It’s that time of year again. The wasps are out and about, looking for places to build their nests. If you’re not careful, they might choose your chimney as their home.
Wasps in chimney is a common problem that homeowners face every year. But why do wasps get in chimneys in the first place? And how can you prevent wasps from making a nest in your chimney?
While wasps are beneficial insects because they help pollinate flowers and control other pests, they can become inconvenient when building their nests in your home. If wasps get into your chimney, they can cause a lot of damage and make it difficult to use your fireplace.
The good news is that you can do a few things to keep wasps away from your chimney. Here, we share expert tips on why wasps get in a chimney, how to get rid of wasps in the chimney, and preventing wasps from entering your chimney, among other things.
Common reasons why wasps nest in your chimney
There are a few reasons why wasps might build their nests in your chimney. Some of them include:
Chimneys are easy to access
Unlike other areas in your home, wasps can quickly enter chimneys because they’re typically not sealed at the top. All a wasp needs is a small opening to get into your chimney, and they’ll take advantage of it.
Besides the top of the chimney, wasps can also enter through cracks and crevices in the bricks.
Chimneys provide shelter from the weather
Another reason why wasps like to build their nests in chimneys is that they offer shelter from the weather. Wasps are most active during warm weather, so they’re always on the lookout for places that can protect them from the cold.
Furthermore, chimneys offer a favorable environment for wasps to lay eggs and raise their young. The chimney’s darkness, temperature, and isolation provide wasps with the perfect conditions to build their nests.
Chimneys are a food source
Wasps are attracted to chimneys because they’re a source of food. If you have wasps in your chimney, they’re likely attracted to the food left behind by other insects.
Wasps will also build their nests near areas where they can find other insects to eat.
Protection from predators
Another reason why wasps build their nests in chimneys is for protection from predators. When wasps are in their nests, they’re less likely to be disturbed by animals or people.
Are wasps in your chimney dangerous?
While wasps are not naturally aggressive, they sting if threatened. If you have wasps in your chimney, it’s essential to be careful when using your fireplace.
Once inside your home, wasps can cause the following problems:
According to the Mayo Clinic, wasp stings can cause various reactions, ranging from mild to life-threatening. The severity of the reaction depends on the person’s sensitivity to wasp venom and the number of stings they receive.
Some people can have allergic reactions to wasp stings known as Anaphylaxis, Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Damage to the chimney
If wasps build their nests in your chimney, they can cause damage to the structure. Wasps will chew on bricks and mortar to build their nests, weakening the chimney and making it more susceptible to collapse.
A large wasp nest can also block the flue of your chimney, which can lead to a chimney fire. If wasps block the flue, it can cause smoke and carbon monoxide to build up in your home.
Besides the blockage being a fire hazard, it can release carbon monoxide and other toxins into your home.
Wasps can also infest your home if they build their nests in your chimney. Once inside, wasps will fly around your house looking for food. This is when they can start building their nests in other areas of your home, such as your walls or attic.
How to eliminate wasps in a chimney – Step-by-step guide
As experts advise, the best way to deal with wasps in your chimney is to call a pest control professional. They will have the tools and equipment to remove the wasps from your chimney safely.
But if you’re looking for a do-it-yourself solution, follow these steps:
Tools and accessories you’ll need
- Flashlight capable of shining up the chimney
- Goggles/safety glasses
- Heavy protective clothing and work gloves
- Face mask
- Long broom and dustpan
- Wasp spray
Step 1: Put on your protective gear
Before you do anything, putting on your protective gear is essential. Wasps can be aggressive, and you don’t want to get stung.
Step 2: Find the wasp nest
The first step is to find the wasp nest. This can be difficult as wasps build their nests in hard-to-reach places.
The best way to find the wasp nest is to wait until nightfall and use a flashlight to look up the chimney. Wasps are less active at night, making them less likely to sting you.
Step 3: Remove the wasp nest
Once you’ve found the wasp nest, it’s time to remove it. Wasps build their nests out of paper, so they’re relatively easy to remove.
Use a long broom and dustpan to reach the wasp nest and carefully remove it from the chimney.
Step 4: Spray the wasp nest with wasp spray
After removing the wasp nest, it’s time to spray it with wasp spray. This will kill any remaining wasps and prevent them from coming back.
Step 5: Repeat
Repeating this process is essential until you’re sure the wasps are gone. Wasps can be persistent, so you may need to do this a few times.
