New Mexico is home to many different kinds of bees and wasps, and while the vast majority are productive and positive for the environment, some wasp species, as well as africanized "killer bees", can be extremely hazardous, especially for those with allergies to them.
One of the more common calls we get regards "Yellow Jackets" and other kinds of similar-looking wasps. Fortunately, this is also one of the calls which we can also provide the some of the best do-it-yourself kinds of remedies for, depending on the infestation severity. Lately, the large majority of "yellow jacket" calls we get are actually for paper wasps, which are also some of the easiest to treat. This is largely because of their nest vulnerability, which is also one of the easiest ways to distinguish between paper wasps and yellow jackets: paper wasps build their nests with open-faced combs, whereas other wasp/hornet/yellow jacket species build closed hives that can grow larger than a basketball.
Wasps & Bees
A typical paper-wasp nest.
This is the stuff nightmares are made of. But it would have been a fascinating job.
This single anchor-point on the nest is a signature of paper wasps.
Keep an eye out on your property, and you can catch these nests before they get big - with big populations.
In short, if you find yourself dealing with a nest of paper wasps, go buy a can of Raid Wasp & Hornet Killer, wait until well after dark when the wasps re-congregate at the nest, and fire away - this tool will fire a foamy beam up to 20' away. It is...a uniquely satisfying experience. However, please, do follow all the safety instructions on the can, and take a moment to think through extra safety precautions, especially if you need a ladder.
Some yellow jacket and similar wasp species are a bit tougher, largely due to their nesting and reproduction habits, and the more rugged 'closed' nests they build. Some of them will nest in building spaces, and have been known to even fill large attic spaces with tens of thousands of wasps. Others nest underground, and can be hard to get to. For these situations - as well as bee removal of all types - it is generally a better idea to call in a professional.