I was standing on a ladder under my eaves and I saw a bee or wasp (pretty sure it was a wasp, longer and more slender than a bee) go into a small hole in one of my eaves. At that point I noticed there were a total of three "wasp-usable" holes in the eaves in that area, which seems like it would make for an inviting home.
Wondering about treatment...is it a bad idea to close the holes w/some silicon caulk? Presumably if they can't get out they will eventually die.
Or better to spray wasp spray into the holes and then run like hell? Was thinking if I seal them in at those holes they will find other ways in/out, worst case be flying around in my attic. The holes are in a spot that is not accessible from the attic, due to a ceiling vault.
I had the same issue a few years ago. I sprayed wasp killer in the hole and then filled the hole in with stucco. I saw wasps flying around where the hole was for a few days afterwards and then they went away. Haven't had any issues since.
I just did a large hornet nest in a tree outside my front door. Used raid wasp/hornet. It kinda works but not 100%. What finished them off ? you'll never guess...
Dish detergent solution. It kills more thoroughly, all tho slower. The whole nest is now an ornament.
Went out at dusk, 2 pairs of pants tucked into boots, 3 shirts and 2 jackets, leather gloves, a hat , ear muffs and a scuba mask. Good thing the neighbors weren't around
Check youtube, lots of how to videos with hornets and a hilarious one with a guy and a flamethrower. And another one where the hornets kick the guys azz.
Use a powder - not a spray. The nest may not be immediately adjacent to the hole in which case spray is not effective. The dust is carried into the nest by ongoing wasps and kills them. Wasps can coordinate attacks between them so be careful, and each can sting multiple times (they don't die when they sting unlike bees)
Here (UK) it's not really well regarded to destroy bee nests. They are dying off and need some help and they rarely sting.
Definitely didn't look like a bee, but I'm going to camp out tomorrow and confirm which hole(s) they're using, and what it is. It looked darker than the wasps we usually have around here, but was the wrong shape for a bee.
One thing to consider.... The eaves and railings on my home are cedar and I have had a significant "Carpenter Bee" problem. They look like bumblebees (but more brown and less aggressive). The carpenter bees bore holes in the wood and then dig horizontal runs in the board. They lay their eggs and return to the same spot each year. There is a particular type of wasp (Mason wasps) that loves to eat the Carpenter Bee larvae and will "set up shop" in the holes. They usually have some straw or grass that they drag in the hole with them to protect the entrance. They are "good" insects and help me with the Carpenter Bee problem. The wasp looks like this...
Thanks for that. Frankly, I wasn't even aware we had carpenter bees in California, thanks to your post I checked and now I konw more.
The biggest is the Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta. It's about an inch long. The female is solid black, while the male, commonly known as "the teddy bear bee," is a green-eyed blond. Why teddy bear? It's fuzzy and does not sting--or as Thorp says "Boy bees don't sting."
The second largest is the California carpenter bee or Western carpenter bee, Xylocopa californica, often found in the mountain foothill areas of northern and southern California. It's known for its distinctive distinctive bluish metallic reflections on the body, Thorp says. The females have dark smoky brown wings.
The smallest is the foothill or mountain carpenter bee, Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex. The females are black with light smoky-colored wings. The male has bright yellow marks on the lower part of its face and some yellow hairs on the top front of its thorax.
We were in the bedroom last night and heard buzzing and thought it was a fly in the room. Turned out it was either a large fly (which we do get here) or a bee/wasp outside our window, below the area where I saw the insect yesterday. Couldn't see it clearly. So something appears to be going on in that area. I was surprised to hear that at such a late hour (10:30 PM) - I don't usually see/hear flies/bees/wasps so late at night.
I have contractors here today, Part B (landscaping) of seemingly endless remodeling project and they are working in that area, so I'll have to hold off on my insect investigations until tomorrow...
