How long will wasps survive w/o food (or, Enjoying Your New Hasbro Wasp Farm).

I opened a window in my house that had probably not been opened for 5 years. I slid down the screen, was enjoying the breeze, and then noticed that there was an active paper wasp nest up at the top, between the top sash and the outer storm window.

I closed the window again. I now have my very own ant-farm-like wasp nest under glass, with about 12-20 live wasps and a few filled-in hive cells (eggs? pupa?).

Two hot days later, they are still active, and none can leave the confines of the glass-and-screen sandwich. Without water or food (besides each other and perhaps a few very small insects that get around the ill-fitting screen), how long can I expect them to survive? If I had a clear shot at the nest, I’d just hose them with wasp spray, but the angle’s no good (and I’m not about to open the screen to get a better angle).

I would suggest placing a very strong gamma-emitter on the side of the window as near as possible to the nest. Cobalt has several long-lived isoptopes that will do the trick. The catch is that the irradiation kills them outright rather than mutating them into large, multi-legged behemoths with 6-inch retractable fangs and a highly-evolved nervous system bent solely on rape and carnage.

hope this helps.

Damn! All I have is this Strontium-90 sitting around. Stupid Beta particles.

Wait, if you had to open the window and the screen before you saw them, and then closed them both, how did they get there?

Not sure how llong they will live, but you could kill them faster if you got an IR heat lamp or something and slowly baked them to death. It would giv eme great satisfcation knowing they were dying a slow and painful death. I don’t like wasps.

If 20 can get in to build a nest what makes you sure they can’t get out at will?

why not go outside and spray wasp spray through the screen.

You probably don’t even need wasp spray, since you have them confined in a small area; I’d imagine an ordinary fly spray would do the trick.

Wasps don’t typically store a lot of food and are very active foragers; I would think they’ll starve in a matter of days. I’d be interested to learn whether the adults eat the larvae/pupae to survive.

If you have the time to watch for a while, they’ll show you how they are getting in and out. After you kill 'em, close up the hole.

Yes, I am afraid they got in through a small hole or gap, and they are getting out the same way. Kill 'em. :mad:

Sorry, my descriptions of the screen/storm window/sash situation hasn’t been clear.

The window (in my sister’s weekend house, which she hasn’t much visited for the past 2 years) had the main sashes closed (obviously). Outside of this, the sliding screen, which was in the up position. Outside of this, the two sliding storm glass panes, which were also in the up position. So the wasps previously had free access on the lower half of the window and a 1"+ gap between sash and raised screen. So they just flew in and out of this wide glass chimney and happily built their nest.

Then I opened the bottom sash and dropped the screen down into place. I didn’t know the wasps were there. Luckily, they didn’t go anywhere, because, with the screen down, they could only fly into my house now.

As soon as I saw them, I closed the bottom sash again. So now they are trapped between the bottom sash and screen on the bottom, and the top sash and storm window panes up top.

And by the way, they’re still not dead. And it’s hot. Tough little rascals.

I’d soak a cotton ball with wasp spray, then open the glass just enough to push the cotton ball in with a screwdriver. My theory is that the spray will waft up and speed up the process a little.