Tips for Identifying and Dealing with Wasps in Anchorage, Alaska

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 01, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you seeing more wasps in your Anchorage backyard than usual? Don’t panic! With a little knowledge and preparation, you can coexist with these stinging insects safely. In this article, we’ll discuss the common types of wasps you might see in Anchorage, how to identify them, and what to do if you encounter a nest.

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.

Common Types of Wasps in Anchorage

Paper Wasps: These wasps are slender with long legs and can be identified by their brownish-yellow color with black wings. They tend to build small paper-like nests under eaves or ledges. Paper wasps are not aggressive and usually only sting when provoked.

Yellowjackets: Yellowjackets have a yellow and black striped pattern on their bodies, and they live in large colonies. Their nests can be found in bushes, trees, or underground. Unlike paper wasps, yellowjackets can be aggressive and will sting multiple times without provocation.

Bald-faced Hornets: These wasps are similar in appearance to yellow jackets but are mostly black with white markings on their faces and abdomens. They build large paper nests that can be as big as a basketball. Bald-faced hornets are also very defensive and can be dangerous to humans and animals.

How to Prevent Wasp Infestations

The best way to avoid wasp problems is to prevent them from setting up shop in the first place. Here are some tips for keeping wasps away from your property:

  • Seal any cracks and crevices where wasps might enter your home.
  • Keep all garbage cans tightly sealed, so wasps can’t access them.
  • Limit outdoor food consumption, especially sugary drinks and desserts.
  • Trim back bushes and trees near your house to discourage nest-building.

What to Do if You Encounter a Wasp Nest

If you find a wasp nest on your property, it’s essential to handle it with care to avoid getting stung. Here are some dos and don’ts when dealing with a nest:


  • Contact a professional exterminator if you are allergic to wasp stings, or if the nest is too large or too close to your house for you to remove safely.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, closed-toe shoes, and gloves if you attempt to remove the nest yourself.
  • Approach the nest at night when the wasps are less active.


  • Try to remove the nest during the daytime when wasps are most active.
  • Use a flashlight or other bright light to view the nest at night; this can provoke the wasps and make them more aggressive.
  • Agitate the wasps by throwing rocks or other objects at the nest.

In conclusion, wasps are an essential part of our ecosystem, but they can also be a nuisance and pose a danger to humans and pets. Knowing how to identify the different types of wasps you might encounter in Anchorage and taking preventative measures to avoid infestations can help keep you and your family safe. If you do find a nest, always proceed with caution and consider contacting a professional for removal.