Giant hornet invasion!
Local experts are trying to calm citizens down by emphasizing that European Hornets are less aggressive than wasps. Still, people understandably are freaked out by the hornet's large size (some can get up to 5cm or 2 inches in length) and loud whirring noise it makes when in flight.
Good news, Norwich: The W-H-Y Trap from RESCUE!, available in 2009, will catch European Hornets.
The European Hornet is also found in the Northeastern U.S. west to the Dakotas and south to Louisiana and Florida. They are prominent in New England and Mid-Atlantic south to Northern Georgia and Alabama.
More wasps in the WHY Trap
Here are some still photos of the same scene, taken on May 16 in Greenacres, Washington. These show European Paper Wasps (Polistes dominulus), 11 total, all caught in the new W-H-Y Trap for wasps, hornets & yellowjackets.
Note: This is a prototype of the W-H-Y Trap... the actual product will not have a big glob of glue holding the two chambers together!
We caught a couple of Bald-faced Hornet queens in this trap a short time after these photos were taken -- stay tuned for those images.
Colorado customer happily catching queens
Here's part of a recent e-mail we received from a customer in Westminster (Denver), Colorado, along with a photo of the "body count" in his RESCUE! Yellowjacket Trap:
This is the second season I'm using the Rescue Yellowjacket trap. I purchased one late last season because we had a yellowjacket invasion around our apple tree. The previous owners of our house did not do anything to combat the problem. We caught no less than 150 of those things just in late summer and fall until all the apples were gone.
I put it back out this season in hopes of catching the queens. Ok, my expectations were exceeded! Those are FIVE queens in there! I don't think we'll have any yellowjacket problems this year! Thank you for making such a great product! Feel free to post this on the site or wherever.
Mike K., Westminster (Denver) CO
Thanks, Mike, for your comments and that great photo. Those five yellowjacket queens represent five entire colonies -- potentially several thousand workers -- that could have been established near your property, but now won't ever have the chance.
Wasp & yellowjacket stings on the rise in Alaska
A University of Alaska entomologist and a director of an allergy center in Alaska have determined that wasp and yellowjacket stings in that state have been increasing steadily since 1999, and occurring farther north.
From an article in the Anchorage Daily News:
Two summers ago a huge hatch of wasps descended on Fairbanks. University of Alaska Fairbanks entomologist Derek Sikes estimated there were about 10 times more yellow jackets that year than normal. Inevitably they bumped into people. School events were canceled because too many kids were getting stung.
This painful phenomenon led to their study, and their findings of a seven-fold increase in insect stings per year: from 16 people to 119 people.
Another tidbit from the article: There are 11 different species of yellowjackets found today in Alaska, compared to only two species observed in 1900.
The WHO Trap
One month ago, we held a web conference for our sales reps around the country to give them the who, what, when, where, why and how regarding our new WHY Trap for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets. Some of them have not yet seen the product in person since they didn't attend the National Hardware Show. So as they're getting educated on the product, all are anxious to get their hands on some samples and start selling the WHY Trap to their key accounts.
We got a chuckle last week when one of our reps called and asked if she could have a half-dozen samples of the "WHO Trap".
Who knows, perhaps that could be the next new product to come out of our R&D Department. Horton the Elephant might want to warn the tiny Whos about this potential threat to their existence.
WHY Trap in action, catching wasps!
The new W-H-Y Trap from RESCUE! catches paper wasps, and here is the video proof. Our company president, Rod Schneidmiller, has several prototypes hanging up in his back yard. Now that the weather has warmed up here in the Inland Northwest, the wasps are flying, and we're catching them.
Here's Rod talking about the trap's catch on Friday, May 16:
Here's another, slightly longer video showing the catch, and where the trap is hung in relation to the house. The wasps are still buzzing around inside the trap, and this video shows how the paper wasp legs dangle down when they are in flight:
The trap caught nearly a dozen European Paper Wasps (Polistes dominulus) in a single day. This is a species of wasp that makes open honeycomb nests like these, usually under the eave of a house:
It's truly a breakthrough to have a trap that catches paper wasps. No one else can truthfully make this claim. Stay tuned for more video showing the W-H-Y Trap in action!
