should I kill paper wasps

Asked June 28, 2018, 4:16 PM EDT

Hi. I live in a high rise in the city and some paper wasps have set up shop on my balcony. I hate to kill them but they are only about 4 feet from my sliding door and windows. I understand that the are not very aggressive but isn't that a little too close for comfort? I have a small tomato garden so I go out there almost every day and I figure they might not like that. At first it was only one wasp but now suddenly there are three and the nest is about the size of a ping pong ball. Will they recruit more friends? How big will the nest get? I don't want to cede the balcony to them for the entire summer, what should I do? My friend told me to just knock down the nest and they will fly away, but that sounds like a good way to get stung. Should I kill them? What is the best way to do that, I would prefer not to spray noxious pesticide near my tomotoes. Thanks

Baltimore Maryland vegetable beneficial insects and pollinators wasps on balcony

1 Response

You shouldn't need to kill them.
They are not likely to mind you tending your tomatoes. Here is our page on them:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/paper-wasps

If it really makes you uncomfortable, you can indeed just knock it down with a broom when it is small like this. Wait til there is just one or two (or none!) and they will go someplace else.

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