Wasp Queens Found in Spring

waspIf you happen to see one or two lone wasps inside the house this spring, don’t be alarmed; it’s probably just an overwintering queen that has become trapped indoors.
Cold temperatures kill paper wasp colonies each winter, but before they are eliminated, the colonies produce male wasps to mate with a few lucky females who will be next summer’s queens. These mated females overwinter in sheltered places like under logs or behind loose tree bark to survive the dipping temperatures. Often these overwintering future-queens will climb behind siding or through attic vents to seek shelter.
As temperatures warm in the spring, most of these wasps “wake up” from their winter slumber and fly outside where they will begin the work of building a new nest, laying eggs and hunting for food to feed developing larvae. But instead of flying out, some overwintering wasps find their way into the living spaces of homes. You might see some of these wasps flying around windows attempting to exit. Often they seem sluggish or clumsy; this is because they are just waking up from their “Long winter nap.” In most cases, overwintering queen wasps are docile, although they are capable of stinging, they generally are more interested in getting outside than bothering humans.
Opening a window or door will usually be enough to encourage the wasps to fly outside, where they belong. It’s a good idea to let your pest management professional know about these sightings on their next visit so that a careful inspection can be made around the property to identify nest building activity and stop it in its tracks. Once paper wasps begin building their nests, they can be aggressive when disturbed and they can inflict a painful sting.
If you can’t seem to get the wasp out of the house, contact us at (800) 525-4825 and we will send out a qualified technician to rectify the situation.

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