Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ever wondered what was inside...............................?

        Well, here is the answer! I went to do a bald faced hornet job in Roxbury yesterday. It was attached to the side of a window air conditioner and to the window itself. It was a pretty good sized  nest, that had been started in mid-May. It was good and healthy, and very busy. The woman decided to kill it because she was starting to get some in her bedroom even though she had taped the window up pretty good.  These are not pollinating "bees", they are carnivorous, feeding on caterpillars and other insects. They are not in any trouble like the pollinating bees are, and can be very dangerous. They have their place in the environment, but when they are just above a deck on someone's home they have to be removed. If they were 25' up on a tree branch, I would recommend just letting them be.

This is what the nest looked like from outside.

        Took the video from inside the bedroom window. I have only seen this once before in my entire life and that was when I was a kid! The woman called it her science project. Her daughter and grandchildren had come up from New York. Boy, did they have a good time taking pictures and videos. Talk about "Show and Tell" for school which is starting soon! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Interesting Jobs Just Keep Coming

        Yesterday I went to Seymour for a "fluttering and squeaking" mysterious noise in the chimney of a fireplace. That covers a lot of territory. Could be just about anything. Got to the house, opened the screen of the fireplace, opened the damper, and got into a position where I could look up the chimney. I saw the problem immediately. Only saw it once before in twenty years in the business. Nothing needs to be done, the problem will resolve itself shortly. The cause of the noise was "chimney swifts". These are small swallow like birds that build mud nests on the inside of chimneys. There they lay eggs, raise their young, and when the young fledge (leave the nest), they are done for that season. They will come back year after year unless the chimney is capped, but they do no harm, so why not provide them a happy home, and help out a species that is in decline, especially in CT.
          This is a photo I took, looking up the chimney. You can see three young, just fledged, swifts hanging on the side of the chimney. Just above and to the left of them is the edge of their nest, attached to the side of the chimney.

Here is link to more info on Swifts!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Illegal Immigrants? (title - courtesy of my wife)

         I did a yellow jacket job this morning, and ran across something I've only encountered about 4-5 times in my 20 years of doing pest control. This is the nest I removed from a barn at a horse farm.
       Pretty routine, except it was in a difficult spot, and required some gymnastics to get at it! What came as a surprise was what was inside it.
        Yep, a black and white yellow jacket. The common yellow jacket is the upper one. My understanding is that these black and white ones are parasitic. Their queens, instead of starting their own nests in the spring, wait around until the common yellow jackets get their nests started and then they move in, kill the existing queen, and proceed to start laying eggs. Over the course of the summer, the workers gradually shift from yellow and black to white and black as the existing jackets die, and new black and white ones emerge from the eggs laid by the new queen.
        Nothing really different with this. They are still dangerous and should be removed, unless they are well away from humans. Just one of those curiosities that nature is always throwing at us!