Can Wasps Get Through an Air Conditioner?

Wasps frequently migrate into HVAC systems because the dark and damp conditions provide the perfect location to build nests and hide from potential predators. They can cause extensive damage to your HVAC’s interiors once settled, but how exactly do they get in?

Wasps can get through an air conditioner to gain access to your home. They can wander through the connected ducts before finally taking up residence in your HVAC system. Not only do wasps bring discomfort to the home, but they can severely disrupt your HVAC system’s functionality as well.

To understand why you might have wasps crawling through your air conditioner and what preventive measures you can take to deter them, read on to learn about easy DIY solutions and when to call the exterminator for backup assistance. 

Why Do Wasps Travel Through Air Conditioners?

Wasps travel through air conditioners and into the ducts because the interior environment is suitable for building a nest and concealing themselves from predators, such as birds and lizards. Access to a water source and the air conditioning unit’s added warmth also entice wasps to settle inside your system.

Air conditioner

Once a wasp enters through the air conditioner and approves of the conditions, it can multiply quickly, so we suggest implementing preventative measures early on. 

How To Identify Wasps Living in Your Air Conditioner

To identify wasps in your air conditioner, you’ll need to keep an eye out for them during their peak seasons. Spring and summer are the breeding and feeding times for wasps, so they’re likely to be in abundance and, consequently, when you’ll usually be using your air conditioner the most.

Check around your home’s exteriors for any apparent signs of a wasp infestation, such as swarming near trees or flowers within proximity to your air conditioner or scratches on your home’s wood siding or decking, as these are signs of wasps lingering around.

Locate the Nest

To get to the bottom of your wasp problem, you’ll need to start by looking for a nest nearby. Wasps can build their nests either adjacent to or inside of the air conditioner. Observe any wasps flying into the air conditioner from the outside if no nest is immediately visible.  

Once you’ve located the nest, or at least where the wasps gather, you can then determine the next best course of action.

Keep Track of the Wasps

If several wasps are making their way into the ducts and through the vents, you’ll likely notice them flying around or landing on the walls. Wasps can be killed by striking them forcefully or spraying them with a wasp spray. However you decide to eradicate them, you should take a mental note of how many you’re tackling daily.

The occasional wasp could be a loner that’s followed you in from outside. Still, apprehending several wasps per day likely indicates a much larger infestation that needs to be dealt with, especially when the wasps appear in similar areas near vents.  

Get an Inspection

One of the most effective ways to conclude whether you have an infestation is getting an HVAC inspection. HVAC professionals will carry out checks on your air conditioner unit. They can trace back into your ductwork, noting any punctures or structural damages that prevent your system from operating accordingly. An inspection can also pinpoint precisely where a nest is in the ductwork.

Furthermore, it’s a great way to stay up-to-date on your HVAC system’s condition, even if wasps aren’t present. 

Steps To Deter Wasps From Your Air Conditioner

There are a few inexpensive DIY methods you can try that prevent wasps from setting up base in the first place and ongoing tricks to keep them from coming in through your air conditioner and infiltrating your HVAC system. 

Get Creative

Make use of some existing household materials you likely have laying around and build a homemade wasp trap. Wasps are attracted to sweet and potent substances, such as syrup and fruit, and when mixed into a wasp trap, they can entice wasps quickly and distract them from your air conditioner. Place the wasp trap within reach proximity of an air conditioner for better results.

You can also purchase an air conditioner cover to protect the unit during the off-season.  

Outsmart the Wasps

To further block wasps, you can also purchase a decoy wasp nest that hangs around the exterior of your home. Since wasps are incredibly territorial, they won’t readily set up camp in an area where they believe an existing nest to be already.

We recommend sealing up cracks, holes, or crevices that are present on the outside of your home to prevent them from sneaking in that way, too.

Know When To Call the Professionals

As with any pest problem, you’ll want to have the contact details of your local exterminator handy in case your infestation is too much to handle. The professionals will be able to come out and spray industrial-grade pesticides that can kill off wasps instantly, prevent them from returning, and they can safely remove a nest with greater ease.


Wasps take refuge in air conditioners and adjoining ductwork because the conditions are desirable, consisting of warm, damp, and dark interiors where building a nest is safe and convenient. However, with the right tools and resources, you can rapidly combat any wasps that attempt to come into your HVAC system and make your home a place of comfort once more.