My apartment building has a big wasp problem (pnw paper wasps so not scary hornets) and several kids got hurt during summer even tho they weren’t near the wasp nests. Would removing the nests in the winter prevent the wasps from returning next year? They come back to the same place every year because the nests are protected completely from the elements being under the eves of the tall building. Would it be wrong to try to prevent their return?
The wasps will come back regardless of taking down the nests or not. Also, if the nests are up in the eves, the only way kids could get stung is if they were up there next to them, or tromping around where they are foraging down below. Wasps will never intentionally seek out and sting anyone or anything, so those kids are likely somewhat at fault. (though there may be other nests in bushes on the ground, or yellow jacket nests in the ground which can be disturbed very easily.)
My recommendation would be to eliminate early nests in the spring as they appear, to encourage the wasps to build somewhere else. Not with a spray or anything, but just with a tall stick to brush them off.