We get this pest control question every year during the warm days of winter: Why do wasps appear in the house during the winter in the attic, fireplace, or windows? There are many different species of wasp that like to overwinter in attics in the Raleigh, NC area. When we have several warm days in a row, the wasps think it's spring and try to emerge from their “hibernation”. Once they emerge, if you have any light penetrations from your living areas into the attic, the wasps will think its an exit to sunlight.
Here are a couple of tips to try if you are getting wasps in your living areas during the winter: A total release fogger may kill the wasps that are in your attic. This has a limited effectiveness due to the wasps hiding in cracks, crevices, and the insulation itself. Another tip would be to seal off any areas where light is penetrating into the attic from the living areas. Any type of sealant is fine as long as it blocks the light from below. Going into the attic at night, and then turning the attic light off will help you discover these areas that need to be sealed (be careful and have a flashlight handy!). While you’re up there, check the screens on the gable vents. They may be torn and need replacing. Many times wasps will build nests between the attic gable vent and the screens.
Be careful! These wasps will sting even in the winter if provoked. However, since there is usually not a nest to protect they tend not be be aggressive or territorial. When in doubt give Innovative Pest Solutions, your locally owned and operated Raleigh Pest Control company a call.Here is a great link from NC State’s Department of Entomology to help identify the types of wasps you may have in your Raleigh, NC home.