What to do about wasps (yellow jackets or paper wasps) in my house in the spring?

Kelly Haarer
by Kelly Haarer
i know the queens hibernate indoors (attic, walls) in the winter and they try to get outside when weather warms up, but many end up in my house. I worry about my cats who try to catch these wasps getting stung. Any advice?
  16 answers
  • 2ms2 2ms2 on Mar 12, 2013
    @A-1 Watkins Pest & Termite Control Do you have any advice for Kelly? This is right up your alley.
  • Yellow Jacket and bee traps. You can get them at the lawn care areas of the big box stores. Otherwise you need to use chemicals and spray.
  • Keller Pest Control Keller Pest Control on Mar 13, 2013
    Make sure you identify the type of wasp before you get to carried away since this will affect how you treat them. Hornets are far more difficult and dangerous to control than paper wasps. The nests resemble a large, inverted tear-drop shaped ball which typically is attached to a tree, bush or side of a building. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed. The nests are often located out of reach and removal is best accomplished by a professional pest control firm. Yellowjackets are another dangerous wasp encountered around homes and buildings. Nests are often located underground in an old rodent burrow, beneath a landscape timber, or in a rock wall or wall of a building. If the nest can be located, it can usually be eliminated by carefully applying a wasp spray insecticide into the nest opening Paper Wasps If a nest is located near an entrance to your home, or by a porch or deck where you spend a lot of time, you may need to take action to control paper wasps. Check eaves, shutters, and other high traffic areas in your yard early in the spring, when paper wasp queens are first building their nests. If you find a nest before the first generation of workers have reached adulthood, you can simply knock the nest down with a broom to discourage the queen from nesting in that location. Larger nests, or those found later in the season, should be handled cautiously Never attempt to remove an active wasp nest during the day, when paper wasps are actively flying in and out of the nest. Wait until evening, when the wasps have settled in for the night, to treat or remove any paper wasp nest.You should do it During periods of cool weather, you may be able to treat wasp nests, as wasps become lethargic when temperatures dip down to 50°F or lower. otherwise you will get stung and probably numerous times. Find the entrance they are using to enter the house. Treat that area with a bulb duster and a dust material, either delta dust or boric acid. This should be done at dusk or night time. if you can find the nest in the attic you can fog the attic also. The type of wasp is important also. Make sure its not honey bees since they are protected and you should find an apiary or bee collector to remove them and the nest. If they are honey bees and you don,t remove the honey comb it can melt and create a big mess.
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 18, 2013
    Still not resolved. Found 12 -15 lives one in my house 2 days ago.
  • Keller Pest Control Keller Pest Control on Mar 19, 2013
    Have you identified the wasp and the entry point into the house yet ? This is the firs and most important step before you can solve the problem !
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 19, 2013
    Brown paper wasps. Still have not figured out point of entry. I usually find them in the same room around the same window but never see where they come from.
  • Entry points for wasps are really small. They can be coming in from many locations. From around a loose fitting window frame, or around the openings where the balances of the windows are located or even perhaps from a air conditioning grill that is leaking to the attic that your not aware of, assuming you have that type of system. So think small, put a glue trap in the window to catch them if they are between the storms and window until you can figure out where they are coming from. If you determine that they are entering from around the sash cords or balance locations in the windows, you need to check carefully outside around the window frame. Most likely they are entering in a hole in that location.
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 19, 2013
    Had a man from Terminix come out today who found a few old abandoned nests in the attic and also pointed out some potential points of entry/exit around the house which need to be sealed but I guess we shouldn't do that until a little later in the spring so that we don't seal them in the house. That was my understanding from my husband. Does that sound accurate? I guess in the meantime we need to put up with it but I am finding this situation difficult to deal with since I have a few indoor purebred cats that I have to watch that they don't get stung.
  • I would not worry so much about the kitties. But would seal up the holes as its not likely they will find them and leave. But keeping the holes there only invite more in. Sort of a one way door of sorts.
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 19, 2013
    Ok. Thanks very much!
  • Keller Pest Control Keller Pest Control on Mar 20, 2013
    Without seeing the house its hard to give you an answer but if they are isolated to one room then that should be close to your entry point. You have a chimney near there, poor window seals ,gaps in the siding,anything like that in those areas. A crawl space below that area. Is the roof in that area tight no gaps in the shingles. Or In the eaves or soffit areas. Are all the screens in good shape on the windows. You might want to inspect the area on the outside home just before dusk or first thing in the a.m. that's when they start to. come and go from the nest. Did they inspect the attic. They might be following the current from the furnace and or air conditioning system. You might consider dusting or fogging the attic area.
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 20, 2013
    He did inspect the attic and did not find any active nests (a few old ones that weren't being used). But he did find evidence of mice, so now I have a problem that I didn't even know about. Yay! The exterminator who was at our house yesterday did find some spots that need to be sealed which we will do asap but as far as the ones I'm seeing in my house right now I have been told by a few of the bee exterminators in my area that these are hibernating queens trying to make their way outside and I just have to wait it out. Waiting this out is proving difficult for me since I am afraid of these things and they are more numerous than in previous years.
  • Mice in the house is a common occurrence. You would be amazed on how many houses have mice in their attic and not even know about it. Many of the holes that are allowing the bees in will allow the mice as well. So sealing those areas will prove useful on both accounts. I would not worry to much about the wasps, it will not take all that long for them to die out and disappear from your home. In regards to the mice however, you need to be very careful with their droppings, they harbor all sorts of disease's Using only a HEPA vacuum I would suggest that while wearing a 9-95 mask, These are those white ones you see for painters, use the vac to clean up as much of the droppings that you can see. You do not have to go overboard, but try to find the nesting areas as shown by little round holes in the insulation and clean those areas up. You may find that damage to the insulation is bad enough to warrant removal and replacement of these sections. Just place in plastic bag, seal and remove. This is more important if your attic houses the heating or cooling systems. They can draw in the dust the mouse droppings create as they dry out. So be sure to not run the system while doing this work.
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 20, 2013
    Ok. Thanks very much for the info. By the way, what is a glue trap?
  • Glue traps are used for mice. It has a sticky surface and comes from the store in flat sheet form about five inches wide by about ten inches long. Peel off the top cover and set on edge in window area. Any bug that comes into contact with the surface will not come off.
  • Kelly Haarer Kelly Haarer on Mar 20, 2013
    Ok. I will try this. Thx.