Wasp nests back in rafters


I’m near Pittsburgh where brown paper wasps are very common. They are for the most part mellow and you can usually ignore them.

However, I may have a different type of wasp now, perhaps a tiny bit bigger and darker. Still, they could be paper wasps but they definitely have more aggression. One flew up my shorts leg and another in my face checking out my roofing sombrero.

They are entering the rafters through a gap between the dormer fascia and the main roof.

There is usually one meandering about, but it is now common to see 2 chasing each other. This is more aggressive than the typical mellow paper wasp.

So I think maybe I should do something.

I’m going to have to at least wear clothing that is not “open” at the bottom: pants tucked in boots, shirt tucked, and no wide brim hat.

I think about sealing off the gap and entombing them.

  • Would be nice to have handfuls of foamy putty I could just bury the ends of fascia - something that would come off when I’m ready to shingle there.
  • Spray foam: Expanding, nonExpanding poly urethane or latex or ?
  • Shop Vac: Set up hose right by entry point, turn on and thin the herd.
  • or ???

I don’t think any poison is going to work because they typically build the nest far back in the rafters easily over 12in away from the entry point.

What to do…


Duct seal would probably work, avalible at home depot in electrical isle. Used to seal penetration in electrical and meter boxes. Cheap, comes in a brick and you can kneed it and wedge it in, sticky but doesn’t harden and easy to get out.


But some duct seal but also set up Shop Vac w/4 hoses and 7 extensions - the vac is on the ground on the other side of the house (!) So if the wasps manage to get off their “We’re Under Attack Pheromones,” it will be too far away to do any good.

Trick with vac is to use NO BAG so they are Vegematic’d by the turbine!

I once vacuum 100’s of Yellow Jackets that were in the sash compartment of a window. They were desperately trying to “go through” the closed window, so I just Sargent York’d them with an old Kirby. The bag was full of heads, abdomens, and thoraxes - it was a bee-uuu-tee-full sight.

I don’t think they interpret vacuuming as a threat…



I suspect the spike in aggression may be related to when I closed up a huge 4’ long entry point where they sheathed over a 1/4" high rafter and left that huge slit gap above the fascia.

Today, two days later and last evening too, their behavior seemed back to meandering mellow.

However, I left my vacuum rig running and yes, when they meander along looking for good spots (it’s deployed in a good spot), in they go, rattling/buzzing down the hose. I’m going to leave it up and continue to run it in the daytime. Too bad there wasn’t any way to see what my daily harvests are. You can learn from statistics.


That’s it! Teach those wasps who’s boss.


I found that Raid makes a bomb that is about the size of an M203 40mm grenade (haha) that kills wasps, etc.


Since I’m putting ridge vent in, I drilled a 2.5in hole at the ridge and totally nuked the gable roof on the 10’x4’ dormer. (they say not to use in smaller than a 5x5’ room which is 200 cu ft with 8ft ceiling. My dormer is about 10x4x1 or 40 cu ft.

There is a good chance I also have a nest behind the siding. Maybe that bomb will seep into that.

Time will tell.