Wednesday, August 1, 2012

They Can Kill You

this is what my husband said to me, as he was reading about Japanese Hornets, after discovering a nest of huge hornets a tree not far from the house. If they swarm and sting, well watch out. Holy crap. We've had them here before, one night last year when I was grilling and went out to flip the chicken, there they were all around the light. He handed me out a can of wasp spray and the next morning I counted 30 bodies. Luckily, they weren't aggessive, that night, but I backed off the deck to spray in fear of being attacked. But now hundreds going in and out of the tree.

The first mode of attack (by my husband) was to try wasp spray. He headed out in the evening, with me as back up (just in case they swarmed him, then I could spray them all, though I don't know which would be worse, wasp stings or being sprayed with a can of wasp spray.) It hit the edge, he yelled RUN, turned and we ran back to the house. Next morning, lots of activity.

My nephew and BIL brought over a zapper, which they had used to eradicate a big nest in the attic of their shop. It is working.

My home made trap (from an internet suggestion) has gotten two of them. It is apple cider vinegar (organic no less, sugar and soap).

  Travis did tell us that these are not Japanese hornets, but European hornets. I have just confirmed this on the NC Extension site. They are by the way, the only true hornet in the US. I also found some info that has us in conflict. "Their diet consists mainly of large insects such grasshoppers, flies, bees, and yellow jackets." They are good for the garden, bad for honey bees, and they are not aggressive. Though their workers are female (hundreds of them) and they will overwinter to start new hives. If stung it will be worse than a bee sting, and I do know someone that has a scar from a sting 3 years ago.

They are right across from our decks, one of which is where I grill, often after dark, in front of a French glass door, with a light on by the grill. They are attracted to a light. So here is the conflict. They are good for gardens and eradicating grasshoppers (which I do not like with a passion), and one site called them gentle giants. Sometimes too much information is not a good thing.