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MerMaidBlu's avatar

Does anyone know why a small group (7-8) of wasps would be hanging out on the outside of a window?

Asked by MerMaidBlu (416points) August 21st, 2010

I live in Missouri, we’ve had an extremely hot summer and about a month ago I noticed a small group of wasps hanging out on the outside of the bathroom window. I know I could just spray them, kill them and no more wasps. Their behavior is pretty interesting though-they’re literally just hanging out. No nest building, no mating, eating, they just stand there. Occasionally I’ll see one move around a little but then it just goes back to the group and becomes docile again. They aren’t bothering me or anything else but they are there day and night. I’ve NEVER seen this kind of behavior on an insect and was wondering if anyone else has or may have an idea what I’m witnessing.

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12 Answers

Coloma's avatar

If the weather is cooling off they may be congregating for warmth, flies do this in the fall.
Maybe they have lost their nest or queen and are confused as to what to do.

I say leave them alone.

I do not believe in killing anything just because, unless there is a real threat.

If they are not threatening you in any way, live and let live.

Last summer I had a can of wasp spray in a bench on my deck.
The lid was slightly warped and I saw wasps going in & out.

They had made a nest ON the can of wasp spray my gardener had left.

It was so ironic I couldn’t bring myself to do them in. lol

After they were done raising their little wasps I got rid of the nest.

marinelife's avatar

You can get a fake wasp nest (bee-free) to hang outside by the window and that will get rid of them.

Hawkeye's avatar

You need to find the nest. Wasps can do some damage. We had a wasp nest and our dog was attacked. The nest was in the ground, so I just poured petrol down the hole.

MissAusten's avatar

I think @Coloma is right, and they may have lost their queen. Last summer, my son (who has no fear at all, in spite of having been stung several times during his short life) found a small wasp nest in a storage bin near our deck. He used a stick to knock it into a jar, but the queen flew off. When the new wasps came out of the nest, they seemed to have no clue what to do. They sat on the nest and wouldn’t move, even when we gently tipped it out of the jar. At some point, the little nest disappeared (maybe something ate it?!), but the three or four wasps still sat on the ground where the nest had been. Eventually they just disappeared, probably died because they weren’t out getting food. I think without the queen, they literally have no idea what to do with themselves.

john65pennington's avatar

They are hangin’ out to see what you’re cooking for dinner. wasps get hungry too, you know.

Trillian's avatar

I see that you are not asking for advice on whether or not to kill them, just wondering what they could be up to. It’s interesting, and I think @MissAusten may be on to something. Maybe they’re without a queen.
I’d be interested to hear from someone who could tell us more of a certainty, but that seems like a good explanation.
On a related note, do you remember the shark thing a few years back? There were hundreds of sharks all just hanging around for days and days, all diferent kinds. I think off the florida coast. It was in the news. Scientists were speculating. I remember thinking that it was a shark conventionn and they were all down there dodging lectures, avoiding meetings and getting dragged to some anyway with charts, graphs and power point presentations. I don’t know that we ever did have an idea what that was all about, but I know that it was after that that there were at least two out of water shark attacks, where they jumped out of the water and grabbed someone on a pier.
So maybe the wasps are plotting, rubbing their tiny hands together, giggling and snickering, Watch your back, and if you hear a disant hum, run for it.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that these wasps could be what is left of a hive that was removed at a different location. They could be disoriented by a small dose of the wasp killing spray that wiped out their mother nest. So now they huddle around each other for comfort and companionship as they slowly die from poisoning and starvation. It is so sad.

MissA's avatar

Since it is soooo hot, perhaps the cool window gives them respite. I have a live and let live attitude as well. And, that’s difficult when tiny little ants decide that they are going to live for those moments when you drop a miniscule amount of toothpaste that doesn’t get washed down the drain.

I have two bathroom sinks. One for me, one for the ants, when they decide to visit. They never make arrangements, they just show up for weeks at a time. I’ve learned to be a gracious host and put their portion of toothpaste in a pretty little condiment dish.

Yes, visitors sometimes ask, “Is that a bowl of toothpaste in there?”

What can I say?

Trillian's avatar

@MissA How nice of you. I do a similar thing for the ants that come to my house. It comes in a bottle and it’s caled Tero. I put it on little pieces of cardboard. They seem to love it.

MissA's avatar

@Trillian I’ve heard good and bad things about that. But, I’m really attempting to leave the chemicals behind, as much as I am able. However, they may end up with some spicy snacks. Or, I just read about Borax, not boric acid, which I’ve already tried. Thanks.

mail2carole's avatar

I had something similar last week. I suddenly one afternoon had probably two or three hundred wasps congregate in groups all over my deck walls. The largest group was probably a hundred and then there were quite a few smaller ones. They just seemed to be hanging out huddled up together. I sprayed the largest group to see if they would all leave and eventually by about 6pm, they were gone, The next day at the same time in the afternoon, they all showed up again. They just sit there huddled up doing nothing until about 6pm. I called the exterminator this time, and they have never seen anything like it either. I usually say live and let live, but this got a little scary, there were so many. They sprayed and the past few days there have not been any. Hope it stays that way.

jchrislove's avatar

Well, I live in Missouri and having the same problem. It is not 2010 though it is 2017 .Though they are by my front door and there is like 100 of them. Since I have a phobia of wasps and not bees, I don’t know what to do. I have a tremendous amount of compassion for many creatures including insects but wasps I do not. They are hideous and vicious creatures. They are ugly and creepy and they stare at you with their black little eyes. They are gathered in a cluster, there is no nest. They are sitting there but I seemed to have stirred them up. I am hyperventilating. I saw the neighbor yesterday messing around his gutters so maybe he knocked some nests down and the survivors came to visit. I will kill any wasp that bothers me. One time I picked up a trash can filled with cans and didn’t know there was a nest inside and all of them came out at once and started landing on my face. They are one of very few insects that are not good for anything.

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