Monday, July 20, 2015

Wasp wars...

This is the time of year when wasps start to be a problem. Locally, they're called yellow jackets, hornets, or simply bees, but technically they're relatives of the european paper wasp (Vespula sp.). They over-winter as adult queens, often underground, but then in summer build their paper nests in trees, shrubs, or roofs. This year they chose a corner of the porch roof where there was just enough of an opening to squeeze through, then started a nest inside. Within in a week or so, there were dozens of wasps flying in and out. Since we have to pass that corner to go into the house, well it didn't look too promising for their future there. In the past we've tried to co-exist with them, but in the fall, they start getting very territorial and aggressive towards anything that approaches the nest. Since I've been stung many times,  it's quite painful even if you don't get a reaction to the the venom, I figured I'd better gear-up before taking action. I'd tried several outfits before, but the best thing I've come up with is an old leather welding jacket and gloves, full-face motorcycle helmet, and a hooded sweatshirt.

Suitably attired, I crept up to the nest and sprayed, only to have the can malfunction. After some adjustments, I was able to repeatedly spray the area around the opening until the wasps were no longer flying around, then caulk the hole closed. Lots of excitement for a few little bugs.

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