Paul Guillebeau

Probably no insect is more reviled than wasps. We are wrong to despise them or kill them (in most cases). Most wasps are very small and care nothing about humans. Mostly, they put an egg in or near their hosts, resulting in the death of the host. Almost every insect and spider has something waiting to lay an egg. That puts in them in the good guy category as far as humans are concerned.

Paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets (also a wasp) can be a different story. They scour the garden, field, and landscape looking for insects to feed their babies. As you kn0w, however, these wasps may take offense if you approach their nest and sting you or your kids.

Do not kill a wasp nest just because you hold a grudge against wasps. They are one of the good guys unless they are in the wrong place. Paper wasps, yellow jacket, and hornets become much more aggressive as summer progresses. If the small nest is in a place where it will threaten your family, now is it the time to take action.

When the nest has only a few wasps, they are not very aggressive. Take a hose with a spray nozzle and knock the nest down. The wasps will not be killed, and they will move to another location. Y0u will still receive the benefit of biol0gical control without the risk of getting stung.

Yellow jackets typically nest in the ground, and you often discover them by unfortunate accident. If you can locate the nest, here is an organic alternative. In the evening (a flash light may draw the yellow jackets to you) or early morning, cover the entrance of the nest with a clear bowl. Seal the bowl to the ground with some earth or sand. Yellow jackets will discover any opening you miss, but they do not understand they could dig out under the bowl. I have used this methods and dozens of people across the U.S. have reported to me that this method worked for them. If you try this method, send me an email to

When I was a kid, I had the idea of putting a steel can over a wasp to capture the whole nest (not a great idea). The nest was large, and I got a really big can from my school lunchroom. I was planning to put the can over the wasp nest and containing the whole nest in the can. I did not realize their was a hole in the can about the size of a wasp. One angry wasp emerged, and what was I to do? Ran like mad.

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