Date: 6/30/19 9:29 am From: Jeff Gibson <gibsondesign15...> Subject: [Tweeters] Black And Blue Exterminators
Got bugs? Call Black and Blue Exterminators!
Hey, here in Port Townsend we got bugs! Pests! Wasps! Or we did before Black and Blue showed up.
What we have are European Paper Wasps. These bugs are fairly recent immigrants to the USA, land of opportunity. They are hard working citizens, mind their own business, and apparently are here to stay. My parents had a knee jerk reaction to wasps and had a whole shelf of poisonous bug killing products to do 'em in with. Alas, dad has passed on and I conned mom into leaving them alone - unlike yellowjackets the paper wasps are pretty benign unless you really ask for trouble. I did hose them down with cold water in twilight conditions then squished them and removed the nests from the eaves back in 2014 - I had a house to paint. Sorry!
While I did have momentary regret about committing manual insecticide the wasps did come back. I enjoy watching them flying around, long rear legs dangling. They are one of the tougher bugs their size - this past winter, they were active during our benign January, and surprisingly on sunny days during Februarys snow, catching enough radiant heat to keep on truckin'.
This year, probably due to the survivable winter, we had plenty of wasps. Didn't bug me any. Mom, mentally erratic, decided she was gonna feed the birds this year and has been scattering seed on the deck and rail. That included sunflower seeds which was as good as phoning Black and Blue Exterminators: "we beat 'em, then we eat 'em" is their motto.
I first noted this as a beautiful black and blue Steller's Jay was whomping a wasp on the deck rail about a month ago. After it's beating, it got gulped down. Then the systematic annihilation of the wasps began. The rail- hopping jays kept cocking their heads and peering up under the eaves - then one day saw one fly up and snag a paper wasp nest, tear it off and haul it down to the rail, where it pinned it down with a foot and proceded to delaminate it, and picking out the little protein nuggets of larvae. Yummy! In a weeks time the jay, or jays, had removed about all of them - maybe a dozen nests'
But they didn't get 'em all - sneaky wasps had found a narrow gap the jays couldn't get to - and so it goes.