When you are stung by a wasp, the sting causes a severe allergic reaction that sends your body into shock, putting you at the risk of death if you don’t get the right medical attention. That’s why you should always ensure wasps don’t get into your house.
But how do wasps get into the house? This article shows you the routes that wasps use to enter your house and how you can prevent them.
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Wasps are small insects that belong to the suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera. They are neither bees nor ants. One of the main characteristics of wasps is the narrow waist. Therefore, sawflies aren’t wasps, despite their close resemblance, because they have a broad waist.
Unlike other insects in their category, many types of wasps don’t have an established clade, a group that includes all the evolutionary offspring of a single ancestor. Wasps that belong to the clade Aculeata are known to sting their prey. Some wasps are predators while others are pollinators.
Many wasps are kleptoparasites, laying their eggs in nests belonging to other wasps. But some live solitary lives, laying eggs in or on other insects. Unlike other parasites, wasp larvae exterminate their hosts. Solitary wasps are useful in horticulture because they offer biological pest control.
This class of wasps parasitizes almost all types of pest insects, including the whitefly, which is commonly found in tomatoes and other similar crops. So, if you don’t want to use pesticides on your tomato plants, you should promote the growth of solitary wasps in your garden. Overall, wasps are a diverse group of flying insects with thousands of known species.
They are found in many parts of the world apart from the polar regions. The largest type of wasp grows to about 5 centimeters in length, while the smallest grows to about 0.139 millimeters long. Wasps have been featured in many literary works, including classical times, comedy, and science fiction novels.
Different Kinds of Wasps
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As mentioned above, there are thousands of known species of wasps inhabiting different parts of the world. Here are the most common types of wasps you are likely to find in your house or business premises.
• Yellow Jackets: These are among the most aggressive types of wasps. They are commonly found in the United States. They are characterized by their gold and black stripes.
• Northern Paper: These wasps are named after the materials they use to build their nests, which normally comprises regurgitated wood pulp combined with saliva. These wasps are brownish with yellow or reddish marks.
• Mud Dauber: These are solitary wasps dwelling in the mud where they excavate their nests. They are characterized by slender bodies, yellow markings, and yellow wings.
• Bald-Faced Hornets: These wasps are characterized by their stout body, with black and white patches. Bald-faced hornets are extremely aggressive and usually sting repeatedly when threatened.
• Blue-Winged Wasps: Although this type of wasp has blue wings, sometimes it’s difficult to notice the blue shade because it’s mixed with black. Nonetheless, they have an orange abdomen and bright yellow markings around the waist. These wasps are perfect for pest control.
• Thread Waisted Wasps: These wasps are mainly known for their incredibly slender waists, bulging red or orange abdomens, and blackish heads. They usually lay their eggs on or in their prey.
• Cow Killers: These wasps are also referred to as the Eastern Velvet. They are solitary parasitic wasps that lay eggs in bumblebee colonies.
• European Paper Wasps: These wasps are characterized by their black and yellow lines that are similar to the ones found in yellow jackets. However, European Paper wasps are smaller in size than Northern Paper wasps.
• German Yellow Jacket: This type of wasp s almost the same as a Yellow Jacket wasp, with similar black and yellow lines. But it has unique spade-like black markings on its abdomen.
• Spider Wasp: A spider wasp has a distinct combination of colors including a black body and bright orange or reddish legs.
How Do Wasps Get into the House?
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There are many ways through which wasps can get into your house. Fortunately, most of these routes are preventable. Here are the most common ways that wasps can get into your house.
1. Doors and Windows
If you always leave your doors and windows open, you are inviting wasps to find a haven in your house. This is mainly because wasps, bees, and many other insects are always looking for safer places to build their nests, away from their predators and harsh weather conditions like rain and snow.
So, wasps will always try to set up their nests inside your house where they can enjoy the safety and great warmth.
Therefore, keep your doors and windows closed when necessary. And if you must keep your windows open, make sure they have screens to stop wasps and other insects from getting into your house. The screens shouldn’t have holes in them and they should fit perfectly around the corners and edges.
In spring, winter, and summer seasons, wasps tend to build their nests around the doors and windows because they need protection against the harsh weather elements. Therefore, they are likely to sneak into your house when you open the doors or windows, even slightly.
2. Attic Spaces
It’s very easy for wasps to enter your house through attic spaces, especially if there are large openings around the vents or due to poor construction techniques that leave large spaces between the wooden pieces near the point where shingles and gutters intersect.
These bugs will also find their way into your house through unsealed spaces like open attic vents. So, always ensure that your attic vents seal properly.
3. Fireplace Chimneys
If your house has a fireplace with a chimney, it’s very easy for wasps to enter your house through the chimney, especially if its flue doesn’t close properly.
Even if your chimney flue closes properly, make sure it doesn’t have spaces or holes through which the wasps can enter. It’s important to check your chimney regularly to ensure that its flue is properly sealed and closed.
4. Bathroom Exhaust Vent
Since your bathroom exhaust vent exits on the side of your house, it can be a perfect entry point for wasps. These exhaust vents have ducts attached to them and normally exit your house through the wall, with a type of spring-loaded or gravity-operated flap cover.
Unfortunately, these covers can break off or fail to close properly, especially when debris accumulates on them. So, you need to check your bathroom exhaust vents regularly for defects.
How to Get Rid of Wasps in Your House
Getting rid of wasps in your house can be a tricky affair, especially if they’ve already multiplied. Whatever technique you apply to eliminate these insects from your house, you have to be extra careful not to get stung. Here are some simple ways to get rid of wasps in your house.
1. Soda Bottle Trap
You will need a pair of scissors, an empty plastic bottle (2 liters), duct tape, and watered-down dish soap (bait). Use the scissors to cut the plastic bottle a third of the way down. Pour the watered-down dish soap into the bottle. Slide the top of the plastic bottle into the base in an inverted position, and remember to remove the bottle cap.
Connect the two pieces of the bottle with the duct tape and place the trap in the room frequented by the wasps. The dish soap will attract the wasps. These insects will fly through the inverted neck of the bottle and get stuck in the base where they will eventually die. Remember to empty your trap regularly.
2. Natural Insecticide Spray
Unfortunately, this method requires you to get closer to the wasps, putting yourself in harm’s way. Therefore, it’s not the best technique if you are allergic to wasp stings. Nevertheless, you will need a spray bottle, witch hazel, water, and peppermint essential oil.
Fill your spray bottle with half distilled water and half witch hazel. Add about 30 drops of peppermint essential oil or rosemary to act as a natural repellent. Seal the spray bottle tightly and spray the solution on the wasps. The essential oil will stick to the wasps, preventing them from flying. This will eventually cause them to die.
3. Fake Nest
This technique requires a plastic bag, paper bag, shredded paper, and twine. The fake nest is supposed to exploit the wasps’ territorial nature. These insects will not build a nest near another colony. Sometimes they will leave the house if they think another colony has already occupied the territory.
Take the shredded paper and put it in the plastic bag and ensure that the bag is tightly packed. Crumple the paper bag to make it look like a nest. Open the crumpled paper bag and place the filled plastic bag inside. Hang your fake nest near the existing colony of wasps using a twine. Close the door and leave the window open to offer the wasps an exit point.
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