The Q&A Archives: Paper Wasps

Question: Help! The underside of my deck and house eaves are invaded with paper wasps every year. I try to knock the nests down in the evening but it is a constant battle. It makes it hard to enjoy my deck gardening with wasps flying around and my small children cannot play outside during the day. Any better

Answer: Wasps are beneficial insects - they help pollinate flowers and they prey on other garden insects. But, they can also be bothersome. If you can stop the wasps from constructing a nest very early in the season, you won't be bothered all summer with the critters. As soon as you notice the beginnings of a nest, knock it down or hose it down. If wasps manage to build a habitable nest, you can remove it at night by placing a black plastic garbage bag over the entire nest and twisting it off the support. Be sure to tie the top of the bag securely afterwards! There are sprays on the market that will allow you to stand 15 feet or so away from the nest and deliver a lethal dose. If you can't co-exist with the wasps, and can't stop them from building nests early in the season, your only other option is to use a chemical spray to kill them. Remember, though, when you kill a beneficial insect, you inherit its work.

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