“Bee” Safe: Why are bees and wasps swarming around my propane tank?

Bees, hornets, and wasps are attracted to the smell of propane. To them, propane smells sweet, and the exhaust from appliances such as a water heater or furnace may attract them. They are also notorious for nesting in the dome of propane tanks.

We recommend that you periodically check your propane tank for insect nests to ensure we can make deliveries safely. Be careful when opening the lids to your propane tanks or when you are working near your tanks to avoid disturbing a nest that they may have built. Before lifting the lid to your tank, look through the tank opening to make sure it is safe to do so.

Please note that per Maine State Law we are unable to spray any nests we find without permission from the homeowner.

Ridding of Nests

This is provided as general advice and not necessarily right for your situation. If you have any concerns (or allergies!) please consider hiring an exterminator. Waltz & Co. will not be held responsible for any wasps or bees that take exception to your removal of their nests!

  • Treat the nest at dusk or dawn when the insects are less likely to be active
  • Use a soft-colored light and not a bright flashlight in the dark
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid being stung.
  • If you use a chemical spray, make sure you stand away from the nest and not directly underneath
  • If you don’t want to use a chemical spray, you can make a simple solution of dish soap and water (2oz soap to 32oz water), which coats their wings and prevents them from flying and eventually drowns them
  • If the nest is up high, use a spray bottle that attaches to the hose for the soap solution and aim it at the nest for 15 seconds
  • If the nest is reachable, quickly pour the solution into the opening and then RUN!
  • This method may need to be repeated several times
  • Alternately, you can use a garbage bag and slowly cover the nest, then detach from structure and quickly seal the bag.