Keep Yellow Jacket Nests Out of Birdhouses Without Using Pesticides

Pesticides can harm birds. So here’s a better way to keep yellow jacket nests out of birdhouses without using chemicals.

Rosemary Kovacs/Birds & Blooms

How do I keep yellow jackets out of my birdhouses?

Kenn and Kimberly: Yellow jackets and other wasps chew up bits of wood to create paper, using it to fashion elaborate hanging nests. They’re attracted to birdhouses, which offer sheltered nesting spots. Don’t use pesticides on the birdhouse to keep wasps out. That’s harmful for the birds, too.

Instead, rub a bar of soap on the inside of the birdhouse roof. The slick surface makes it impossible for the wasps to attach the base of their nests to the roof. So they give up and go elsewhere.

Next, learn how to tell the difference between bees and wasps.

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Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard.