bees on flower image

Bees In The Attic?

Insects, including hornets, wasps, and bees may take up residence in your attic to shelter from elements and often for nesting purposes.

Wasps or Hornets in the Attic

If you are noticing wasps or hornets inside your home, it is likely there is a nest nearby, possibly inside and likely in your attic. While Wasp and Hornet nests are most often found in or near the garden, shed, or garage, they may also be found in the attic.  Your attic is an attractive space to build a nest due to low activity levels in the space and it provides shelter from the hot sun, wind, and rain.

Bees in the Attic

There are several types of bees and some species may use your attic to nest or build a hive. The attic provides an inactive space that can go undetected by homeowners.

Honey Bees in the Attic

Honey bees are less likely to build hives on the underside of the roof deck in the attic (though it has happened – this is very rare) due to the melting point of the wax. In summer, attics can get up to 180 degrees. A heavy colony will usually drop from the underside of a roof at about 130 degrees. Honey bees in the attic are often an overflow from a hive in a wall or at the eave where it is cool enough to sustain wax and protect honey stores.

Carpenter Bees in the Attic

You may also be dealing with Carpenter Bees which can do significant damage to wood. The common name “Carpenter bee” derives from their nesting behavior; nearly all Carpenter bees burrow into hard plant material such as wood or bamboo.

Often carpenter bees are confused with bumblebees; the simplest rule of thumb for telling them apart is that most carpenter bees have a shiny abdomen, whereas Bumblebee abdomens are covered with dense hair. Males of some species of carpenter bees have a white or yellow face.

In spring, carpenter bees fly around looking for burrows to lay eggs and deposit pollen as food for the larvae. (They use old burrows too, therefore it is a good idea to plug them.)

Typically carpenter bees don’t swarm or sting humans. Male bees often are seen hovering near nests and will approach nearby animals. However, males are harmless, since they do not have a stinger. Female carpenter bees are capable of stinging, but they are docile and rarely sting unless caught in the hand or otherwise directly provoked.

Contrary to what some people may believe, carpenter bees don’t eat wood, but instead they chew through it with their powerful mandibles. In most cases, homeowners will notice a pile of sawdust at the bottom of a tunnel. If a carpenter bee is still devouring wood inside the tunnel, you’ll probably notice more sawdust falling onto the ground. Typically, they either spit out the particles of wood or use them to create partitions where individual bees can nest.


Removing or eliminating hives can be very dangerous. Do it yourself attempts can and often backfire with dangerous consequences. We always recommend engaging professionals. There are several service providers that can relocate bee hives or eliminate nests.

Health Risks

If you get stung – and you know you are allergic to bee stings or experience symptoms other than localized pain, itching or swelling, seek a medical professional immediately.

If you are not allergic and get stung, stay calm, and move away from the area. Keep the affected area below the heart. Remove any stingers gently with your fingernail, a credit card, or a butter knife. If the stinger is still in your skin, the venom sac most likely is too – don’t squeeze the sting or you may release more venom into the sting. Treat the sting(s) with cold compresses and use over-the-counter pain medication. Meat tenderizer containing the ingredient Papain will relieve the effects of the sting quickly and effectively as well. If symptoms persist more than a few days, see a doctor.

How Do They Get Into The Attic?

Flying insects gain access through unsealed cracks, gaps, ventilation holes, and light fixtures adjacent to the attic.

Preventing Attic Infestations

You dramatically reduce the likelihood of such infestations by limiting access to your home. This is done by properly sealing gaps, cracks, vents, pipes, and light fixtures.

Call Attic Air for Help in Chicago or Suburbs

We handle a variety of attic infestations. Click here to learn more>; Contact Attic Air for a free attic assessment today! 630.830.3870