Thursday, August 23, 2007

Well, it wasn't a shutout after all.

I very nearly concluded a shutout of the wasps at the Bolt Hole over the past few days. In fact, I did manage to nearly wipe out the wasp nest I posted a photo of earlier. Only a few stragglers were seen by me and Mark as we worked on the garage today. They wold zoom in to the barn and then right back out. Their bright yellow and black striped bodies were easy to spot against the dark shadows of the barn's interior.

It was the second string that got me around noon today. We (Mark and I) were going to put some plywood over rotting, leaking windows on the west side of the garage. I had climbed the step ladder to screw the initial piece in place but had to hammer a stray nail out of the way first. it was then that I heard the loud buzz of a nest inside the garage wall with an entrance in the opposite corner of the window. You can reasonably assume I got off the ladder ASAP! Even then I was unscathed.

When things quieted down, I thought it might be safe to work on the other window. WRONG! No sooner had I moved the ladder and climbed up it than there was a very sharp jab behind my left ear. I swatted--and killed--the little martyr, and then got off the ladder again. Score one for the insect world. (The sting still hurts some 10 hours after it occurred, but, thanks to the allergy shots I wrote about, I was able to walk away without the need of medical attention.) I still had one can of Spectricide spray left and so I counter attacked, soaking the corner of the window as best I could before packing up my tools and calling it a day. I didn't stick around to see if the spray did any good or not.

These were not the same species of wasps as those that built the paper nest in the barn. These were about the same size (1/2 to 5/8 inches long) but were nearly all black with just a bit of pale yellow on their abdomen. I believe they may also build paper nest for, if I remember correctly, they had a small one some years ago under the Bolt Hole's second story deck. I got stung then, too, when I stepped out on the deck and the vibrations of my feet on the deck floor pissed them off.

When I get back up to the Bolt Hole (I'm back at the PA Aerie now) and get around to covering the windows, you can be assured I'll use a long pole to rap sharply on the window sill first to see if anyone is home.


Michael said...

Brave man. I'd want body armor, beekeeper's hat and gloves before going anywhere near a wasps' nest.

GUYK said...

Chemical ALi. heh. You gotta saturate those nests and then when they fly out just knock 'em out of the air with RAID wasp killer..when I was a lad we cut a 1X4 into a paddle and would swat them..bumble bees especially. Pour water down the hole in the ground where they were nested and take batting practice as they came buzzing out..but one miss and it was a foot race to the creek...

joated said...

Hey! The little bastard snuck up from behind and I never saw/heard it coming. I swear it landed stinger first!