My House is a Wasp Condom

I lost the battle against the wasp nest: no matter how many workers I vacuumed, it still hung on. And now our house is full of groggy young queen wasps. It seems that the last thing a wasp nest does before shutting down for good is discharge a bunch of queens who will hibernate and then start new nests come spring. But these queens are racing into a trap.

The nest has two main exits. One out into the chilly open air. The other into the comfy warmth of the Rundkvist household. And we haven’t been able to locate and stop up the latter opening. So when one of these young ladies is set to leave the nest — which exit do you think she prefers? The parallel that comes to me unbidden is that of a condom: the wasp nest is ejaculating its little emissaries, and my house is one big latex contraceptive.

Though unusually large, they’re quite pitiful creatures, unaggressive, already sleepy, looking for a decent hiding place to crash out in. I grab them from the south-facing windows with a piece of kitchen roll and end their suffering with little crispy noises.

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Comments

  1. #1 David
    October 12, 2009

    Martin, I’m not quite sure your analogy fully works in this case! That these queens are able to escape the wall (and still have an alternate exit if required) would seem to favor the “ruptured condom” analogy equating to the roughly 2% failure rate of what is commercially available…!

    (although I often hear about plenty of men who would swear they were employing prophylactics that “must have burst” in which case in the real world the failure rate is substantially higher!)

  2. #2 Brian
    October 12, 2009

    Oh, I think the analogy works: that the queens are unable to escape into the wild and propagate their species seems evidence of the prophylactic properties of Martin’s house. ;)

  3. #3 paddy
    October 13, 2009

    I can’t wait to see the google porn-surfer hits you will get from THIS one.

  4. #4 JSB
    October 13, 2009

    We had the same problem last year. I think their door into summer was through a light fixture. So far, we have not had any indoors this year. Good luck!

  5. #5 Manley Marshton
    October 13, 2009

    I sympathize; my cabin is a wintering shelter for queen wasps. They like to come out of hibernation during warm spells during the course of the winter. I usually catch them and put them outside; one night I didn’t and got stung.

  6. #6 Al
    October 13, 2009

    I have these queens (I think)coming up out of the heat ducts heading for a window. You’re right, they aren’t aggressive at all, at least yet. I must have killed 100 so far, crazy. Should I do anything more, I have a one year old in the house?

  7. #7 Martin R
    October 13, 2009

    Well, mine like to sit around on the floor, and if the toddler eats one s/he might get breathing problems if it stings hem inside the throat. Maybe try to locate the nest and bust it?

  8. #8 Nyree
    October 25, 2009

    I’ve been having the same problem in my apartment. I have no clue where they are coming from. I have not found a nest inside, so they must be nesting outside and coming into my apartment somehow. There is one large window in the living room that they all gather around. I have killed about 50 workers in the past two weeks and this morning I just killed a queen. I am allergic to everything and have a sister that had to be rushed to the hospital when she was stung…so I am too afraid to do the ethical thing and capture and release. Instead I have armed myself with a can of Raid. I can stand at a safe distance and spray. They die almost instantly. Now that winter is just around the corner they should be dying off soon and I hope this does not happen again next year. Has anyone had this become a recurring problem? I have read that they do not reuse nests, so I am hopeful.

  9. #9 Martin R
    October 27, 2009

    I don’t think you need worry, they don’t come home to roost.

  10. #10 julie
    February 25, 2010

    It’s the middle of February in Ohio and it’s snowing…I just found a nuch of young wasps in my house.

    What is going on? How can I figure out where they are coming from?

    I’s SNOWING out – there are’nt suppoded to be bees around !

    I suffere in fear all summer and fall because of those wasps- I’m deathly afraid of them and allergic-

    What do I do?

  11. #11 Martin R
    February 25, 2010

    If they act sleepy and non-aggressive,then they’re probably young queens that are easy to deal with. Just make/buy a fly swatter.

  12. #12 Deanna
    March 28, 2010

    I have found in the past 1 1/2 – 2 weeks 4 bees in my house. I believe 3 of them have been queens (not sure). They all have been on the floor, and not aggressive. But, the one we just found stung my son on the foot. He was in his room playing and it was crawling on the floor. We have found all of them upstairs in the bedrooms. My husband just checked the attic and the vents but he did not see anything. Does this mean we have a nest? Will I be seeing alot more. Should I have an exterminator come to my house? I have 3 kids and now the are afraid to go up stairs. I have no idea where they could be coming from!

  13. #13 Martin R
    March 29, 2010

    They are queens who have hibernated in your house and been woken by the spring. Their job now is to go forth and found nests. If they can’t get out of your house, they will fail.

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