how to safely remove a wasp nest

Asked August 9, 2015, 3:09 PM EDT

hi there, we noticed that we a smaller sized wasp nest that recently has been growing on the roof of our outside patio area? is there a safe way to expose of it without killing the bees? i am concerned because of the shortage, or are these the wrong kind of bees to be concerned about? any advice would be helpful at this point. thank you! paige and robin wilcox

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Paige and Robin,

From your description of the cozy, somewhat concealed, site of the nest, it sounds like you have European paper wasps. These wasps closely resemble yellow jackets in that both are yellow and black. To differentiate these 2 groups is relatively easy. When you view a nest of European wasps from the underside, the individual cells are open. Yellow jackets, though, construct much larger enclosed nests either in the ground or suspended from a branch or the eave of a building. When seen relatively close, the antennae of European paper wasps have golden tips but sar4e black towards the face while yellowjackets are entirely black. But beware as both kinds guard their nests aggressively.

Because both are considered beneficial insects – they both collect various garden insects – the preferred remedy is to avoid the nest area until late December at which time the nests can be safely removed because they will be empty due to natural causes. If it’s impossible to wait that long, you can obtain an aerosol wasp-killing spray from a hardware store. Apply the entire can according to label directions.

See “Invasive paper wasp responsible for increasing yellow jacket complaints”