Hornets & Wasps: What should you do?

Date Published: March 16, 2016

Something that we come across very often during a home inspection are wasps or hornet nests. These nests usually come as quite the surprise when you are crawling in the attic or when you pull off an electrical panel cover! These are some of wasps’ favorite places to colonize as you can see in the pictures above. Wasps like to build their nests in areas that are protected from rainfall so these locations make perfect homes.

For the most part, wasps and hornets do not cause significant damage to your home, but they have obvious concerns for service professionals and home inspectors! A home inspection is not a pest inspection, but we can identify visible concerns with pests. At that point you should get a specialist pest inspection company to evaluate the problem and see if it needs to be addressed.

Prevention is the best way to treat a wasp or pest problem. Here is what researchers at MSU had to say:

Exclusion is the best defense against wasps and bees. If they can’t get inside the equipment, they can’t nest there. Many companies do a good job of making insect-proof housing for their equipment. But housing gets damaged; covers get left open, and not all equipment is insect proof to begin with. When wasps build nests inside electrical or telecommunications equipment you can’t just spray them with any available wasp spray. It might cause a short or cause damage or corrosion of components. – Blake Layton, Extension Entomology Specialist

Wasps can be more of a nuisance to humans than posing a real problem. They also serve a purpose in feeding on the population of other insects. Due to a global decline in wasp population it is best to avoid destroying their nests when it makes sense. Instead, proper sealing and wasp-proofing common nest areas can help prevent future issues in your home, yet helps to keep this pest-eating species thriving.

During a home inspection, our inspectors can attempt to identify any nests that are visible, and we can help to identify any open areas or penetrations that can be covered and sealed to prevent pest entry. However, if you believe pests are an issue in your home or the next home you are buying, contact us to schedule a pest inspection.

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About the Author: Chris Scott

Chris Scott is an ASHI certified home inspector with multiple years of experience in home inspections, blower door testing, duct leakage testing, and Boulder Rental License Inspections. Chris is also the Website Coordinator for Scott Home Inspection.

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