Saturday, September 26, 2015

Biggest? and Stangest?

              I've done many Bald Faced hornet nests this summer, but these two are really up there on the "WOW!" scale. The first is probably one of the biggest I have ever seen. I put my foot next to it and to the right of my foot is my ball point pen! This thing was huge and was about 8' up in a crab apple tree. I killed it with the spray can on the end of my bee pole (which can telescope out to about 25'), and managed to get it out of the tree in one piece. I use a pole trimmer to cut the branches it's attached to, but it usually falls and breaks apart when it hits the ground. I managed to guide this one through the branches and get my hand on it, so it came down in one piece. The woman decided to keep it for a souvenir. I told her to put it in a plastic garbage bag and put it in her garage until all the larvae and pupae, decomposed and dried up. I have one hanging in my Bay window that I killed years ago, and it's still in perfect shape, and almost as big.


 This next one is really strange. Apparently they didn't have much faith in their engineering department. They built this one inside a street light (privately owned), near a customers house, so they would have some extra protection from the weather. Normally these nests can hold up to anything up to and including a Category 2 hurricane. I didn't kill this one because I had been called to the house for a yellow jacket nest in the wall and one of the woman's kids showed me this one. It was so high up it wouldn't bother anyone. So I let it be, they have their place in the environment and are beneficial as long as they don't bother people. I told her kids not to throw rocks at it!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Can an ugly reptile be cute?

        I think they can, especially when you see this! I went to a mouse/carpenter ant job the other day, and after I finished, I was standing in the customer's driveway talking to him, when we saw this on his driveway.
        A little background here. He has a pond out in back of his house, and he tells me that every June, a big female snapping turtle comes up on his lawn and tears it all up digging a hole to lay her eggs.       
        Well, the summer is almost over, and I guess the eggs have hatched, because this is what was in his driveway. That's a quarter next to it for a size comparison. That's how big a newly hatched snapping turtle is, and I guess we have all seen what they grow up to be. Those 40 pound, 18" long monsters you never want to deal with! A few minutes later, the customer found another one a few feet away on his lawn. When I left he was headed for the pond to release the little guys!