Wasps & hornets wreak havoc
Here are a few news items about wasps and hornets wreaking havoc outside the U.S.:
- A man in Trinidad died after being stung by a single wasp, called a "jack spaniard" wasp.
- A wasp expert in Australia is seeing an increase in European wasp nests this season, placing the public at risk of a potentially deadly attack. The story mentions a Melbourne woman who went into cardiac arrest after being stung, but fortunately survived.
- Here's an article about the Japanese Giant Hornet, which is five times as big as a yellowjacket. The author says that when these insects sting, "they release a pheromone that marks the victim as an enemy of the nest, and serves as a target for the rest of the workers to home in on. This can result in dangerous multiple stings."
- Something's bugging them in Broad Green: This area of the UK has had record numbers of pests, including wasps, over the past two years.
- Our neighbors to the North in Edmonton, Alberta are getting prepared for summer, with wasp-resistant beverage recycling bins. Apparently the precaution against wasps is important enough for the city to spend $1200 each on these bins.
We're also seeing more wasps here in our neck of the woods now that it's warming up, and RESCUE! has a solution. Stay tuned for some great photos and video of the new W-H-Y Trap for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets in action!
Our in-house "WHY-vangelists"
As the RESCUE! Sales & Marketing team was introducing the WHY Trap at the National Hardware Show last week, the folks back home at Sterling headquarters showed their solidarity with us by wearing their "I know WHY" t-shirts on the big launch day, May 6.
Here's our R&D team in the lab, celebrating the fruits of their years of labor on this product:
Here's the front office staff, minus those of us who were at the Hardware Show:
Vladimir, who helps operate our injection molding machine, proudly wore his shirt:
Our production team:
Our shipping team (Vladimir, Jeff and Angie):
And our Engineering team:
Everyone here is excited about this product and to spread the buzz about WHY!
My parents, the "WHY-vangelists"
My parents visited me over the weekend, and I armed them both with "I know WHY" t-shirts and brochures about the WHY Trap. Back home in Tucson, my mom found the perfect pair of pants in her closet to complete the ensemble: capri pants in our RESCUE! green, with a fun bee print on them to boot.
And it turns out that Ace IS the place -- the first place to commit to carrying the WHY Trap and the WHY Attractant refills in its warehouses around the country in 2009! Read more in this press release.
Coverage from the National Hardware Show
Gang members invade our WHY Trap exhibit...
...Actually, it was just us. On Day 2 of the National Hardware Show, the RESCUE! Sales & Marketing team hammed it up in "biker gang" jackets. Alyssa was a wasp, Jim was a hornet, and Jonathan and I were yellowjackets.
Here we are approaching the Convention Center...
And in the booth...
These outfits reflect the concept we used in one of our new TV commercials for the WHY Trap. Called "Rumble", the spot shows a family in their backyard about to enjoy some hamburgers from the barbecue. Suddenly, a gang of "yellowjackets" (3 guys in yellow jackets) bust through the gate to crash the picnic. They are followed by three wasp women, and three bad hornets who close in on the family, digging into the potato salad and Kool-Aid, poking the hamburgers on the barbecue and threatening to sting. The WHY Trap comes to the rescue, as mom hangs it up in a tree to draw the "gang members" away from the family's patio.
WHY Trap gets formal introduction at the National Hardware Show
We've been having a fun time telling National Hardware Show attendees about the new WHY Trap for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets. Not only are people excited about the product, but we're also getting positive comments about the overall impression of our booth -- the product packaging, displays and the backdrops. Here are some photos that show everything off:
The large sign above the booth is 8 feet long and rotates. It reads: "WHY -- The answer is here." and has one of each insect on each panel.
Here's our team on the first day, each holding a WHY trap sample.
Our California-based sales reps got the rundown on the WHY Trap from all of us.
Our company president, Rod Schneidmiller, showed Issaquah, Washington-based sales rep Mike LaLande how the WHY Trap works.
Our sales reps in Portland, Candie and Craig Dunn, are excited about showing the WHY Trap to their key accounts.
Stay tuned for photos from Day 2 of the Hardware Show!
