Wasp Problem

Asked April 5, 2017, 5:59 PM EDT

We live in Eastern Jefferson County on 1.5 acres. We moved in about 7 years ago and, ever since, we have had increasing problems with wasps. There are no visible nests around our house; however, they fly around in great quantities. Someone told me that nodules on surrounding trees were the wasps were coming from (see attached pictures). I have contacted several pest control companies, but they seem to be at a loss as to what to do. I have also tried various traps, sprays, etc. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to get rid of the wasps?

Jefferson County Kentucky insect management wasps

1 Response

First, the photos appear to be galls on the stems of oak trees. These galls are caused by tiny wasps or mites, some of which are microscopic. These insects rarely harm their hosts and do no harm to humans.There is not a recommended control of gall makers so pest control companies would not be able to assist you with this. .

Common oak galls: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/files/efpdf2/ef408.pdf

Wasps, bees and hornets that are a danger to people are usually found in hives (or nests) either above or below ground. keep a watch and try to find the hives because control will start with eradicating the living areas of these insects.

The same chemicals will control both bees and wasps, so control strategy can vary depending on the correct ID of the insect.Keep in mind wasps, ants and bees can look alike. (They have tiny waists, wings and other physical traits in common. They are pollinators so any flowers or sugar/nectar products will attract them, including sugary soft drinks.) Wasp control aerosol sprays that shoot a pesticide at flying wasps is available and may help control individual insects once a hive has been destroyed.

I have included links to the wasp/bees identification pages.

ID of bees:


ID of hive wasps:


ID of other wasps:


Control of nuisance bees:


Control of wasps, etc:



Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.

Let me know if I can help you further!

Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
200 Juneau Drive

Louisville KY 40243