wasps in 2nd floor balcony


  #1  
Old 04-04-05, 12:33 PM
J
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wasps in 2nd floor balcony

Hi all,

I'm on the 2nd floor of an apartment building, and with the warmer weather, I've noticed quite a few wasps (not sure of species, dark in color, maybe some reddish on abdomen) crawling out from between the boards.

The balconies are built like a large, well, box, maybe a foot high, with a space inbetween the boards, and the boards are pretty gappy. I suspect there's a nest inside there (I've seen a very large, basket ball size round nest nearby in the trees, maybe paper wasps?).

My problem is, there doesn't seem to be any way of spraying anything in there--probably no direct contact with the nest would be made. Plus, there is another deck directly below, and liquid can drip down onto that deck.

If anyone has any ideas how I can discourage these wasps from nesting here, I'd be very appreciative! (after all, grilling season is approaching! ;-)

Thanks,

Jhouse
 
  #2  
Old 04-05-05, 07:18 AM
wmccormick
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The basketball size nests in nearby trees are prpbabpy hornets' nests, not regular wasps' nests. A hornet nest has one hole through which the hornets enter and exit. All the nesting compartments are inside. All of those I have seen have been outside in trees or on the side of houses. The layers of "paper" surrounding the nest on the outside protect the nesting chambers from the weather.

"Regular" wasps come in many varieties, but most of them have a different nesting habit. Their nests are as hidden as possible, but if they cannot hide them, they make sure to get them under cover that protects them from rain. They love to squeeze between boards to get to a larger cavity where they construct a nest without the outer covering of "paper". Many varieties of them could easily love the place you describe, however, unless you live in Florida, it is a little early for them to be very active at nest building now.

During cold months wasps of numerous kinds find a place that is safe from predators. They can tolerate being frozen solid, but their real danger is in being eaten or otherwise destroyed while unable to defend themselves, so they crawl into any tight place and hibernate till warm weather. In the spring, and fall, they can be seen swarming around any place that provides cover for the winter. They spend the winter in hollow trees, under flaps of bark on trees, between boards in home siding, in attics, in barns, in old abandoned cars, or anywhere else that will protect them from predators. I suspect you are currently dealing with a collection of hibernating wasps that found a good tight place to spend the winter. These hibernating wasps will move on as soon as the weather is warm enough for them to maintain a nest unless there is a cavity in your space that is big enough to house a nest. Hibernating wasps that come out on a warm day are not aggressive, but will sting if threatened, and they are just there for their protection during cold times. They are just getting exercise on the warm days.

If you want to kill them, my suggestion is to use some brand of wasp and hornet spray, but do not get the kinds that foam. They are almost worthless, and they leave a mess behind. Spray it between the boards when it is pretty cool, maybe early morning or some other chilly time when they cannot escape or fight back. The ones not killed by direct contact with the spray will be killed by the vapors. As far as the dripping of insecticide down onto another patio,try to find a way to put paper under the area where they are located. If that is not possible, talk to the neighbor and explain what you are doing and get his/her cooperation in the effort. You both would benefit.

Wasps are very beneficial insects, and they should be protected unless they are a menace to safety. They kill and eat other insects and creepy critters, some too small to see without a magnifying glass. By the way, honey bee venom is one of the finest arthritis treatments in the world. For people who are not allergic to their sting, they can provide very good control of inflammatory arthritis. Don't take this to mean that I am suggesting keeping a honey bee hive on your patio. It is just that all these things in our world have a purpose, we just want to keep them in the right places.

W.A. McCormick
Lindale, TX
 
  #3  
Old 04-05-05, 09:13 AM
J
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thanks for your informative answer!

If the wasps move on, I wouldn't think of hurting them. I just wouldn't want a nest right where I'm sitting on the deck.

Hopefully they'll move on down the road & we can both exist peacefully.
 
 

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