New York Wasps: A Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 18, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in New York, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of wasps buzzing around your backyard. While these stinging insects can be a nuisance, they also serve an important role in pollinating plants and controlling other pests.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

Types of New York Wasps

There are several species of wasps that are commonly found in New York. Here are a few you might encounter:

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are black and yellow wasps that are often mistaken for bees. They are aggressive and will sting repeatedly if provoked. Yellow jackets build their nests underground, in trees, or on buildings.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are slender with narrow waists and long legs. They are usually brown or reddish-brown and build nests that look like upside-down umbrellas.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Bald-faced hornets are black and white wasps that are larger than yellow jackets. They build their nests in trees, shrubs, or on buildings. Bald-faced hornets are defensive and will attack if their nest is disturbed.

Identifying New York Wasps

It’s important to know how to identify different types of wasps so you can take appropriate action if you encounter them. Here are some key characteristics to look for:

  • Yellow jackets: Black and yellow stripes, hairless body
  • Paper wasps: Slender body, narrow waist, long legs
  • Bald-faced hornets: Black and white stripes, large size

Preventing Wasp Infestations

The best way to deal with wasps is to prevent them from building nests in the first place. Here are some tips for keeping wasps away from your home:

  • Seal up any cracks or holes in your walls, roof, or foundation.
  • Keep garbage and compost bins sealed and away from your house.
  • Cover food and drinks when eating outside.
  • Trim back trees and shrubs that are close to your house.

Dealing With Wasp Nests

If you do encounter a wasp nest on your property, it’s important to handle it carefully. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Stay calm and move slowly. Do not swat at the wasps or make sudden movements.
  2. Keep children and pets indoors.
  3. Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, pants, gloves, and a hat.
  4. Use a commercial wasp spray to kill the wasps. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
  5. Wait until nightfall to remove the nest. Wasps are less active at night, making it safer to remove the nest.

By following these tips, you can coexist with New York wasps without putting yourself or your family in danger. If you have a serious wasp infestation, consider contacting a pest control professional for assistance.