Yellowjackets disrupt school bus stop, mail delivery
Yellowjackets were in the news last week, making their presence known in the West.
Kennewick, Washington: Five children were stung while waiting for a school bus.
Video of the Week: Man burns house while trying to kill yellowjackets
This weeks' video begins a new category for the BugBlog: the "Pest Control Hall of Shame".
A man whose home was infested with yellowjackets tried an extreme measure to eliminate them. The end result? He made the house uninhabitable for himself and his family, with $80,000 in damage. Here's the news report.
4 Honored for Japanese Beetle fight
Japanese Beetle, this town ain't big enough for the both of us.
That's what they said in Orem, Utah -- and it worked! Two years ago, folks there became serious about battling the spread of Japanese Beetles. Agriculture officials established a take-no-prisoner attitude toward holding off the beetle invasion in their hometown.
Four people, including the Mayor of Orem, were recently honored for their efforts to put the beetles on the run. Their efforts were so successful that only 98 beetles were found in traps this year, compared to 2100 in the previous year.
Can't wait for ACE to discover WHY
We're excited to introduce the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets to Ace Hardware and their dealers this week in St. Louis. Ace was the first national account to recognize the potential of the W*H*Y Trap last spring, and their buyers added the product to their lawn & garden lineup without hesitation.
Stay tuned for blogging from the Ace show.
Video of the Week: Eliminating a Bald-faced Hornet Nest
In this case, it's a Bald-faced Hornet nest about the size of a basketball, attached to the eave of a house, and quite active.
Watch the video and you'll see why this is no job for amateurs.
More blogger love
He says, "This summer, thanks to the yellowjacket traps, I have NO stings!"
Bloggers make our day
We love reading about our product mentioned in other blogs. Longwindedandproud had some good success with our RESCUE! Yellowjacket Trap recently (and some not-so-good luck with another brand), as discussed in this post.
Even more, we love it when bloggers post great photos of our product in use! Longwinded followed up with a photo of a very full Reusable Yellowjacket Trap in this post. And Ramblings had two fantastic shots of our Disposable Yellowjacket Trap in this post.
Video of the Week: Schmidt Sting Pain Index
The Schmidt Sting Pain Index is a scale that rates the amount of pain inflicted by different Hymenopteran (winged insects -- ants, bees, wasps & sawflies) stings. The index was devised by Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist in Tucson, Arizona.
The index starts at zero for stings that are completely ineffective against humans, and finishes at 4 for the most painful stings. Here are the standings of the wasps, hornets and yellowjackets with which we're familiar -- along with a colorful description of each sensation:
2.0 Bald-faced Hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.
2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
2.x European Hornet: Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.
3.0 Paper Wasp: Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
Interesting... Paper Wasps are the least aggressive of the insects listed above, yet they are said to have the most painful sting.
It's hard to imagine any sting even more painful than a yellowjacket or wasp sting, but there are a couple that are, according to Schmidt. Getting up into the 4.0 range are the Tarantula Hawk (Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric... a running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath) and the Bullet Ant (Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel).
Here's a little video about the Schmidt Sting Pain Index... our clip of the week:
W*H*Y Trap gets its close-up
The new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets makes its debut on retail shelves early next year, and we plan to support the launch with TV advertising. We have some great TV spots in the can already, but one crucial shot we were lacking was a good close-up of the W*H*Y Trap in action with live insects buzzing around inside.
Wasp, hornet and yellowjacket colonies reach their peak at the end of summer, as we've pointed out in previous postings. And so, hoping to get a good "body count" inside the trap, we waited out the summer and set aside time last week to get that crucial close-up shot with the help of North by Northwest Productions.
But some heavy wind forced us to move inside the garage to film it in front of an open window...
Not to worry -- here's how it looked on the screen... beautiful!
Advice about stings
From a Master Gardener column in the Newark (OH) Advocate: Here's a good comparison of the different reactions a person might experience after a wasp, hornet or yellowjacket sting, and what to do in each situation:
- Normal reaction: Lasts a few hours. Sting site is painful, reddened, might swell and itch, but will quickly dissipate. For local reactions, your pharmacist can recommend reliable, over-the-counter remedies.
- Large local reaction: Lasts for days. Sting site is more painful, swelling and itching may be present both at the sting site and in surrounding areas. For a large local reaction, you might want to consult your doctor, local emergency room or urgent care site.
- Severe allergic reaction: Can commence rapidly (in a few minutes) after the sting occurs. The person might feel dizzy, nauseated and weak. The person might feel stomach cramps and diarrhea, or might have itching around the eyes, a warm feeling or coughing, hives breaking out, followed with vomiting and swelling. He or she might experience wheezing, difficult breathing (shortness of breath) or swallowing, hoarse speech, drop in blood pressure, and shock. Reactions can occur in a few minutes with most deaths within 30 minutes, but some within 15 minutes and some in five minutes or less. FOR A SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
Many county fairs and other outdoor events take place in September, when colonies are starting to peter out and wasps, hornets and yellowjackets are desperate for sustenance in the form of sweet liquids. Here are some hints from another Ohio paper, the Morgan County Herald, on how you can stay out of harm's way:
- Keep garbage cans emptied and clean as often as reasonable.
- Be careful when eating or drinking at these events. Be sure an unwanted guest has not gotten into or on the food and drink being consumed outdoors.
- Avoid drinking out of a can where one cannot see into the container. Use a straw or open topped container. A mouthful of wasp is no fun.
- Avoid wearing floral scented perfumes and immediately wash off spilled fruit drinks because the wasps are attracted to floral and fruit scents.
- Wear plain, light colored clothing.
- Don’t panic if you see a wasp. Simply walk away, even if it lands on your clothing – it will soon fly away when it finds that you are not really food!