September 23, 2008 3:19 PM   Subscribe

I have wasps on the outside of my house, on the southern facing side only, so I'm assuming that they're basking in the last burst of warmth. However, it's getting so bad, that I'm worried about potential overlaps in the wasp/human worlds.

Over the weekend, I've gone through 3 cans of "kill on contact" wasp spray -- the kind that you spray at a distance. Typically, I can spray a bunch of the wasps gathering on my house, and most of them will fall to the ground and writhe around and die.

This doesn't seem to have dented the population any, however. They keep showing up, and it doesn't matter that the walls of the house are now coated with this poison.

Is this just a seasonal thing that I have to put up with, like the Asian beetles looking for warmth as Fall sets in? I'm only really worried about the issue when they fly into the house through an open door or a hole in a window screen. With more and more of them collecting on the side of the house, this is becoming more of a concern.
posted by thanotopsis to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How many are we talking about here? Like 10 on the side of your house? 50? 100? Is there any evidence of nest building, or them building those mud-things that have larvae in them? Are they behaving aggressively at all?
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:27 PM on September 23, 2008

They're bunching up and then just sitting there in the sun, on the face of the siding. When they've built nests in past years, they usually do so under the eaves of the house, out of the sun, and they're easy to spot and easy to knock down -- not so this time.

Over the weekend, I killed around 40 of them. I just looked out now, and there's a big clump of them right near my back door, again, probably 10 in all.
posted by thanotopsis at 3:34 PM on September 23, 2008

In my experience, definitely seasonal. This happened to me when things thawed out last spring. They ended up finding a way into the house through the tiniest of cracks and infested our downstairs bathroom, basking in the sun there behind a curtain. They didn't behave aggressively until they got into the house and I had to work on getting them out. At that point I had to call an exterminator because there were so many of them (hundreds). Then we had a mason come out and re-seal some of the mortar on the back of our house.

If they don't get into the house (be sure to check things like dryer vents, etc.), and you can't see evidence of nest-building, then your current plan of attack will probably kill them in the end after this cycle has run its course. If they do get into the house, I'd recommend calling an exterminator. One thin round of the super-toxic exterminator stuff around the base of the house (outside) and they were all gone within 24 hours.
posted by weezetr at 3:37 PM on September 23, 2008

wasps don't like soap - so, smear some on the walls where they're gathering & they will probably avoid the spot (Ivory soap works quite well) - later you can just spray the spot with water & the soap will come right off
posted by jammy at 5:15 PM on September 23, 2008

You need to ensure that these are actually wasps such as common paper wasps, and not variant species commonly called yellowjackets or hornets. Wasps typically construct outdoor nests, while yellowjackets and hornets will sometimes burrow and create nests in the walls of the house. In that case, it's a serious infestation, and external treatments likely won't ever really deal with the problem.

Knock down everything you see, then inspect the house for cracks and openings and such in which the critters can gain a foothold. Bomb those areas, and then close them.

And be safe when doing this. These guys can get really, really fucking pissed off.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:18 PM on September 23, 2008

wasp/hornet spray, comes in a can and shoots from up to 27' away. and it's fun.
posted by docmccoy at 11:30 PM on September 23, 2008

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