Understanding Oregon Wasps: What Homeowners Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 23, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you curious about the wasps buzzing around your backyard in Oregon? While they might seem intimidating, wasps are an essential part of the ecosystem and can even help control other pests like aphids and caterpillars. In this article, we’ll share some valuable insights into the most common types of wasps you’ll encounter in Oregon and how to peacefully coexist with them.

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 Wasps in Oregon


Yellowjackets are perhaps the most familiar type of wasp to homeowners, especially during late summer and early fall when their numbers surge. These social wasps typically build their nests underground or in hollow trees and can be identified by their black and yellow striped bodies. While yellowjackets play an important role in pollination, they can also become aggressive if their nest is disturbed, making it necessary to take precautions when working in your yard.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps get their name from the papery material they use to build their nests, which are often found hanging from eaves, porches, and other structures. You can recognize a paper wasp by its slender body and distinctive long legs. These solitary wasps are less aggressive than yellowjackets but can sting if provoked, so it’s best to keep your distance.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are solitary wasps that build their nests out of mud. They are typically black or metallic blue and have a narrow waist. Mud daubers are particularly beneficial to have in your yard, as they help control spiders and other small insects without bothering humans. You can find their mud nests under eaves, inside pipes, and even in abandoned nests of other wasps.

Tips for Coexisting with Wasps

Now that you know more about the different types of wasps you’re likely to encounter in Oregon, here are some tips for safely sharing your backyard with these fascinating creatures:

  • Keep food and sugary drinks covered when eating outside, as wasps are attracted to sweet smells.
  • If you spot a wasp nest, give it a wide berth and don’t try to remove it yourself.
  • Wear shoes and long pants when gardening or doing yard work to avoid accidental stings.
  • If you do get stung, remove the stinger and apply ice to reduce swelling.

By following these simple guidelines, you can live in peace with the wasps in your backyard and appreciate the important role they play in our environment.

In conclusion, understanding the different types of wasps you’ll encounter in Oregon and how to identify them is the first step in building a harmonious relationship with these insects. By taking appropriate precautions and learning to recognize the signs of aggression, you can enjoy your backyard without fear of wasp encounters.