Get Rid of Wasp Nests in Birdhouses Without Pesticides

Updated: Nov. 03, 2022

Pesticides can harm birds so here's a better way to get rid of wasp nests in birdhouses without using dangerous chemicals.

How Do I Get Rid of Wasp Nests in a Birdhouse?

How can I keep wasps out of birdhouses? asks Robert Talbert of Payson, Utah.

Kenn and Kimberly: This can be a challenge. You should never use insecticides or pesticides on birdhouses to keep wasps out. Those chemicals are harmful for the birds, too. Many bird species eat insects. 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.

If you’re monitoring the house closely, you can remove wasp nests just after they start to build their hives. Open up the birdhouse on a chilly night when the wasps are sluggish and knock the nest down.

Psst—This is the only bird nesting material you should put out.

Rosemary Kovacs/Birds & Blooms

Another idea is to rub a bar of soap on the inside of the birdhouse roof or the top of the nesting box. 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. You should only do this if the house is designed with the entrance hole at least an inch or two below the top to reduce the chance that birds could accidentally get soap on their feathers.

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

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman