Not many people like to face wasps. And your bathroom, where you are more likely to expose tender flesh to wasp unpleasant sting, is definitely one of the worst places to encounter these pesky buzzers.
If you’re not careful, wasps will remind you that even such a small body can pack a punch. Add a constantly irritating buzz sound to their venomous sting and you have a week supply of nightmares. Worse yet, many people are dangerously allergic to them.
Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of these wasps trying to invade your bathroom. Just remember, don’t try to swat it like you would a fly. You might end up getting stung.
Wasps in the Bathroom: What Should I Know
Wasps belong to the Hymenoptera order of insects, like bees. But while the latter have hairy bodies, wasps have soft and shiny skin. They also have a narrower waist, four wings, and a brighter pattern of black and yellow.
The wasps you see in your bathroom are most likely worker wasps or social wasps. These are female wasps that never mate. Their primary job is to go out of the nest to find food and nectar to feed the queen wasps.
Solitary wasps, which are non-colony-living kinds, can still enter your bathroom, but very rarely compared to social wasps.
In most cases, a wasp will leave you alone. But when it feels threatened, which is easy as wasps are aggressive and territorial, it will use its stinger to attack.
While only the queen lays eggs, one queen can lay 200 to 300 eggs per day. During spring, a queen wasp can lay around 5,000 eggs in your bathroom, which will quickly double by the end of summer. Once there’s such an infestation, a severe stinging episode is only a matter of time.
Although a stung from a single wasp is not life-threatening, 30 or 40 stings is an entirely different matter. Plus some wasps, like yellow jackets, can sting multiple times, doing considerable damage.
Are Wasps Getting in Your Bathroom Through the Vent?
Wasps are somewhat tiny insects, meaning they can enter your shower and bath through various openings. The most common way they can come inside is through open windows and doors. In other cases, wasps will build their nests in the windowsill because it has protection from the weather. Ultimately, wasps can damage the screen, leaving it open. Damaged window screens, even with the smallest of holes, will become another entry point from the outside.
Another way for wasps to enter the bathroom is through the ceiling or the ductwork in the ceiling. They usually have openings for vents, and if the seals in those holes are compromised, wasps can get inside.
Wasps are pretty smart and can venture into the bathroom through air vents or heating vents. Wasps have access to these openings from the exterior of the bathroom, giving them a welcoming space to enter and build a nest in the vent and air ducts. Vents typically have a flap on the outside, but if it doesn’t shut completely or if the flap breaks, wasps can easily get through it.
Wasps build their nests in any suitable void they can find. They can build nests in your bathroom fan or the bathroom ceiling. You can also see wasp nests in vent pipes and air ducts, including wall cavities in the bathroom. Air vents and ducts in your bathroom make a conducive nesting environment for wasps.
Bathroom vent pipes have the space to allow wasps to build their colonies. The damp air that’s extracted from the bath and goes through the air ducts also provides them with moisture to help them thrive. Heating and dryer vents also give the queen wasp a safe and warm place to hibernate and survive winter.
How to Eliminate Wasps in Your Bathroom
You can get rid of pesky wasps in the bathroom, but only after some careful planning. Before you even begin eliminating these buzzing pests, you’ll want to take some safety precautions. You wouldn’t want to get stung, especially if you are allergic to a wasp sting.
Some initial tips to get rid of wasps in the shower and bathroom:
- Get rid of wasps early in the season when the nest is less established.
- Plan nest removal during nighttime when wasps tend to be subdued.
- Plan your escape or make sure there’s somewhere safe you can hide in case things go awry.
Getting Rid of Individual Wasps in the Bathroom
Eliminating the lone wasp in your bathroom is easier than dealing with an infestation. There are several ways you can keep your shower wasp-free.
- Buy a wasp-killing spray. There are store-bought sprays that can effectively kill wasps, these are most effective when you’re only dealing with one or few of them.
- Create and hang homemade traps. Soda or fruit juice will attract wasps into a bottle, but if you add a few drops of dishwashing soap in it, wasps will get stuck and drown in the solution.
Getting Rid of Wasps in the Bathroom Fan
You can use a commercial wasp spray to get rid of an infestation, but the thing is, you’d want to avoid chemical-based sprays in the air vents. While bathroom fans suck the air from the bathroom towards the outdoors, air can still travel back in, especially when it’s windy outside. You wouldn’t want to add possibly harmful chemicals to your indoor air.
Thankfully, there are ways to eliminate wasps nesting in the bathroom vent without hurting or killing them.
- Turn on your exhaust fan at full speed. Strong and constant airflow should be enough to encourage wasps to move out of the air vent.
- Spray mint-infused water into the air duct. Making a simple pest deterrent solution of water and a couple of drops of spearmint or peppermint makes an excellent wasp repellent.
- Keep the fan running, spraying mint water every couple of hours. Usually, wasps will move out within 24 hours of constant high airflow, especially with the mint repellant in the mix.
Get Rid of Wasp Nests in the Dryer Vent
One simple way to eliminate wasp nests in the bathroom’s dryer vent is using a DIY wasp nest spray. You’ll be doing this from the outside during the day when worker bees aren’t around.
- Seal off the air vent from the inside. It ensures that wasps don’t start coming inside the bathroom as they try to escape.
- Take off the cover of the dryer vent from the outside. Dryer vents tend to be pretty short. Looking for the outside should let you see the entire space and the wasp nest you need to deal with.
- Make a DIY wasp nest spray with water and dishwashing liquid or any liquid soap and spray it on the nests. This homemade solution is a great alternative to store-bought insecticides. It will clog the wasps’ breathing pores and suffocate them.
- Remove dead wasps and nests from the vent. Once the wasp nest spray effectively kills those nesting in the vent, you can start cleaning the spot from any debris.
How to Prevent Wasps from Coming Back into Your Bathroom
Wasps inside the bathroom can be a significant problem, and an infestation isn’t something anybody wants to deal with over and over again. Once you’re confident that there are no longer wasps in the shower and bath, here’s how you can prevent these insects from coming back.
- Check all possible entry points. Besides ensuring all windows and doors are closed, check every possible entry point: holes in window screens, mortar between bricks, gaps in bathroom walls, and cracks and gaps in bathroom vents and pipes. Seal or repair any access points, even the tiniest cracks where wasps can enter.
- Check the vent caps. Vent pipes typically have caps or vent covers with nets on the other end. The screen cover should be intact to prevent insects and rodents from coming into the ductwork.
- Check your backdraft damper. For exhaust fans, you’ll probably have a backdraft damper. If you don’t, installing a backdraft damper can prevent anything from entering the vent and into the bathroom, including wasps. But the thing is, the flapper of the backdraft damper can come loose. Other times dirt and debris can accumulate and prevent it from closing all the way. So, don’t forget to check the backdraft damper periodically and ensure that it’s airtight.
There’s only one reason why wasps keep coming back into your bathroom – because there is some hole or gap where they can enter. Sealing all entry points should keep wasps out of your bathroom for good.