Wasps are in all boroughs in NYC. Some types are aggressive and can sting you more than once. They will occupy any space where they feel protected and where they can find food and resources to build nests. Wasp build nests in or around:

  • Building structures
  • Eaves
  • Under shutters
  • Bushes or shrubs
  • Wall voids
  • Attic ceilings
  • Underground.

It is the responsibility of residential and commercial property owners to eliminate nuisance wasps on their property. File a complaint about nuisance bees or wasps online.

Avoiding Stings

Here are some tips to stop wasps from stinging you:

  • Avoid wearing perfume, cologne or fragrant hair products.
  • Avoid wearing bright-colored or patterned clothing.
  • Do not swat or move rapidly if a wasp is near you.
  • If a wasp is near you, stay calm and move away slowly.
  • Do not approach a nest.
  • Clean up food and drinks outside and seal trash cans.
  • Avoid nesting areas and remain calm around wasps.

If you are stung by a wasp, move away from the location as quickly as possible. When some wasps sting, they release a pheromone that alerts other wasps to attack. Wasps can sting multiple times without dying.

Treating Stings

Most people will only need simple first aid to treat a sting. If you are stung and worried about an allergic reaction, have someone stay with you.

To treat a sting:

  • Wash the sting site with soap and water.
  • Apply antibiotic and a sterile band aid.
  • Reduce swelling and pain by applying ice for 20 minutes every hour. Place a cloth between the ice and your skin to avoid freezing the skin. For further pain relief, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Take an antihistamine to relieve itching. Do not scratch the sting site, which may begin to itch as it heals. If you scratch the site it could become infected.

You should seek medical attention if:

  • You previously have had a severe allergic to a sting.
  • You are having a large reaction to this sting.
  • The sting seems infected.
  • You receive more than 10 stings in a single attack.
  • You were stung in the mouth, throat or eye.

Some people are hypersensitive to wasp stings and may have a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. These people should carry an adrenaline kit or epinephrine auto-injector, such as the EpiPen®, and seek medical attention immediately after a sting.

Removing Nests

It is dangerous to try to remove a nest yourself. To remove a nest, contact a licensed pest control operator.

It is the responsibility of residential and commercial property owners to get rid of pest bees or wasps on their property.

Additional Resources