If you find a wasp’s nest anywhere on your property, you’ll need to remove it – immediately. The occasional wasp is harmless and, as predators of several species of garden pest, they’re actually beneficial bugs to have around.
A whole nest of them, however, can be dangerous. A severe allergy to wasp stings (AKA anaphylaxis) is rare but can be fatal, and multiple stings can also be dangerous.
But what if you find wasps in your chimney? How can you get them out of there without getting yourself stung?
Why did wasps make a nest in my chimney?
Many wasp species prefer to make their nests in safe, enclosed areas, and the protected space inside your chimney is a perfect spot.
How can you tell if there are wasps in your chimney?
It’s pretty easy to tell when you have wasps in your chimney, as you’ll probably spot them flying out of the fireplace. If you can hear a lot of buzzing coming from your chimney, the culprits are more likely to be bees than wasps, as wasps are generally a lot quieter.
How to get wasps out of your chimney
If there are wasps or yellow jackets in your chimney, you’ll need to act straight away to remove them.
Keep in mind!
Not only are these stinging insects a nuisance to have in the house, but they are also potentially dangerous.
How to remove a wasp nest at home
If you have wasps in your chimney, the first thing you need to do is work out where the nest is. Grab a flashlight and take a look up the chimney – if the nest is low down and within reach, you can try to remove it yourself.
Only attempt this if you have protective clothing, are not allergic to stings, and are comfortable around wasps.
- Put on protective gear: Even if you aren’t allergic to wasp stings, they’re still painful and multiple stings can be dangerous. Wasps also become aggressive when their nests are disturbed, and will almost certainly try to get a few jabs in. Therefore, it’s vital that you do some protective clothing before tackling your wasp nest. You should dress yourself in at least one extra layer of clothing as well as protective gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask that covers your mouth and nose.
- Break out the bug spray: Arm yourself with an insecticidal spray and squirt the wasp nest. Choose one with a strong projectile, so you can be sure to dowse the nest thoroughly.
- Wait a day then check again: Check your chimney the following day to make sure the wasps are all dead. If there are some still alive, spray the nest with an insecticide a few more times. Repeat this daily until you no longer see any signs of wasp activity.
- Remove the nest: Once your wasps are all dead, it’s time to get rid of the nest. If it’s high up, use the handle of a broom to fish it out. Once you have it, dispose of it in the outdoor trash.
Call a professional
If you are uncomfortable around wasps or have an allergy to their stings, you should 100% call a professional wasp removal expert to help you out. You should also call a professional in cases where the wasp nest is positioned in an inaccessible part of your chimney flue.
A certified wasp technician will be able to deal with your chimney wasps quickly and effectively, with no risk to yourself.
How to prevent wasps from nesting in your chimney
Install a top-sealing damper or a mesh
You could block off your chimney vents entirely to stop wasps getting in, but this would render your fireplace non-functional. A better solution is to install fireplace vent screens made of thin mesh, which will stop critters from getting in while still letting the smoke out.
Alternatively, you could have a top fitting damper installed. These devices are fitted over the end of your chimney flue and can be opened when your fireplace is in use to let the smoke out. When not in use, the top sealing damper can be closed to keep insects out (and warm air in)!
Seal up gaps and cracks in your chimney
Wasps may also get into your chimney through small cracks and gaps in the exterior.
You can prevent future infestations can finding and sealing those holes with mortar.
Have your home sprayed for wasps
Another way to prevent wasp infestations around your home is to have the eaves of your house sprayed with insecticide. This will kill any wasps that happen to be lurking around and will deter others from making nests in your chimney. The best time of year to get your house sprayed for wasps is early Spring, as this is when wasps start to build their summer nests.
Wasps are an irritating and potentially dangerous insect to have in your home, and a whole chimney full of them can be a big problem. If you see wasp activity around your chimney or fireplace, you’ll need to act immediately to get rid of them. Call a professional service provider or, if you’re feeling brave, you can tackle the nest yourself with insecticidal spray.
Once your wasps are gone, you’ll need to put preventative measures in place to prevent any future infestations. You can stop wasps from nesting in your chimney by installing mesh screens or top-sealing dampers, and by sealing cracks and gaps in your chimney’s exterior with mortar. As an added measure, you can get your home sprayed for wasps during nesting season to deter any would-be visitors.