Tips For Keeping Wasps out of Birdhouses Without Using Pesticides

Pesticides can harm birds, so they're not the best option for handling wasps that invade birdhouses. Here's a better way to keep yellow jacket nests out of birdhouses without using pesticides.

How do I keep yellow jackets out of my birdhouses? — Gai Murray Westminster, Colorado

Kenn and Kimberly: Yellow jackets and other wasps chew up bits of wood to create paper, using it to fashion elaborate hanging wasp 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.