I live in a condo (end unit townhouse). There is a slanted wood trim
near the roof on the side of the building. There is a gap behind the
wood trim and wasps (yellowjackets) have been flying into the gap
behind the wood trim and building nests there. Although I wasn't
aware of this at first, my impression is that they have been nesting
there every year. I've been here almost 4 years.
If they haven't gotten inside the building or bothered anyone, are
they best left alone, or does leaving them alone typically lead to
them causing damage?
Seems to me the only permanent solution would involve screening off
the gap, but the wasps would need to be exterminated first, and one
would have to be very certain they are all dead before screening off
the gap. Should I insist this be done, or are they best simply left
You block off the gap after the 2nd or 3rd hard frost, if you get frosts
in your area, and don't want to pay for an exterminator. Wasps (the kind
that build mud nests) are a PITA to grounds crew, kids, pets, etc, but
seldom do actual damage. Other flying things, like bees, or the flying
things that bore holes to nest in, can get in the wall and trash the
place. I would definitely bring this to the attention of the association
or the management company. Likely they have an exterminator on retainer.
Is this an actual gap between trim boards, or are they just hanging a
nest behind the shadow line of the fly rafter, out of the rain? Take a
walk and look at the other roof ends in the complex. Do they all have
the gap you are referring to, or did the finish carpenter just make a
boo-boo on your building? If you have a camera that can zoom in,
pictures are always useful to turn in with the report, otherwise you may
have to actually show somebody in person.
The slanted piece of wood I'm talking about is outside the building on
the gable end. It is parallel to the rafters of the roof, but the
siding was slid underneath it. Is that the fly rafter, or just a
piece of wood trim? The roof does extend outover that piece of wood.
Not sure if that wood is holding anything up though, since it is
further out than the siding. Is a fly rafter something that holds
the roof up, or is it just a piece of slanted wood trim?
It looks like when they installed the siding, the siding was slid
underneath that piece of wood. The gap I am referring to is between
that piece of wood and the siding. You can see the gap when looking
upward from the side of the building. The bees are putting up paper
nests there which are protected from the rain. It is very hard to
see the nest, because the slanted piece of wood conceals them. You
really have to be looking carefully up into the gap to see the nests.
Is it okay to leave them be, or should I insist the bees be
exterminated, and the gap sealed off afterward?
Paper wasps, I leave alone, but yellow jackets, I kill. Nasty little
buggers and you never know when one will sting you. One sent me to
doctor with swollen hand from single sting on a finger.
Sealing the opening before or after you spray the nest will get rid of
them as the trapped ones will die off. I've had a lot of problems with
yellow jackets nesting in house through smallest crevices and have had
to seal off outside house lights as they were getting under the fixture
and getting in the wall through the conduit opening. One on front
porch, I sealed openings and could hear buzzing in wall which eventually
For spray, get one of those wasp and hornet sprays that reach 25 feet.
If you get in nest opening you will kill nest. When they nest in lawn,
I'll dump a gallon of pesticide solution in opening.
You don't mention if you have access to a ladder. If you don't have
access to a ladder, how were you planning on getting up on the roof to
take care of this problem? I'd call the property management and have
them get Terminex (or whoever they've contracted with) out there. If
you do [have a ladder], and will not be going against any of your HOA
regulations by climbing up on the roof or whatnot, then purchasing one
of the power-spray insecticides specific to wasps would be one
solution. You can fire at the opening from a safe distance (usually
20-25 feet) and not worry about getting stung.
Wait until the come home to roost. Then dowse the crack with a goodly
portion of hornet/wasp spray AFTER sunset. That'll kill what's in the
nest and discourage others. You may have to repeat every season. I've
had good luck with this approach.
when you are convinced they're gone, caulk.
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