Wasp nest? Let it be may be the best answer!
Tim Gibb, Insect Diagnostician, Department of Entomology,
Several species of wasps, including paper wasps, yellow jackets
and hornets construct gray, paper-like nests made up of wood
or foliage chewed up and elaborated by the insects. Regardless
of the species, all colonies of these wasps have two things in
common; (1) they can sting very effectively and (2) they are
beneficial insects because they eat spiders and other insects
that are potential pests. These two seemingly opposite characteristics
make the call on 'should I destroy the wasp nest in my yard or
let it be?', a difficult decision.
Certainly, nobody wants to be stung by a wasp. A wasp nest that
is found in a place where there is a likelihood of humans bumping
into or getting very close to the nest should be removed. This
can be done by professional pest managers or with the use of
wasp killing, aerosol chemicals designed to be sprayed from a
On the other hand, a nest that is found to be high in a tree
or under the eaves of a home can usually be left alone without
any adverse results. Just alerting people to the location of
the nest, so that they are aware of its presence, is usually
enough warning to prevent accidental encounters.
By leaving the nest alone a homeowner can decrease the danger
of being stung while trying to kill the wasps, save on the chemical
cost of controlling it, and increase the natural pest control
in the yard. In cases where the nest is located in a wall void
or in a building, by leaving the nest alone, a homeowner can
save the costs of breaking into the wall to remove the nest.
After the wasps have been killed, large nests containing food
stores as well as immature larvae soon begin to rot and stink
if not removed. Additionally, other insect and rodent pests may
be attracted to the dying nest.
Most home owners do not realize that wasp nests are cleaned
out each fall by the wasps themselves. The empty nests contain
nothing but the outside paper shell at that time. This too will
break down and disintegrate through the winter. Wasps never re-use
the same nest from season to season, so letting mother nature
take care of them through time, is usually the best control method