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Pest Control/Hornets Indoors

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Question
Hello Jack,

I live in a NYC apartment building and during the last week or two I have seen @ 12 hornets inside my bedroom. They are very large, about an inch, and have black and white stripes. I have tentatively ID them as bald faced hornets.

I haven't seen any hornets all spring or summer. The windows on my side of the building have a "trellis" like a trail of ivy leaves over the building windows. About the same time I started seeing these, the painter had come in to paint all the fire escapes. Lo and behold, the fire escape and leaves fall over my bedroom window, so I think he jostled something he should not have or caused some disturbance.  I haven't spoken to my neighbors yet. I'm waiting for our management to get back to me, but they are not known for being competent or quick. These hornets are all sticking to the window area and look like they are half dead when they get in. For the most part they've died off of their own accord.

Now, is it likely that the nest is in the leaves or could it be in a wall? If they can't or won't identify the nest location, what else can I do or should I do about this? There is no way I'm opening the window to look for myself.  I read that they will die (except the queen) at first frost and they don't use the same nest twice. What I may be seeing now are hornets that are flying off and got lost. Sorry for this length, but I'm pretty much wasp/hornet phobic and it's hard to sleep if you know they'll be in your window a few inches away on the morning. How do I get rid of them?

Thanks!

Answer
Mary,

As you point out these wasps will die with the cold weather so your best option may be to just vacuum up the ones that get inside. The nest may well have been in the ivy. Fortunately wasps are not very aggressive at this time of the year so you should have no trouble sweeping them up.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.

Experience

I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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