Wasps in the house? Know when its a problem

Wasps in the house are more common than you’d think.  It typically will happen in the spring and fall.  There are times however that you’ll even see this happen in the dead of winter.

Having a wasp in the house can be annoying, but also scary.  The reason is that many people are allergic to wasps or have small children.  Thankfully in the “off season” a solitary wasp isn’t likely to sting.

Biology of a wasp nest

The most common wasps seen in the house during odd times would be yellow jackets.  Yellow jacket biology tells us what you’re actually seeing are fertilized females that are overwintering within the walls, window frames or other cracks and crevices within your home. These cracks and crevices are typically on the sunny side of the house and not obvious.   Still the fact is that wasps at this time of the year are relatively harmless if seen inside.

Where are wasp nests located?

Once the warmer season ends a yellows jacket nest is abandoned and all the workers die.  What’s left are future queens that are looking for a warm place to survive the winter, this is called overwintering.  They don’t reuse old nests so if you find one in a cold season it should be safe to remove whether it’s inside or out.

Wasps in your house
Typical yellow jacket

Getting rid of yellow jackets in the winter time

Sadly, there are some pest control companies that will sell you services in the winter time for wasp control.  Stay away from these companies as control of wasps in the winter is not warranted.  As previously stated there is no nest!

When can yellow jackets be a problem?

Yellow jacket control when they’re inside your home actually depends on the weather and time of year.  As I previously mentioned if you see yellow jackets inside during the spring, fall or winter it’s likely a queen and this is true, but there’s one exception.  If you see multiple wasps in your home and the calendar says fall, but it’s still warm outside.  In this situation it may be worth looking into.

Wasps especially yellow jackets build cavity nests.  Who hasn’t heard of someone stepping on a nest and being stung while mowing the lawn.  The same cavity nest could possibly be inside your walls!

Wasp nests in walls

In the beginning of fall we get many calls from people with nests within the walls of their home.  If the weather is warm the nest may still be there in it’s waning days before dying.  In this case there will likely still be wasps coming and going from the nest. They’ll be visible from the outside.

In this situation control of wasps in walls is best done by a professional. The reason is that the most common treatment will include the following:

  1. Location of the exact area where the nest is
  2. Drilling into the cavity from the interior
  3. Treatment with a specialized insecticidal dust

When done properly this will eliminate the entire nest quickly and will prevent you from seeing wasps in the winter.

If you have a wasp problem call 1-888-879-6481.  Envirocare Pest Control can help