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Pest Control/Bees or wasps in basement


QUESTION: We have had a reoccurring problem in our unfinished basement now for two years and our management company (the house is a rental) insists that it is our problem.  We often find bees (or wasps, not sure which) in the basement, always in the same general vicinity and always in a state that we refer to as half-dead.  They are moving, but always seem out of it somehow.  They rarely fly and if they do, it's more hovering than flying.  We'd really like to figure out the issue, mostly because our daughter is very afraid and doesn't want to be in the playroom because there are bees.  We'd like to avoid calling out an exterminator if possible, since the expense is high and the management thinks it's our problem.  Thank you for any help!

ANSWER: Jonathan,

Can you post a picture of the bees/wasps? I want to confirm the id.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Here's a picture, as requested

This is a wasp but it does not appear to be one of the social (nest building) vespids. I can't see enough detail to be certain but it appears to be one of the non-social wasps. It is very odd that you would find these in the situation you describe. Give me a few more details if possible - do you find these during any one season of the year, or year around? Are there central heating vents or other air-moving vents in this room? My guess is the wasps and being moved into this room through some type of forced-air system, possibly from a source outside or in the attic. Let me know what you think.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


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.


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.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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