Wasps come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. To understand what has infested your deck you will first need to find out what kind of wasps they are. This should be difficult if you have seen them flying around. Yellow jackets imitate bees. They look like bees with tiny waists and long legs that dangle. Their wings are narrow and the female workers can sting to their heart’s desire. Yellow jackets are especially dangerous as scientists have found that a yellow jacket wasp can recognize and remember a human or animal face.
If you fail to destroy their nest they will identify you as an assailant and will chase you, avoiding structures and other humans and animals, turning corners and they will even wait over water for you to come up for air. They are aggressive and the most common wasp to find on your residential property as they have much larger populations and more queens produced at the end of the year than other wasps. If you fail to kill the nest your next spring could find a dozen nests all over the property. Fail to kill those and you will be inundated with too many nests to treat. A professional would have to charge a fortune to remove them all.
So if you have one this year, take it as a blessing and call a wasp exterminator to get rid of it permanently. These nests can be closed and hang off a tree or a roof overhang but under a deck, there is a chance they have found a rat burrow and built a soccer ball-sized subterranean nest that will be very hard to find if you are not experienced. You can find it by looking for dusted yellow pollen around the entrance of the hole.
Paper wasps are also fond of human homes and are often more creative than yellow jackets in finding entrances. The good news is paper wasps are not nearly as aggressive. However, they will find a way to enter your attic or another indoor space where they can make an open gramophone-like nest in the warmth of your house. The workers will die off and the queens will go into hibernation but if you go down to the kitchen in the daytime you may see a slow-moving paper wasp queen looking for food spills. Hovering over counters and dirty plates. They are very tired and are not fully aware. Killing them is easy with some spray poison you can get from the convenience store. However, they will never leave and the nest must be treated. The nice thing about paper wasps, as all wasps sleep at night, they can be humanely removed and relocated without killing them, allowing them to continue acting as pollinators.
One of the most common nests to occupy under the deck or on a roof overhang but also a more wild kind of wasp that lives off the human property in most cases. The Hornet is a much large more dangerous wasp that makes a more rustic nest that looks dark gray with patches of black and brown. They have bigger mouths so they can take larger pieces of wood pulp and make a nest that looks less like natural paper and more like old-fashioned made artisanal paper from an art store. These wasps are in a much smaller population than yellow jackets but can kill with much fewer stings. They are also much more prone to attack. Getting rid of them is very important. Hire an exterminator to get rid of it because doing it yourself is far too dangerous. The only nests you should be getting rid of on your own are mud daubers and they do not care one bit. They will just make another for you to destroy the next day. Killing them is also a minor task. Anything else? Call a professional wasp remover.