Hot Fudge Reporting Back

About all things in and around the Detroit area

Re: Hot Fudge Reporting Back

Postby vlad the impaler » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:41 pm

Sat on the backyard deck Friday night for the first time in a couple of weeks. Was relaxing in my favorite wooden Adirondack chair with my four year old boy on my lap when I noticed a yellowjacket between my knees. At first I thought he was just another roamer flying about but when several more suddenly appeared, I quickly realized there was more going on.

I jumped up and took a few steps with son in grasp. I figured I'd watch to see if more yellowjackets emerged from under the chair, and sure enough, more did. I knew a couple had followed me when I felt them get under my shirt and sting my neck. I rushed myself and my boy inside my house- luckily he was not stung! There is no greater terror to a kid than insect stings... had they nailed him, he would've been shrieking for hours.

Out in the garage, I had a can of wasp nest spray that I'd recently been using on carpenter bees who dug a holes in the wood eave above the deck earlier this spring. Their nest was hidden in the eave, so the only time I was able to get them with the 20 foot stream of poison foam was when they would enter or exit the pea-sized holes. Timing had to be perfect- one half second too early or too late with the spray meant the difference between a full dose of insecticide or the bee flying way unscathed. It took several weeks and several cans of spray to fully address the carpenter bee problem but finally it was resolved.

I have to admit being somewhat conflicted about killing the carpenter bees, seeing how they are pollinators in a world where pollinators are decreasing. But I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to the natural world intruding on my personal domain and family's personal domain. The same draconian rules apply to the birds that built nests in the deck rafters above the bbq grill. Bird nests above a grill is a recipe to get sick, given how bird poop carries all sorts of disease, like botulism and histoplasmosis. For a couple of years, I would knock the nests down with a broom (sometimes with eggs in them, if I did not catch it soon enough), then I tried using a bird-repellant which came in a tube. But the "repellant" wasn't really a repellant; it was just sticky goop that adhered to bird feathers. Last year, I installed wire deterrent prongs on the rafters, a move which proved effective.

I could go on about my pest extermination techniques because I live in the ex-urbs and have all sorts of critters on my 3/4 acre of God's country. Like how the red squirrels would gnaw on my (now-gone) hot tub wires. All I can say is the .22 round is a very effective varmint round but you only get one shot because two shots arouses curiosity amongst neighbors. And last summer, a chipmunk ate into the wiring of my truck, which cost me $500 at the dealer to get a new harness installed. That situation was resolved by strategic placement of Decon pellets near the truck tires.

Back to the yellowjackets: since my deck is elevated, I was able to find an angle where I could see the hornet nest under the seat of the chair. It was about the size of an apple and yellowjackets where coming and going with frequency, no doubt riled up by my recent presence and the pharamones released when a couple of their scouts stung me. I was able to hit the entry/exit hole with a long, solid stream of death spray and hornets began to fall out the hole and curl and expire on the deck. I let the poison penetrate the nest for a couple of minutes before flipping the chair over and giving the nest hole one additional shot of foamy goodness. Out popped a yellowjacket twice the size of the rest, the nest mother I assume.

I swatted the nest with a broom, and it crumpled apart like wet newspaper. Inside was perfect honeycomb ring filled with 20 or 30 little eggs the size and color of tic tacs. I kicked the little nursery off the deck, and gave it a shot of spray just to make sure there would be no unattended hornet hatch. If that didn't do the trick, I can say for sure nothing was left when I ran over it with the riding mower yesterday.

Speaking of riding lawn mower, after I mowed I removed the blades for sharpening. I figured it was about time to get the blades sharpened, seeing how I bought the mower used four years ago and never had them sharpened. Let me tell you, easier said than done. First, I did not have the proper tools. Repeated attempts using an adjustable wrench were futile. After a couple of trips to the local hardware store I finally had the right size wrench (15/16" deep socket on a 1/2" wrench). I still couldn't get the damn nuts to turn! One more trip to the hardware store, I picked up a two-foot section of lead pipe for leverage. The nuts eventually gave, after I jammed a piece of 2X4 lumber between the blades and tugged with full body strength. Good thing too- the blades were as dull as your typical WCCCD student.

I could go on but today is Father's Day, so it's off to the in-laws for dinner and more Father's Day activities. Happy Father's Day to all six of you who still post here.
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Re: Hot Fudge Reporting Back

Postby middle aged female » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:49 pm

And a Happy Father's Day to you from this Mother.

You sound like you're pretty handy with that wasp spray. Glad your kid was okay
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Re: Hot Fudge Reporting Back

Postby Craig » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:03 pm

Yes, a good Fathers' Day. Yellow jackets in my area set up in the door jams of parked cars and behind shutters. The fiction is that these "bees" won't bother you if you don't bother them firat, but these really aren't bees and once they're numerous enough they begin get attitudes and take o aaggressively patroing their local airspace. Chemicals do the trick, but the best tool is a one-dollar butterfly net on a five-foot bamboo pole that my wife got for one of the kids ten years ago.. Hornets start fucking with me, the net comes out, and PDQ i've bagged the offenders as effectively as the Luftwaffe's heavy flak batteries along the Rhine. As notes the foaming Zyklon B works but it's messy, not cheap, and tends to been nearly used up just when I need it most. Those hornet traps that rely on baffles and pheromones work for shit.

By luck most of the day was kid-free up here. The younger cohort was off on a church trip while others were working. Those who could, though, reached out, and my eldest came home for a short visit from his down-river digs before heading over to see his girlfriend. So there was plenty of time to relax and reflect upon where we've been and where we're going. A cool place to be in life.
Soon I discovered that this rock-thing was true...
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Re: Hot Fudge Reporting Back

Postby The Suburban Avenger » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:58 pm

I have been stomach-free since early Thursday and am starting to get bored off my ass. Tomororro begins the solid food test and, once I pass, I'm outta here. Crossing my fingers that's no later than Wednesday.

The surgeons said the procedure was a five-star job all are well needed: No need for a feeding tube and the pain has been surprisingly minimal.as these things go, I've been pretty damned lucky.
My hand to God, she's gonna be at Carnegie Hall. But you - I'll let you have her now at the old price, OK? Which is, which is anything you wanna give me. Anything at all.
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Re: Hot Fudge Reporting Back

Postby middle aged female » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:03 pm

The Suburban Avenger wrote:I have been stomach-free since early Thursday and am starting to get bored off my ass. Tomororro begins the solid food test and, once I pass, I'm outta here. Crossing my fingers that's no later than Wednesday.

The surgeons said the procedure was a five-star job all are well needed: No need for a feeding tube and the pain has been surprisingly minimal.as these things go, I've been pretty damned lucky.

I'm glad you're doing well, or as well as one can without a stomach. I hope you're able to eat the solids so you can get out of there and start to enjoy life again
Good luck
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