Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Invadors

It seems like every year we have more and more insects looking to our homes to escape the oncoming winter. First there were lady bugs to boxelder bugs and now we have to worry about kudzu bugs and marmorated stink bugs. It all seems so confusing as we try to figure out how to get rid of these nuisance pests. Another home invader that we often experience as cooler weather approaches is the paper wasps. While all the workers are dying the surviving queens are seeking some out of the way place to spend the winter. Unfortunately, these wasps will often find their way indoors. You will often see them bouncing off windows, ceilings, and light fixtures. They will also tend to congregate in attics where you may find several flying about on warmer days.

Some things to remember about these occasional wasp sitings are:

First - seeing these wasps do not mean that there is a nest in the wall. Paper wasps prefer to be outside on overhangs or under a porch.

Second - Since these are queens looking of overwintering sites and not workers defending a nest, they are not aggressive and not likely to sting. Stings do occasionally happen, however, when one of these wasps crawls into a shoe left on the floor or in a jacket left hanging where they can access it. If you leave shoes on the floor or clothing hanging on a door, shake them before putting them on so you can see if a wasp flies out.

Third - Spraying indoors to control these wasps is futile. There isn't a specific target area to treat and the wasps are likely to be hiding in an area where it will not be affected. The most effective way is to just keep a rolled up newspaper nearby and swatting any unwelcome visitors.

For additional information: 

Information for this post was obtained from an email from Michael Waldvogel.