So Tuesday I gave you guys a little bit of a peek into the buzzing nightmare I’d had going on for the last several days and promised I’d give more details today.
Just to make sure we’re all on the same, squicked out page, lets start with a picture of some of the defeated combatants:
There are no pictures of the live yellow jackets (aside from some very long distance ones in that Tuesday picture) because I was far too busy screaming and trying to smash them with the fly swatter to get my camera out when they were still flying around.
Honestly, even taking this picture, within about 30 seconds of looking at their creepy little corpses I already felt like I had things crawling all over me.
Despite the fact I keep calling these guys “bees”, yellow jackets are technically wasps. That means they eat meat as well as vegetation, don’t really do anything to help pollinate and have giant freaking jaws of steel that they can use to chew into houses to build their awful, awful nests. Oh, and they don’t have to stop stinging you after one sting like a bee does. Can you tell they’re my favorites?
Last Friday is when all of this started in earnest. Our house is old, so it has lots of little nooks and crannies that critters can wiggle their way in through, so a wasp here or there isn’t a huge surprise, but Friday I killed several in G’s room, so I mentioned to my Mr. that he needed to pick up some bee killer on the way home. He found the spot under G’s window where it looked like they were coming in and soaked it with spray. We headed out that evening for a date and called it good.
Saturday there were more of them in the house. Way more.
All we can figure is that spraying their entrance with poison made them decide to try another exit and drove them into the house. More and more hornet spray got shot into the hole while my Mr. tried more and more elaborate costumes to keep from getting stung while he sprayed them.
Sunday night he finally pulled the first wooden shake off the side of our house.
…yeaaaah… it took til late Tuesday night, probably a good ‘nother 8 cans of bug death…several wasp and hornet traps (which are worthless, by the way, not one caught a single yellow jacket) and a full out hazmat lookin’ suit that my Mr. apparently just “happened” to have sitting around to get to this:
A basketball sized hive got pulled out of that hole…which is located directly below G’s closet. I really should have taken a picture of everything the Mr. pulled out…but again, the whole “screaming” thing got in the way.
There aren’t too many things that really get to me. Mice, bats, frogs…whatever, no biggie…snakes I actually kind of like…but yellow jackets…*shudder*. They crawl, they buzz, they sting, they fly and they can get in through holes so small you can’t see them. NOT COOL.
There were a few remaining stragglers Wednesday who had clearly been out late partying at the club when my Mr. destroyed the hive, but only one came in the house. There haven’t been any inside since. We’ll call it a win…now we just have to patch the giant hole in the side of our house.
Things we’ve learned:
- Keep a better eye on the outside of the house to start with. If we’d noticed those nasty buggers flying in and out a lot earlier there would have been far less damage.
- Hornet traps don’t work. Not even a little.
- Spraying the entrance to the hive doesn’t do anything but piss them off, you’re gonna have to dig the whole nest out.
- Unless you’re crazy people (like the Mr. and I are) you probably want to hire a professional…you will be stung.
- If you’re fine with being stung (crazy person) make sure you’re working at night when they’re less active and more are in the hive.
- Go full out hazmat suit the first time. They will fly under the hem of your heavy coat.
- One hive can let them into all levels of your house. Remember, walls are typically hollow!