose or spray bottle can be used to apply the soap and water solution to the wasps’ nest if you wish to eliminate an infestation. It is recommended that protective gear be worn as you approach the nest.

This method of eliminating a population of wasps is highly effective. The primary reason for this high success rate is the presence of soap. The chemicals in the soap are able to break down the exoskeleton of the wasp.

Soap must be present rather than just water because exposure to water alone typically will not harm the wasp. In cases where the insect has wandered into a pool of water that it cannot escape, it would eventually die of starvation or of extreme changes in temperature.

Soapy water

What Substances Are Most Effective in Killing Wasps?

A form of pesticide called pyrethrin is one of the most lethal chemicals to wasps. Pyrethrin is used primarily for above-ground insect nests.

For underground nests, a combination of pyrethrins and dust pesticides should be used to wipe out populations of wasps. This approach offers two walls of defense between yourself and the wasp. The spray pesticide will kill the wasps that are closest to the opening of the nest. The dust pesticides will kill any wasps that are located closer to the bottom or back of the nest. 

Peppermint oil and vinegar can each be combined with water and used as a spray pesticide. Both substances are effective in the killing of wasps. These substances both possess properties that are capable of suffocating and killing wasps.

Bleach is yet another substance that is capable of successfully eliminating populations of wasps. This is yet another affordable option in eliminating unwanted insect populations. After being sprayed with bleach, the wasps will die and fall from their nests in a matter of minutes.


If you are attempting to control an infestation of wasps in or around your home, consider applying the tips mentioned above in order to eliminate the wasp population that has taken over your space.

Water, when combined with dish soap, is capable of drowning the wasp. Water alone is not capable of drawing wasps due to its cohesive nature. Dish soap is capable of penetrating the wasps’ exoskeleton, allowing water to enter the body and drown the wasp.