You won’t find half-dead lethargic wasps in your house all through the year.
They show up by the end of the fall months.
You come across these slow-moving wasps on the floor, near the windows, and in places like attic and basement.
So, what’s the mystery behind the appearance of these sluggish wasps in your home?
How did they get? What does their appearance signify?
And do these wasps present any risks to you?
This guide answers all these questions. And a lot more.
When Do You See Lethargic Wasps In The House?
Starting from the late fall, somewhere around end of August till the mid-winter, you see lethargic wasps in your house.
So, starting from late August you can notice these lethargic wasps.
These slow-moving wasps are dying male wasps that have managed to enter your home.
These half-dead wasps indicate one thing – there’s a wasp nest in your house or on your property.
You notice these wasps near the windows, in your attic, on the floor, and even in places like bathroom, bedroom, and basement.
So, the question is where do they come from?
How Do Wasps Enter Your Home?
There are two sources of wasps in the house. First, their nest might be inside your home.
And second, they flew in through open doors and windows.
Wasps can also crawl through the tiny cracks and holes on the windows, doors, and walls.
The vents in the attic, the holes around the utility lines, and chimneys are also the entry points of wasps.
Wasps that are active enter homes looking for two things – food and nesting locations.
Smells of fruits and decaying food wastes in your kitchen’s trash cans attract these wasps inside your home during the spring months.
The dying lethargic wasps can enter homes either randomly, through the open doors, or the wasps that were in the nest are dying.
Why do wasps die for no reason in your home? Well, it’s related to their lifecycle.
Let’s find out why you see dying wasps in your house.
Why You See Lethargic Wasps In Your House?
Many people wonder what wasps do in the winter months. It’s because they notice a sudden disappearance of wasps during the winter months.
When fall arrives, the male wasps die. And the queen wasps go into hibernation.
So, the appearance of lethargic wasps in the house is deeply related to wasps’ lifecycle and mating behavior.
When the queen wasps come out of hibernation, she’s ready to lay eggs. And she starts to look for places to build her nests.
The queen wasps gather wood pulp and mud to build her nest. Attracted by the smell of the queen wasps’ pheromones, the male wasps join her.
The purpose of the male wasps is to help the queen build the nest and to impregnate.
The female wasps lay her eggs in the funnels of the nest. The wasps nests look like an upside-down umbrella with tube like funnels at the bottom.
These funnels store both the eggs and the larvae.
The male wasps’ job is to protect the nest, feed the larvae in the nest, and to gather food.
This entire activity of building nests and mating continue till the end of the fall.
It’s during the end of the fall and the beginning of winter, the death season for wasps start.
The male wasps act drunken. They start to fly randomly. And that’s the time some of them can enter your home.
You notice these dying male wasps in your home, crawling on the floor in agony. You can also find a few of them in your yard or on the window sills too.
If there was an active wasp nest in your home which you failed to notice, then that nest can also be the source of these lethargic wasps in the house.
A hidden active nest in your home can also be the reason for a sudden appearance of lots of wasps in your house during the spring and summer months.
Many homeowners see dying wasps in places like bedroom and bathroom too.
But the female wasps don’t die. They go into hibernation.
If the female wasps have managed to get inside your home then they’ll hide in the warm and dark places that don’t get enough human footfall.
So, places like attic, storage rooms, garage, basement, and even the clutter of your bedroom an be the hiding places for these hibernating female wasps.
What You Should Do If You See Lethargic Wasps In House?
Lethargic wasps don’t sting.
So, when you see them, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them from your home.
But don’t touch these wasps. They can sting.
The presence of a lethargic wasps also signal that there’s a wasps nest nearby.
So, check out places like wall void, attic, roof eaves, gutters, and in the trees of your garden or yard to find their nests.
Wasps abandon their nests during the winter months. So, even if you find a nest, chances are there are no wasps in these nests.
But don’t try to remove these nests by yourself. They might contain a few adult wasps that can sting you when provoked.
To remove the nest, contact a pest controller. That’s the safest way to deal with wasp nests.
Winter is the safest time to remove wasp nests. The number of wasps inside the nest is less because most of them have exited the nests.
How Long Does It Take For A Wasp To Die In A House?
The answer to this question is it depends.
It’s because if there’s a wasps nest inside your home, then the wasp can finish its entire lifecycle of 6-8 months before they die.
The male wasps die off in the winter months, after performing their duties towards the queen and her nest.
But, if a wasp has accidentally entered your home and couldn’t get out, it dies within 3-4 days without food and water.
Wasps do eat fruits and other bugs. So, if wasps find both inside your home, they can survive longer than 3-4 days.
Do Wasps Damaged Houses?
No wasps don’t damage houses.
Wasps like yellow jackets do make nests inside your home’s walls.
They chew through the brick to build their nests. But their nests don’t make your walls so weak that it’ll crumble.
But the presence of wasps exposes you to the risk of getting wasp stings.
Wasp and hornet stings are venomous. It can cause severe allergic reactions.
So, if you see a wasp inside your home, then open your windows so that it can go out.
Frequent sightings of active wasps inside your home is a sign of a wasp nest inside your home.
Do contact a pest controller to inspect your home for wasp nests and it’s removal.
Lethargic wasps in your house are dead male wasps or hibernating female wasps.
Most of these sightings are during the winter months.
The sightings also tell you that there’s a wasp nest in and around your home.
A few places where you can find wasp nests are inside the wall, attic, trees, roof eaves, ground burrows, and crawlspaces.
The most challenging place to find a wasp’s nest is the nests inside your home’s walls. Check out our post on how to find a wasp nest in your wall to know more.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.