How to Detect Wasp Infestations

Wasp infestations, whether outdoors or indoors, are best handled by your pest management professional, someone who has the experience, equipment and products to safely, effectively and efficiently resolve the concerns. So, whenever wasps are a problem, contact your pest management professional and request an inspection and a plan for dealing with the issue.

How Do Wasps Get Into the House?

Generally, wasps get in through openings that lead inside our homes and commercial buildings. Therefore, effectively sealing openings that may lead into a home is critical for wasp prevention. In addition, sealing access points inside your home will help prevent problems from many other pest insects and spiders.

Why Do They Come In?

Wasps come inside because they are looking for:

  • a food source

  • a nesting site

  • a protected place to overwinter (hibernate)

  • accident or happenstance

Generally, wasps come inside our homes as the result of three primary conditions and situations.

  1. One or more wasp nests are built either inside or near openings that lead inside the house. For example, a wasp nest might be located near a window with a damaged screen or a door that is left open to the outside. Since wasps sometimes construct their nests in wall voids and attic spaces, wasps from those nests may get inside our home’s living spaces. One of the more frequent causes of this occurrence is when a homeowner sees wasps going into and out of a void. The homeowner may seal up that entry and exit before all of the wasps in that nest are dead. The result may become a whole nest of wasps that can no longer get outside and begin to chew through the wallboard or ceiling, resulting in a angry, confused wasps that are now inside the house.

  2. Wasps that seek protected, interior spaces in which to overwinter. Many wasp species have a lifecycle that depends on fertile queens from the colony finding a protected site in which to survive the winter. Most of the time these queens choose sites other than inside our homes to overwinter. They also find our attics or other protected sites inside the home to be very cozy. Once the female wasp is settled in, they usually are not seen flying around inside the home. However, until they find the right overwintering site and then again in the spring when they want to get outdoors and begin their new nest, they can be troublesome and alarming.

  3. Wasps that get inside by happenstance such as entering through an open door or window or become “hitchhikers” who are accidentally brought inside. Wasps are constantly seeking new sources of food for their nest mates. Therefore, it is not surprising that wasps would investigate the inside of homes if they can readily get inside the home. In addition, while it does not happen too often, wasps can unintentionally get inside if they “hitch a ride” on just about anything we might bring inside our homes and not notice the hitchhiking wasp.

What Problems Do They Cause?

The answer to this question depends on why the wasp got inside.

  • If a wasp nest is built inside, the resulting problem is an infestation that may become a serious stinging episode and perhaps an associated allergic reaction problem. Also, wasps that nest inside may damage the wallboard or ceiling. Another major problem associated with inside nests is the possibility of scavenger pests that infest abandoned inside wasp nests.

  • If a wasp gets inside to overwinter, it is very likely that it won’t even be seen until the following spring when it decides to get outside and start a new nest. Even then, those wasps are not very aggressive and not likely to sting unless threatened.

Could Wasps Inside Lead To An Infestation?

Yes, if the wasps that get inside build a nest that is also inside, and the activities of that nest bring them into contact with the people who live there. Otherwise, overwintering wasps and those that get inside by “hitchhiking” will not become an infestation.


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