Pests

Published on February 23rd, 2015 | by Henri

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Wasps invade crawl space

Q.    We have a house with a cement tile roof and a vinyl type stucco siding. Wasps seem to be attracted to the siding and yellow jackets recently entered our crawl space through a small hole behind a copper sheathing.   Recently  we’ve had several enter our living space and we were stung while we slept.

We taped all possible entrances such as light fixtures and fans and have now noticed several in our basement. Initially we sprayed with RAID but could not reach the hive from any direction and it left stains on the bottom of the plywood-stucco eaves. We then placed a strong vacuum in front of the hole and have now siphoned off thousands but there is still activity. Will those remaining bees continue to hunt for a means of escape if I plug the hole? Will steel wool work best as a plug? What else can we do?

Wasp Trap

Raid brand wasp trap

A.    In the fall, the yellow jacket queen comes out of the nest to mate before hiding for the winter, and the workers die. This is the time to set a RAID pheromone trap that attracts the males, thus interrupting the mating cycle. You should be able to find these traps in garden-supply stores and some supermarkets.

Once cold weather has set in, and after you have either vacuumed the rest of the nest or had a pest-management professional deal with the hidden nest, seal the hole they use to get in and out with an appropriate material. If the hole is small, caulking may be the best way to do so. Use a polyurethane caulk of a color closest to the synthetic stucco or copper flashing.

Considering the severity of the problem, I would advise you to hire an independent, locally-owned professional pest-management firm.

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