One of our buses was parked late last fall with a window slightly opened. As the weather has warmed up, I’m starting to see more and more wasps on the bus. I can’t find the nest, but I suspect it is in the rear heater housing (based on where they seem to originate). Can I safely treat the infestation, or do I need to call a professional for this inaccessible nest?
Don’t waste you time trying to locate any nest; I don’t think you have one. If you read our WASP CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn that every fall wasps attempt to hibernate. Mostly wasps do this in the woods and landscaping so we don’t encounter the bulk of them which come out every spring. But because of the sheer number of wasps around us in the “wild”, some end up hibernating on our homes, auto’s and other man made objects. When they emerge each spring, most will do so with us never seeing them. But if they do so in the wrong direction, like “into” the house instead of “out of” the house, the occupants will surely note the activity. I suspect that’s the case here.
At this point you have a few options. The simplest would be to leave the bus alone for a week or two. Chances are high they will leave the bus altogether as the weather warms and they seek new locations to build nests for the upcoming season. I would think in the next 2-3 weeks you could go back to using it safely without seeing but 1-2 who slept a little late into spring.
Your second option would be to do some treating. If done correctly and thoroughly, a good dusting should solve the problem on the spot. As explained in our article, an application of DRIONE DUST up under the siding, motor housing, around the wheel wells, window frames and basically any crack or crevice should get them where they have mostly hibernated. Drione is a great “flusher” and will chase them out for many feet in all directions of where it’s applied. I’ve seen problems like this before and in these the wasps have been somewhat closely located in one main side or area of the vehicle. But that doesn’t mean you should rule out treating the whole bus. I’d do a thorough job which might sound like a long process but really isn’t. For someone experienced, they would be able to the entire bus in as little as 15-20 minutes; for a novice like yourself, maybe 30-40 minutes. And the video on our Drione page shows why it’s perfect for this job. First, it will kill them all on the spot. Second, it floats around a lot and will penetrate whereever they might be hiding as long as you get “close” so an exact process isn’t really needed. Third, it’s highly repellent to wasps and bees so they’ll stay away from the bus once it’s treated. And fourth (which for me is the kicker), if you’re able to let it sit for a day or two great as all will surely die. But you don’t have to; just a few hours will usually be all that’s needed. And when you’re ready to use it again all the excess product will blow off it which means there should be no exposure to the kids. This alone makes it a great choice.
Now if you feel the dust sounds like it will be too hard to use, you could opt for some PHANTOM AEROSOL. This product won’t have the fast knockdown of the Drione but it will kill them all in 2-3 days. The advantave of the Phantom is that it goes on dry so no one will even know it was used. Plus it’s odorless. Basically it’s ideal for sensitive areas like this and would be a good second choice option that in the end would yield the same results; it will just take a little longer to see them all gone.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Wasp Control Article: www.wasps.net
Phantom Aerosol: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/aerosol/pt-phantom-17-5oz