Foam!

Well the wasping continues apace, the little darlings are finally getting busy and noticable, after a dismal start to the season.  As more people find them  the daftness ramps up a little. I mentioned a week or so back that there has been no expanding foam high jinks yet, and—whaddaya know?—this week we have high jinks involving many and various sorts of foam. And cement.

One of the many things not to do!

Here is a picture of one of the things not to do to a wasps’ nest, and some foam, but not the expanding sort. This is the kind of foam that you buy for killing wasps with, so it makes some sort of intuitive sense until you read the instructions, which are all about how to use it on an exposed nest. If you spray it all round the entrance to a nest tucked away in a wall cavity it appears to sort of work, ie it kills a load of wasps, but it makes bugger all difference to the queen and the lavae on the inside.… Read on...

The fun and the foolish

This is way too much fun

Well it’s been a mixed week here at Waspie HQ, the supreme fun of a go on a cherry-picker and some serious silliness. The wasps’ nest that was approached by way of powered machinery was, actually, just about reachable with a very long lance but who wouldn’t go for a ride?

The chap in charge of this marvellous powered machinery was supposed to be painting when he was stalled by said nest, so he was more than happy to drive a waspie heavenwards, offer support, assistance and a guided tour of all the mechanical bits. I do like mechanical bits.

In other news, it’s been a week of impossible-to-find houses and other dimwittery. It would appear that the posher you are, the less likely you will be to bother to give your house a number. Fancy Lodge, Superior Lane may be an address to conjure with but it requires hapless contractors and other tradesman’s entrance types to waste half an hour of a busy day crawling along posh lane, trying to read the tiny name on every sodding gatepost.… Read on...

Competition the second

Odd, the things you find in Lancashire.

Well, this year’s second competition is finally under way. The first comp was for the most unusual place for a nest, the next is for the silliest thing to do to one before we arrive. So far I’ve not had any expanding foam stuffed in the hole, just bluetac and masking tape.

Stuffing the hole where the wasps are going in and out seems to be everybody’s instinctive reaction, which only makes sense until you realise that most of the wasps are…on the inside.

“My husband blocked the hole and now we’ve got wasps in the house.”
“Really? Do you think these might be connected?”

The blutac did this, the masking tape didn’t.

“We covered the hole with tape but they seem to be eating it.”
“You gave them building materials Ma’am, they’re using it to extend the nest.”

But, stupidity-wise that all pales into insignificance beside,

“I poured some petrol on and set light to them but that just seems to have made them cross.”

The “No shit, Sherlock” was thought rather than uttered.… Read on...

The competition begins

The competition for the strangest place to find a wasps’ nest, that is. Last year we decided that the car exhaust pipe took 1st place, followed by the golf bag in 2nd and the chicken coop taking bronze. (See what I did there? Little Olympic reference for you.)

The first 2012 contender

This year has been pretty boring so far, bird  boxes, garden sheds, under eaves, inside the void behind fascia boards. I do tend to get a bit confused between fascias, flashing and soffits when referring to people’s roofing apparatus so I’d just had a revision session with the boss and drawn myself some diagrams when I rolled up to a lady who told me ‘they’re all going in and our under me suffixes’. I had no right to giggle really.

But then it happened, this year’s first entry, the nest in a concrete mixer.

Not a bad commute

 

It’s still a bit quiet, 3 or 4 nests a day, nothing near last year’s mayhem  of 17-20 callouts a day, not counting the ones we were to busy to catch on the phone, but that has given me  the time for a bit of scenic photography.… Read on...

The idiocy has begun

This year’s prettiest bee swarm to date

Well, it’s been a quiet week at the wasp face, the torrential rain has kept everybody indoors, instead of out gardening and barbecuing and generally finding their wasps, but the few nests I’ve been out to have been getting bigger and busier. So we know they’re there.

The idiots have crawled out of their lairs too, three classic annoyances this week. The general public at large have many and various ways of driving one nuts. I ranted here about the stupidity and thanklessness of the people one visits in the course of a day and much though the jobs change, the annoyances remain remarkably similar. No doubt as the season progresses there will be more wasp-related pillockry but three of the classics annoyed me by all happening the same day.

Annoyance 1…not doing as you’re told. We offer a free call-back if we’ve not completely destroyed the wasp colony, so long as people leave it alone.… Read on...

But I’ve got a baby!

No, not me, I’ll explain in a moment.

Before the seasonal declaration of apostrophe manoeuvres

It’s been a quiet week here at wasp HQ, I’ve been out to a few wasps’ nests but the weather has been so dreadful that nobody is outside to notice they have wasps. Of the nests I’ve seen, one was still just being built by a single queen*, most had a few workers hatched and one was really busy with a second hatching which provided sufficient workers for an attack batallion. The Boss reckons it will go nuts any day now, the second hatching is when people start to get upset and beg for help.

People have been mostly nice so far this year. The sort who thank you for turning up so fast and express an interest. One lady told me she was pleased to have been quizzed on the phone about whether she had wasps or bees and had found my fancy new webpage most informative.… Read on...

The Waspie: Week One

The Boss poses for his profile shot, the new website required visuals.

Well, I’m back in Blighty where it’s wet, cold and miserable. I’ve been a pestie again for a week and it’s pretty quiet so far. Apart from the honey bee swarm on the day I landed, which the guy who called us was convinced was a wasps’ nest.

Now, it took me at least 20 minutes last year to learn the difference between a wasp and a honey bee, so one could forgive those who don’t watch insects for a living the error…unless we’re talking a massive swarm hanging from a tree.

This chap had even put a sign up next to it saying ‘Warning, Wasps Nest’. I wish I’d had the camera with me. He was gobsmacked when we said we’d take them  away and give them to a beekeeper, not kill them on the spot. I was dispatched to the van for the Mark 1 Swarm Removal Kit (a cardboard box and a blanket) and we conveyed them home to await collection.… Read on...