April 25th, 2009


Wasp invasion

After letting the dogs out early this morning, I returned to find a wasp buzzing around my bedroom.  I managed to lure it out and into the living room, but it disappeared before I could get the vacuum cleaner.  I closed my door and went back to bed.  Sometime later that morning, before I got up,my SO found the wasp in the kitchen and killed it.

When I started to let the dogs out again later that afternoon, I found several wasps buzzing around the front porch.  I let the dogs out another door, then grabbed a can of wasp & hornet killer and started spraying.

I almost bit off more than I could chew, because there were a lot more wasps than I saw the first time.  I sprayed at least half a can of poison onto the porch to take them out.  I later counted 11 corpses, though I think a few fell out the window and some are probably behind stuff.  I went outside and sprayed the rest of the can taking out a few more wasps that were hanging around.

I didn't see a nest anywhere.  Hopefully I managed to kill enough of them to stave off a full-fledged invasion.  I need to buy more poison tomorrow, just in case.  I usually buy pyrethroid-based poison, which is harmless to birds and most mammals (except cats), but is extremely effective against insects. (Back in Vista, where I didn't have to worry about pets, I used my own concoction of diazinon, chlorpyrifos and malathion.  It's super effective!)

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A couple photos

As always, click for full size.

A mourning dove in the maple tree outside the kitchen window.  Their drab coloration makes them rather hard to spot in the trees, but their distinctive, mournful cooing gives them away.

The Stinger 40 Watt bug zapper that I installed last year quit working when I plugged it in this spring, so I replaced it with a much more powerful Flowtron 80 Watt zapper.  The Stinger was a poor design; it used a metal grid to zap the bugs, which clogged up after just a single day.  If I didn't clean it out every morning, it would become totally useless within a few days.  The Flowtron uses a more open metal rod system that doesn't appear to clog.  On the down side, the bulb is extremely bright and it's more into the visible spectrum than the Stinger's blacklight bulb.   (I seem to be having bad luck with bug zappers; my Nosquito indoor mosquito trap also quit working.  At least in that case, it was just a dead bulb.)