Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

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Wasps---winter takes the sting out.

For those of you that live in areas that dip below freezing in the winter, we are entering that time of year when it becomes easier to clean the wasp’s nests out of your exhaust vent caps. 

Wasps nest in vent capNobody likes to be stung (I don’t think this is a “stretch,” but I suppose there is someone somewhere that is beyond strange).

When the wasps are dormant in the winter, it is a good time to get rid of these nests---possibly without calling a pest control operator.  Cleaning when they are dormant can also allow for removal without using poisons that are bad for the environment.  These caps can be on the side walls of the home, or on the roof, but they all need to be maintained clean so that the flap can open and actually function when the fan is running.

While some of these vent locations are likely safe for the average homeowner to maintain themselves, great care must be taken when these caps are located in hard to get to areas.  Sometimes very long ladders are necessary and when located on steep roofs sometimes more specialized skills are necessary for safety.  Only persons trained to be on roofs should clean some of these vents.

But, take advantage of the cold---and put the wasps out in the cold.

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 9 commentsCharles Buell • October 04 2013 02:44PM

Comments

Charles -- that is very good advice, and with the temperatures starting to get down to the 40's around here at night, we should be able to do this fairly soon.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

This is not something that you want to be doing during the hot summer months Charles; now is probably best.  :)

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 6 years ago

In the meantime hopefully they wasps won't venture into the baahhthroom!  That would be a terrific surprise!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I put my hand over a wasp nest under a vent by accident a couple years ago... that wasn't funny!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 6 years ago

Geez, look first Fred!  It's the corollary to the old saying, "Measure twice, cut once."

Look first, then touch.  Heard it?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Steven, when it gets down to 40 they get a little sluggish for sure

Tom, for sure----dealing with them in the summer is likely to find them a little hostile :)

Jay, sometimes you do see them in the glass cover at the light---not as much as one would think though.  Perhaps it is the flap in the unit itself that slows them down

Fred, while most of these wasps are pretty docile compared to yellow jackets if you stick your hand in their house it is likely to be a problem :)

Jay, for sure---I usually just stick my camera down there to check first

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

You can bet your bottom dollar I look now... twice!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 6 years ago

I hate bees! Especially yellow jackets. They have to be the bane of every home inspector. I was on roof during an unusually cool morning a few weeks back, peeling back a piece of aluminum trim coil for a look see. What did I see? A big and full nest of my least favorite creatures, yellow jackets! If it wasn't so cool, I would have been in serious trouble. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

Charles - great post regarding timing of removal of nests and hives.  My ex-husband hit a nest once while at the front of the house.  That door was locked so he could not get inside.  He ran all the way around to the back door and 20 yellow jackets followed him into the house after he had gotten stung by several more. I was running around with the fly swatter all afternoon trying to get them all.  It is amazing how far they chased him - well over 100 feet.

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 30 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) about 6 years ago

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