Wasp Nest Decoys

Asked April 24, 2018, 8:28 PM EDT

Do fake paper wasp nests work to ward off yellowjackets? When do yellowjackets begin nesting? Is it too late to put the fake nests out in Western Oregon this year? There is an open field behind our lot with oodles of holes in the ground made by voles and the like. If yellowjackets like to nest in existing burrows, and the nests are outside our yard, is there any hope at all of being able to keep the yellowjackets away? Also, the house we are renting has a large patio that is only about 1 ft off the ground. Are yellowjackets likely to build nests underneath the patio? Do you have any suggestions for how to look for yellowjacket nests in very hard to reach/see areas such as this? Thank you.

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Even though fake wasp nests are sold as a means of frightening off yellowjackets, I wasn’t able to locate any supporting university-based evidence, one way or the other, for their use.

Yellowjackets have already begun nesting. In Oregon, 2 species nest in the ground, whereas 2 other species create large paper aerial nests suspended from trees, shrubs, or the eaves of a building. They are unlikely to nest under your deck. A nest is inhabited for just one year; here in western Oregon, all the workers die by mid-December in a normal year, mid-January in a mild year. The nest is not re-used.

Traps with hepytl butyrate can lure yellowjackets away from your patio. Place them as far away from where people are eating as possible, perhaps at the periphery of the property. In addition to that, either serve the food indoors or protect it outdoors with gauzy food cover tents.