Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Vacant bird houses

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Question
Hello: I have been putting out bird houses for years,and often they go unused for several seasons.I was curious why I never see wasps/hornets using unoccupied bird houses.It would seen to be the perfect home for them.Thanks!

Answer
Michael,

The nest-building social wasps (Vespulidae) will use empty bird houses for nesting sites. In fact this can be very hazardous for both the birds and for people that work with the houses. You have just been lucky so far - be cautious especially in late summer/early fall.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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