Wasps inside the house? When to worry

Wasps inside the house and are not as bad as you might think depending on the time of the year.  The reason is that the life cycle of the wasp with the exception of a fertilized queen is only about a season.  Further, wasps don’t reuse nests year to year.  So, under what circumstance should you worry?

There are really two situations we as pest management professionals are confronted with:

  1. Customer calls in August and see wasps inside the home (concerning)
  2. Customer calls in January and sees wasps inside the home (not concerning)

To the layperson these two situations may seem the same, but they aren’t.  In fact there is almost no similarity at all.

Wasps in your house
Typical yellow jacket

First, we’ll look at seeing wasps inside in August.  The typical call we receive from a homeowner sounds like this ” I’ve seen 5-15 wasps randomly flying in the house over the past week”.   In order to diagnose we’ll ask the homeowner to go take a walk around the outside of the home.  On the walk they’ll be looking for wasps flying in and out of a a crack or hole.  In most cases wasps during August have built a nest within a wall cavity, fireplace or even behind insulation in the basement.  This situation is easy to take care of for a professional once the void is identified.

Next, we’ll discuss wasps inside the house during winter.  Every year from December to March we field numerous calls from homeowners who see wasps inside during the winter time.   Let me be the first to tell you if you’re in this situation that there is NO NEST in your home unless it’s a honeybee which is a different discussion.  What you’re experiencing is “normal” and the same reason you see ladybugs and flies when it’s cold out.

When the weather was warm and the season ending fertilized females made it into some crack or crevice on the outside.  A large picture window on the sunny side of the home is a favorite spot.  What causes the wasps to be inside is the heat from the window “tricking” the wasps into emerging.  In this situation you’re dealing with singular wasps and a treatment would be difficult if not impossible.

We all need bees and wasps to survive, but when they’re inside they cause us to think twice.  If you have wasps call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481.

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