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Pest Control/Wasps getting into house

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QUESTION: Hello: I found a wasp on my dinette window today,and when I looked in the basement,there were two bees on the floor,and another wasp on a basement window.The basement is quite cool this time of year,and the insects seemed sluggish. I am writing to ask what is the best way of finding where they are coming in. I have sealed around the three windows in the basement,but I don't think that fixed it.I had this problem years ago,and it was due to a hole in one of the basement windows where a TV antennae wire came in from outside.I caulked that hole up. Please advise,thanks!

ANSWER: Michael,

Rather than trying to get in I think these wasps may be trying to get out. Reproductive "queens" overwinter in protected places then become active in the spring building a new nest. Wasps sometimes enter homes (attics and basements usually) in the fall and spend the winter in a type of hibernation. It is possible that these are overwintered queens just trying to get back outside. See http://www.livingwithbugs.com/yellowjacket_wasps.html for info about yellowjacket wasps and control.

Jack DeAngelis


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QUESTION: Thanks for your prompt response! I might add that the previous experience I had with wasps saw 3 or 4 wasps on my dinette window in the morning over a period of a week or so. This latest episode involved two bees which looked like honey bees on my basement floor. I vacuumed up all the insects with my Dustbuster,and released one of the bees outside the back door. I am certain these insects must be getting into my house through some opening.I was writing to inquire as to what are the common entry points for wasps/bees.My basement windows are now sealed tight.Could they get in via cracks in the foundation of my basement? I have had foundation settling recently,with large cracks forming in the basement walls,which I will be having repaired. Thanks again!

Answer
Any opening to the outside could, I suppose, be used however at this time of the year I think it is more likely that either bees or wasps would be trying to get out rather than in. In the spring nests of yellowjacket wasps are very small with few workers so there are not many individuals around.

Jack DeAngelis

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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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