The most common wasps we deal with in Maine are wasps that are categorized as “Social Wasps” meaning they live in nests containing three types of wasps; males, workers, and queens. More specifically it is common to find yellow jackets, baldfaced hornets (actually a wasp) and paper wasps.
Most wasps are beneficial as they control other insects and also scavenge working as a natural clean-up crew. Where they become an issue is when they nest in areas where humans are present due to their tendency to aggressively defend their nests. Unlike most bees, wasps can sting multiple times and with hundreds or thousands in a nest, they pose a very real threat.
Queens also tend to overwinter inside homes and become a nuisance when the house warms up and they become active. It is common to see individual wasp activity inside if preventative measures were not taken in the fall.
Individual nests are straightforward to control when they are easy to identify and access. The more challenging situations may require the location of access points or additional equipment to reach. When possible it is best to leave a treated nest up for at least 24 hours so any returning foragers are exposed to the material.
Preventative applications to exterior surfaces where wasps rest or build nests can help control populations and stop them from getting inside to overwinter.