This TikTok Hack Promises to Get Rid of Wasps, But Is It Actually Safe?

Before you go out to buy gasoline, read up on these safety guidelines.

It’s no secret that we all look forward to summertime. The longer days, rising temperatures and blossoming gardens make it the perfect season to spend time outdoors with friends and family. However, those rising temperatures and lush gardens also provoke one uninvited pest to crash the outdoor festivities: wasps. Because wasps spend winter hibernating and spring laying eggs and growing the colony, wasp nests are in full force by July and August.

While there are numerous ways to remove a wasp nest, a popular method using gasoline has been circulating on TikTok recently. The hack, as demonstrated here in a video from Brielle McGruber (@dhabaddestbri) that’s received more than 4.8 million views as of writing, uses a container of gasoline to fumigate the wasps in their nest. While it looks effective, it’s left viewers wondering about its safety.

Here’s everything you need to know about the viral gasoline wasp-killing hack.

How Does Gasoline Kill Wasp Nests?

In the viral TikTok video, homeowners simply hold a cup full of gasoline up to a wasp nest. They place the cup so that it fully envelops the nest and within seconds, the wasps fall down into the gasoline and die. They then remove the cup to show viewers the dead wasps after having presumably drained the gasoline and scraped off the now wasp-less nest.

@dhabaddestbri It works!!!!!! They just fall right in almost instantly! 10/10 recommend thanks tiktok #wasps #gasoline #deadwasps #tiktokhacksthatwork #tiktokhacklife #tiktokhacks ♬ Back In Black – AC/DC

The fumes from the gasoline are what actually kills the wasps.

Is It Safe to Use Gasoline to Killing Wasps?

While the hack does appear to work, it’s dangerous. Not only is gasoline flammable, the fumes can be hazardous as well.

Another thing that makes this hack risky is that it involves putting gasoline in unapproved containers. For example, gas will melt certain materials like polystyrene, No. 6 plastic, which is used to make styrofoam and things like Solo cups, leaving you with spilled fuel near your home.

Gasoline should never be stored in anything other than an approved container, which are typically made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE, No. 2 plastic) or metal. Using an unapproved container for gasoline can pose a fire risk.

Whenever using gasoline at home, it’s a good idea to have good personal protection equipment, safety gear that can include a mask or respirator, gloves and safety glasses. Always make have a fire extinguisher on hand, and never use or store gasoline around heat sources or open flames. Keep children and pets away too.

Finally, remember that gasoline needs to be disposed of properly. As New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation points out, gasoline is “highly flammable and extremely toxic” and should never be poured into a typical household garbage, recycling, storm drain, or soil. Instead, either recondition uncontaminated gasoline for future use or call your local hazardous waste program through your town or county government. While you’re at it, learn how to safely dispose of other hazardous chemicals in the home.

There are safer ways that are just as effective for killing wasps, like insecticides made specifically for that task. Many of those products will also let you spray the nest from a safe distance to avoid getting stung.

Non-Toxic Alternatives to the Gasoline Hack for Killing Wasp Nests

For a less toxic alternative, there are many options. You can always use a regulated store-bought spray in the late evening or early morning. For a more “natural” wasp killer, try using Dawn dish soap and water. Additionally, next year, you can try capturing the queen during springtime. A little foresight can go a long way in preventing wasp invasions in the future.

And finally, consider leaving a wasp next alone if it is not too close to your home. Wasps provide natural pest control and pollination like bees. According to the UK National History Museum, “[w]asps are hugely beneficial to their native ecosystems due to the sheer amount of insects they capture.” So, if they pose no immediate threat to you, why not let them perform pest control on your behalf? If you’re really feeling the love, you could even plant a pollinator garden for them. Your whole yard and ecosystem will be happier for it.