Regarding past experiences w/wasps. At the family cottage a couple summers ago we discovered a wasps next in a bush right next to the front porch. As I was walking by wasp came after me an stung/bit me on my thumb. Amazingly painful, and the worst part was as I was trying to brush him off he held on like super glue. Ibuprofen and soaked my thumb in ice water to manage the pain, which was intense.
Later that evening my cousin went out w/wasp spray...covered w/long pants, shoes/socks, multiple shirts, scarf around head and hat. After he sprayed the heck out of the area where we thought nest was (bush was dense and to dangerous to get close enough to see it clearly) it appeared like we had won the battle, didn't see any activity around the nest.
So the next morning I went out to take a look and confirm - I got about three feet from the bush and suddenly this manic wasp (I can understand why she was upset) came straight out at my face like a crazed fighter jet. So fast I didn't have time to react and I felt it land on my cheek up near my eye. I started screaming like a three year old and jumped around flaying at my face to get rid of it. My Dad is sitting up on the porch watching and helpfully yelling "There's a wasp on your face!!" Yes, I know Dad. But thanks.
Luckily I brushed it off before it could sting me. One of the happiest moments of my life when I realized I hadn't gotten stung on my face.
My cousin completed a second spray later that evening and the nest was finally done.
I guess living in the south, wasps and yellow jackets are quite common and you encounter them frequently. The wasps nest everywhere here, in bushes, eaves, brush, pipes, and anywhere else they can build a protective nest. The best means to get rid of them is to get a can of wasp spray that has a stream that reaches about 20-30 feet and go out in the late evening and spray them. Also after the wasps have been eradicated, remove the empty nest. I have seen them move back in once the residual poison dissipates. Our varieties of wasps are fairly aggressive and you definitely don't want to mess with them.
Yellow jackets on the other hand are a totally different story. They are very aggressive and will attack with little provocation. They nest in the ground here and always have a backdoor to the nest. The nest is usually hard to find and can be extensive (several feet long underground). You can pour gasoline in the hole (turn over the can) and run like hell.... They will hunt you. They are also carnivorous.... The are particularly dangerous to children because you can get close to the nest in brush or the woods and never know it until you get attacked. They don't warn you like wasp generally do.
On the carpenter bee subject. They aren't real aggressive even though they do a lot of wood damage. The females have a square patch of white on their face and they will attack if severely provoked. They can sting but it's rare. The males don't sting but will dive bomb you. They are very difficult to get rid of. You can Tell if they are "at home" in the wood. You can tap in the wood and they will buzz inside and vibrate the wood. If you plug the hold they will bore a new entrance, so that only causes more damage.
I do not mind spraying wasps that build paper nests under the eves. For that I use wasp and hornet killer. However, I would only do that if the spray will reach the nest from the ground or deck. If you are on a ladder and one or two escape the spray and attack you, the outcome could be catastrophic. Do not take that chance.
For wasps or hornets in your attic or eves rather than under them, you might want to consult a professional exterminator. They will have suitable protective equipment, tools and chemicals to do the job without risking YOUR safety. I have very bad reactions to wasp and hornet stings, so I take precautions to avoid them.
Although that is my recommendation in your situation, I typically treat for ants and other insects only as necessary rather than treating the entire house. We get exterminators knocking on our door every few weeks telling us that they are treating other homes in the neighborhood for ants, spiders, etc. Although I am not fond of spiderwebs, I believe spiders do far more good than harm (with a few specific exceptions), so I treat ant hills and specific points of entry rather than blanket coverage.
Agree 100%. We have never, in 30 years living in this house, done any exterminator/pest control. To me it's like trying to exterminate the local ecosystem. We do treat for ants in the house using ant bait when they become an issue, which for us has luckily been rare. We've never had a wasp issue on or in the house so this (assuming it is wasps) is something new.
We have both black and brown widows in our area, as well as a collection of other types of spiders and various bugs, moths, gnats, etc., and we consider them "neighbors" that we can and should try to coexist with as much as possible. We have small dogs and lots of coyotes roaming the neighborhood, so really insects are the least of our worries...