This summer I noticed more wasps around the outside of the house than normal but after circling every inch, I couldn't find ANY sign that they were nesting IN the house. Then I found this.

After silently freaking out for at least half an hour AND staring at the nest to see if there was any activity, I relaxed. For a few minutes. Then called someone at Montana State University who would know what to do.

Here's what they emailed me:

They only live in the nest for one year & build a new one each year.

Nest is probably empty since all but queen die off each year and queen has decamped to a smaller warmer place. However since it has been really cold yet some drones could still be alive. So advice is:

  • 1. To wait until after a hard freeze to cut down nest.
  • 2. To empty dead drones into trash and keep nest if you want it, they last several years and new wasps will not live in old nests wherever they are.
  • 3. In Spring when it starts to warm up, check or have an exterminator Check walls and soffits and crawl spaces for new nests and bug bomb the hell out of them. The theory here being that you were lucky the bugs built a nice nest outside but may not be so lucky next time. And they really like protected areas in older homes more than tree limbs anyway.
  • 4. Once established inside the walls, ceilings, floors or sofits of a nice warm home they are hard to get rid of so vigilance in the spring pays off big.
  • 5. Do not try to get rid of hornets or wasps when active or in your house by yourself!!!!! You can be stung multiple times and even one Sting can be very dangerous.
Wasp nest (photo Michelle Wolfe/KMMS)