Monday, August 21, 2006

Bugs And Me

I've always had an o.k. relationship with the bug world; not that I'd take a cockroach out for a drink, but I have a live and let live philosophy, and even have a certain fondness for insect critters, who persevere in spite of steep odds against them. Therefore we use no pesticides in the garden, and if a wasp or a spider get into the house, they get a gentle trip outdoors, rather than swatted. However, bald faced hornets (Vespula maculata) don't engender any warm fuzzy feelings in me; they are downright scary... they are large, fast, and mindlessly aggressive. Currently they've taken over our hummingbird feeder, and even chase away the ruby throats who dare to try and get a sip. It was apparent that the hornets were all heading off into the west ravine when they had their fill, so I made a beeline in that direction, hoping to find their nest, like the one pictured below found in our garden last fall. However, this ravine is deep and dark, with seeps and only little patches of sunlight penetrating to the bottom. Nobody ever goes in there, so the deer just stared, wondering why I was there. Perhaps it was fortunate that I never found the nest, for one should probably not seek an encounter with nature's more aggressive denizens unless you have a better reason than idle curiosity, or at least you should have a firm exit strategy... this has been shown to be true more than once before on this blog. Since the hummingbirds have been chased away, I'm just going to take the feeder down for the year... as soon as it gets dark.Posted by Picasa

Yeah ... an exit strategy is absolutely key. We had a little wasps' nest develop in the upper corner of our front porch this year, and I could never decide on the proper exit strategy.

As it turned out, the strategy was for me to my job. While I was at work one day, our landlord removed the nest.

Hooray for landlords! Sometimes, it pays to be a renter.

The Inadvertent Gardener
Genie... My usual strategy for most things is RLH... Run Like Hell!
Hornets are evil! Their kind deserve to die.
Peggy... I'm right behind you when you get out the flyswatter!
Those ARE mean bugs. Here's a homemade trap that might draw a few away and let the rubies get a sip of the good stuff.

A simpler version of the trap involves just putting a single stick across the top of the bucket and dangling the string/bait from it.
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