Digity wrote:This nest is driving me nuts. My plan is to just let it die off until the winter and then sealing up the crack where they got in. Is that safe or will wasps still be in the wall in the winter hibernating? If I see that it's not active (i.e. none are coming out of the crack) can I just seal it up and not worry? I know some people sealed up a crack and then the wasps got into the house, because they didn't have a way out. However, I think these people did this when the nest was still very active. I'm frustrated, because there was so many swarming around in front of my house and I found a dead one inside my house. It's tempting to just call an exterminator, but I'm trying to do the compassionate thing.
That sounds like a good plan... just make sure that the colony's actually died out, and that their new queens are gone before you seal in the crack.
I did some googling and found the following:
At a certain time of the year (often around autumn), the bulk of the wasp colony dies away, leaving only the young mated queens alive. During this time they leave the nest and find a suitable area to hibernate for the winter.
After emerging from hibernation during early summer, the young queens search for a suitable nesting site. Upon finding an area for their colony, the queen constructs a basic wood fiber nest roughly the size of a walnut into which she will begin to lay eggs.
The sperm that was stored earlier and kept dormant over winter is used to fertilize the eggs being laid. The storage of sperm inside the queen allows her to lay a considerable number of fertilized eggs without the need for repeated mating with a male wasp. For this reason a single queen is capable of building an entire colony by herself.
Wasp queens generally (but not always) create new nests each year, probably because the weak construction of most nests render them uninhabitable after the winter.
When hibernating, the Queen wasp leaves the nest for a warmer place where it may wrap itself in a cocoon to keep itself warm. The Queen wasps mainly protect their wings and antennae under their bodies as these are vital to them. Most of them die during winter as a result of falling prey to insects such as spiders.