Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Uninvited Guests

As soon as the cabin was finished, a number of uninvited guests arrived.

The ants, spiders, hornets, wasps, bees, deer flies and mosquitoes all showed their presence. Of course, the usual insects were there before us and we had to blend into their surroundings.

Summer is their season, but we can escape into the confines of the cabin interior. The screens are on the windows and a big fly swatter is nearby. We put sticky fly strips on the bottom of the high windows.

Everything seemed under control.

But, then the hornets showed up and built their nests at the soffits of the roof overhangs. They make their nests of hornet chewed plant fiber. The nests look paper-like. Every spring we expect a hornets' nest under one of the eaves of the cabin, garage, or wood shed.

The female hornet starts the nest and lays some eggs. The young become mature and become workers for the female hornet helping to build the nest larger, gather more food and have additional hornets. Soon, we had hundreds of hornets.

The hornets can be a needless pest and they can give painful stings to anyone who disturbs them. The stings are poisonous and can cause painful swelling. I have been stung several times by these critters.

I like to get rid of these uninvited guests by using "BLACK FLAG" spray that is made specifically to kill hornets or wasps on contact within their nest.

I dress head to foot with a long sleeved shirt , full length jeans and gloves and cap. I try to keep my neck and face covered as much as possible. At evening time, after sun set, when the hornets become least active, I give the hornet nest a good 2 to 4 second shot of the Black Flag. The spray coats the nest and saturates it, killing the whole nest and any hornets which return to the nest after the nest has been coated. This seems to control the hornet population for most of the season.

Other "uninvited" guests??? Yes!!! ......To be continued.

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