Ground wasps

Asked August 18, 2018, 12:12 PM EDT

I have an infestation of ground wasps on my property. The difficulty comes in that they are nested in a tangle of blackberry vines, so I can't begin to cut the vines without risking stings. What method would OSU suggest to rid myself of these little critters.

Lane County Oregon

3 Responses

The wasps are probably yellow jackets. Since you cannot get to the nest safely, your best course may be to wait for winter to cut down those vines. At that time the currant nest will be dead except for the fertile queens who overwinter in sheltered locations, not in the old nest. You can use yellow jacket traps, but these work most efficiently early in the season. It might, however, at least reduce the problem. Yellow jackets are also beneficial as they eat pest insects, but they do not make very good neighbors. You can make your own traps using canned cat food (esp. fish).
See this article:

Thanks for the information; looks like I'll just have to wait until winter to take care of the problem.

You are welcome. I would clear that area when it is safe, so control if needed will be easier next Spring. If we have another mild winter, allowing the fertile queens to all survive, then set out the traps as soon as the temps pass 50 degrees. If you catch the early ones, then the numbers do not build so quickly.