If you’re uncomfortable spraying your home with wasp spray, you can try another DIY method. For instance, this YouTube video shows you how to get rid of wasps using a Shop Vac from your home.
Finally, the steps outlined above are only applicable to new wasp nests. If the wasps have been in your chimney for a while, it’s best to call a pest control professional.
How to prevent wasps in the chimney
As promised in the opening, we will now share seven tips on keeping wasps out of your chimney in the first place.
1. Seal available cracks and openings in your chimney
Your chimney offers wasps an easy way into your home in two ways. The first way is that wasps can crawl through cracks and gaps in your chimney. The second way is that wasps can fly down your open chimney.
You can prevent wasps from getting into your chimney by sealing any cracks or openings. You can use caulk to fill small gaps, while larger spaces may need to be sealed with mortar or concrete.
2. Got some flypaper and hung a bunch around the opening
Flypapers are an effective way to keep wasps out of your chimney. Wasps are attracted to the sticky paper and will get stuck on it when they try to fly into your chimney.
For the best results, hang several fly papers around the opening of your chimney. Because this is where you mostly expect wasps to try and enter from, it will be the most effective place to trap them.
3. Keep trees trimmed away from the house
Trees are commonplace for wasps to build their nests. If you have trees near your chimney, wasps may build their nests and then fly into your chimney to get into your home.
Keep trees trimmed away from the house to keep wasps out of your chimney. Wasps will have a more challenging time establishing nests near your chimney and entering your home due to this.
4. Clear away any debris or leaves from around the chimney
Debris and leaves offer wasps a place to build their nests. If you have debris or leaves around your chimney, wasps may build their nests and then fly into your chimney to get into your home.
You can prevent wasps from getting into your chimney by clearing away any debris or leaves from around the chimney. This will make it more difficult for wasps to build their nests near your chimney and enter your home.
5. Install a chimney cap
A chimney cap will prevent wasps from flying into your chimney and getting into your home. Additionally, it can prevent debris and leaves from getting into your chimney and clogging it up.
Chimney caps come in various styles, so you can find one that fits the look of your home. Have a professional install the chimney cap to ensure it’s done correctly.
6. Remove any food sources that may attract wasps
Wasps are attracted to food sources, so removing any food sources wasps may be tempted to is essential. This includes things like garbage, pet food, and fruits and vegetables.
Some food sources near your chimney or home may include bird feeders, garbage cans, and pet food bowls.
Removing food sources may help keep wasps out of your chimney, making it less likely for wasps to visit your home and chimney.
7. Schedule annual chimney inspections
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that your chimney be inspected and cleaned yearly. This will help keep your chimney debris-free and other objects that may attract wasps into your home.
An annual chimney and fireplace inspection will also allow a professional to identify any cracks or opening wasps that may be able to get into your chimney.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends looking for any cracks or gaps in your chimney during the inspection. These can be sealed to prevent wasps from getting into your chimney.
Following these tips, you can keep wasps out of your chimney and prevent them from entering your home.
We hope you better understand wasps and why they might be in your chimney. If you suspect you have wasps in your chimney, it’s crucial to take action to prevent them from getting into your home.
As discussed above, there are multiple ways to keep wasps out of your chimney. However, the most effective way to keep wasps out of your chimney is to have a professional install a chimney cap.
Professional assistance also remains the best if you already have wasps in your home and want to get rid of them ASAP. These experts will help you get wasps out of your chimney and prevent them from getting back in.
Can wasps get in your house through the fireplace?
Wasps can get in your house through the fireplace if they find your chimney open. Once wasps are in your chimney, they can enter your home through the fireplace. Wasps can also access your home through cracks and gaps in your chimney.
Can you smoke wasps out of a chimney?
Smoke can kill wasps, so you may be able to smoke wasps out of your chimney. However, ensuring all wasps are out of your chimney before using it is crucial. Otherwise, wasps could enter your home through the fireplace.
Do yellow jackets build nests in chimneys?
The chimney offers a protected and undisturbed area for yellow jackets to build their nests. Yellowjackets may also make their nests in other areas of your home, such as under eaves, attics, and crawl spaces.
What time of year do wasps nest?
Wasps typically like to build their nests in the spring and summer. This is because wasps need warm weather to build their nests and raise their young.
In the winter, wasps will die off except for the Queen wasp. The Queen Wasp will hibernate until the spring, when she’ll start a new colony.
Do wasps come down the chimney?
The short answer is yes. Wasps can come down the chimney if they find their way into it. Once wasps are in the chimney, they may fly into your home through the fireplace.