The world is getting to know WHY
While we in the Sales and Marketing team were introducing the WHY Trap at the National Hardware Show yesterday, those who had a hand in its creation and launch were showing their solidarity with us by wearing their "I know WHY" t-shirts. Here is one of our field testers, Dr. Eric J. Rebek, checking a trap prototype in Oklahoma:
What is WHY? Wonder no more.
The big day is finally here! No more teasing everyone with the sly WHY references.
Ta-da! Introducing the W-H-Y Trap for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets.
It's our newest addition to the line of RESCUE! Pest Control Products. The W-H-Y Trap will catch 18 species of stinging pest insects, including:
- 4 species of Paper Wasps
- Bald-faced Hornets and European Hornets
- 12 species of Yellowjackets
We're so excited to bring this product to you.
For over six years, our scientists have been working diligently to "crack the code" for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets, and develop the attractants and trap design that works on all 18 species. Aside from their intensive work in the lab, they've had to spend gobs of time in the field to gather live insects from their nests -- often dressed like this:
Our Customer Service department has fielded thousands of calls from people wanting a trap for wasps and hornets in addition to yellowjackets. Now, instead of "We're working on it", they can say "We have it!"
Our Marketing and Sales departments are showing it to the movers and shakers in the home improvement industry this week at the National Hardware Show.
To get your W-H-Y fix and find out all about this product, you can go to www.whyistheanswer.com.
Stay tuned for updates from Vegas!
WHY eve... the momentum builds!
We finished setting up our booth at the National Hardware Show today at noon. The six* of us wearing our WHY shirts, plus the signage we had around the exhibit hall, attracted a lot of buzz.
The valets standing outside the hotel kept asking us "WHY?" as we walked out. The parking lot attendants at the Convention Center said, "Hey, I want to know WHY!" (I think they really wanted one of our shirts!) Walking into the Exhibit Hall, the security guards said to us, "Hey, you look like you're in some kind of gang!" Attracting that attention was really fun.
I hope our signage attracts lots of attention, too. Here's Rod, our President, flanked by Alyssa and Jonathan from Marketing. Our 23-foot banner is displayed over the escalator leading up to the second floor of the Exhibit Hall.
This 8-foot tall sign is just outside the Exhibit Hall. (The other side, that people read when leaving, says "Don't leave without discovering WHY".
Here's the group of us in our booth. I love how all the colors of our backdrops and product displays pop!
Just a few more hours until the question is answered!
*The sixth person is my husband, Paul.
Caring for the Community
In the midst of all the hubbub concerning our new product launch, I neglected to blog about two of our recent community activities and recognition.
First: Sterling International was honored last Friday, April 25 with an award from the Union Gospel Mission of Spokane, a ministry serving the homeless. We were given the "Group Service Award", and according to Executive Director Phil Altmeyer, we are the first non-religious organization to ever receive it.
For about seven years, a group of 4-5 Sterling employees -- often led by company President Rod Schneidmiller -- has been going to the Mission once a month during a work day to serve lunch to the homeless.
Rod has been encouraging Sterling employees to get involved at the Mission ever since he and his family helped serve Thanksgiving dinner there years ago.
Our plaque says: "In grateful appreciation for your faithful service on behalf of the homeless at the Union Gospel Mission."
Second: Life Services of Spokane held its annual Women of Compassion luncheon on April 17. For several years now, our company has been the lead underwriter of this event. In addition to the keynote address by Susan Meyer, the organization launched a new capital campaign called Beyond Choice.
Our banner and the sponsor banner were displayed in the Pennington Ballroom of the Davenport Hotel, where the event was held:
Our company Co-President Gigi Schneidmiller and Customer Service Manager Ann Bearden were part of our table of ten:
We know WHY.
The Marketing Department (L-R: Jonathan, our intern; Alyssa, our marketing coordinator; and me) wore our WHY shirts today -- our last day in the office before leaving for Vegas to introduce our new product.
We also put the finishing touches on the WHY web site, www.whyistheanswer.com, which also launches on Tuesday, May 6.
I know WHY. Do you?
Polina knows WHY! Our Accounts Receivable clerk looks smashing in this WHY t-shirt. Rod, our company president, passed out these shirts today for all RESCUE! employees and their family members to wear on our big launch day for our new product: next Tuesday, May 6.