Video of the Week: How to set up the W*H*Y Trap
We recorded a short video this week as a demo on how to set up the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets. It's a simple process and you don't need to raid your refrigerator to bait the trap!
Once the snow melts here in Washington, we'll amend the video to show where to hang the W*H*Y Trap outside.
W*H*Y we love our customers
This is WHY we do what we do.
Our office is buzzing today over a web comment we received. Brenda in Texas is using the new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets already after purchasing a full case of the product -- just as she said she intended to do last year.
Here's her original comment from last year on the "Tell us WHY" page on our web site:
"We live in West Texas and are inundated with paper wasps. When I walk out the front door, I take a fly swatter with me so I can fight my way off of the porch. In the summer, they dive bomb us when we are in the pool. We go through cases and cases of Wasp spray each summer. Those darn things can get inside the home through the smallest crevice and yesterday we had 25 in our living room when we returned home. Needless to say, we are very anxious to purchase a case of WHY traps and have them out in early spring so we can catch the queens."
Brenda followed through on her intentions and is already having great results with the W*H*Y Trap. Here's what she sent us today:
"I ordered a case of WHY Traps and have put three of the traps up. The first trap is still catching paper wasps even though the water is gone. The second trap (see picture) has caught quite a few considering it's only February and that trap has been up for only 24 hours."
We think those actually look like red wasps in the trap -- they're likely queens, because of the time of year and their size.
Thanks for the feedback, Brenda!
Mom 2.0 Summit display
Photo credit: Giovanni Gallucci
Tweeting the Mom 2.0 Summit
Photo credit: Giovanni Gallucci (www.galluci.net)
Heading to Houston!
Boys love bugs
Two days ago, we hosted a local Boy Scout troop at our offices. To receive their science badges, they had to visit a lab and meet a scientist. Our R&D Department was more than happy to oblige with a tour through our insect research lab.
R&D Director Dr. Qing-He Zhang talks about how we re-create scents to which the insects are attracted:
The kids take turns looking through the microscope at an insect antenna hooked up to our Electro-Antenna Detector (EAD), which measures the antenna's response to different scents.
Research Scientist Doreen Hoover shows the boys some Spined Soldier Bugs in a petri dish:
The Scouts pose for a photo with their new scientist friends:
We have an appreciation for science here at Sterling, and Dr. Zhang feels there are too few scientists in the world today. I hope this visit stoked the boys' interest in biology, chemistry and entomology -- they certainly liked the bugs!
Video of the Week: Hulking Hornets
European Hornets are huge! Here's a video of an active hornet nest that helps confirm that. Something stirs them up shortly into the video...
W*H*Y Wednesday: The Western Yellowjacket
Today's post closes out the W*H*Y Wednesday series we started in Fall 2008 that focused on each of the 20 species caught in the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.
Last, but certainly not least, is Vespula pensylvanica, the Western Yellowjacket.
Western Yellowjackets are most easily identified by the yellow ring surrounding the upper portion of the eye, commonly called an “eye loop”. Their abdominal markings closely resemble that of the German Yellowjacket, marked with a black diamond on the uppermost segment. Roughly a half inch in length, like other yellowjacket species, they will have stout bodies, black antennae and yellow legs.
The Western Yellowjacket is found not only in the Western U.S., but also the Upper Midwest, as illustrated in the map below:
Western Yellowjackets will scavenge for protein and sugar, becoming "picnic pests". This species is known to create severe problems for loggers, fruit growers and those engaged in outdoor activities.
The majority of Western Yellowjacket nests are found in abandoned rodent burrows, but they've also been found in attics and building walls. Colonies range from 1000 to 5000 workers at peak size. In warmer climates, entire colonies can overwinter -- not just the queen.
Western Yellowjackets may be a hazard if agitated while scavenging. They are also a stinging hazard if the nest is disturbed. Western Yellowjackets can be very annoying to humans, since they are likely to be found near human activity.
Here's a video we shot of a Western Yellowjacket nest, located under the front steps of a house:
W*H*Y Traps on your list?
If you're in the Pacific Northwest, you can find them at Fred Meyer. Here's a photo I snapped yesterday with my phone:
Eat at The Fly Trap
No, I'm not telling you to go eat a meal next to our top-selling pest control product.
The Fly Trap is a "finer diner" in Ferndale, Michigan.
A reviewer for the Detroit News says: "Don't be put off by the name. The Fly Trap is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a more modest predecessor that filled the space for 54 years before this snappy contemporary version of a diner came along."
We love that they've had fun with the name. They even sell a bottle of house-made habanero hot sauce called "Swat Sauce".
Video of the Week: Bill Gates releases live mosquitoes on stage
This story sounds like something we joke about here at RESCUE! headquarters: "Hey, let's release live yellowjackets at the trade show -- that'll get attention!"
The joking never goes any further because, well, we recognize that it's dangerous... and just absurd.
But those concerns didn't deter Bill Gates. Speaking
yesterday Wednesday at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference in Long Beach, California, Gates got lots of "buzz" when he released mosquitoes into a packed auditorium to highlight the dangers of malaria.
He let the shocked audience sweat for about 20 seconds before assuring them that the insects were malaria-free. You can see the moment about 5 minutes into this video:
The stunt notwithstanding, Gates makes some good points about devoting resources to preventing the spread of preventable diseases. He pointed out that more money is spent on developing a cure for baldness than stopping malaria.
Sounds like we need to hurry up and develop this personal mosquito repellent device, as it's badly needed by many people... including those in Gates' audience!
W*H*Y goes live at 5!
Our company founder and president, Rod Schneidmiller, was interviewed live on-air for the 5 p.m. newscast of our local ABC affiliate, KXLY4, two days ago. Rod talked with anchor Robyn Nance about the new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.
W*H*Y Wednesday: The Transition Yellowjacket
Today's featured species is Vespula flavopilosa, the Transition Yellowjacket.
If insects could experience human emotions, V. flavopilosa would probably have an identity crisis. This species (sometimes called a Hybrid Yellowjacket) is so named because it's thought to be a cross between the Eastern and German Yellowjacket, and possibly related to the Common and Western Yellowjacket. Like these other species, Transition Yellowjackets have yellow and black coloration and a stout body, and are roughly 1/2 inch in length.
V. flavopilosa is also occasionally called the "Downy Yellowjacket" or "Yellow-haired Yellowjacket" because of the fine yellow hairs all over its body -- as shown in the top photo on this site.
This species is found in the Northeastern U.S., as illustrated on the map below:
Transition Yellowjackets will scavenge for protein, are attracted to meats and sugary foods, and may be pests around trash cans and picnics. They are less likely to be near human dwellings than other species such as the German Yellowjacket and Eastern Yellowjacket. This species is a stinging hazard if agitated while scavenging or if the nest is disturbed.
Their nests are subterranean, carton-shaped and tan-colored with 500-1,000 workers. Common nest sites are in yards, along roadsides and sometimes within structures.
Good news if you have this species in your back yard: The W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets will catch Transition Yellowjackets!
W*H*Y: The Buzz is getting out!
Here's an excerpt:
"Snow on the ground means nothing at Sterling International, the Spokane Valley company that’s buzzing around the clock making traps targeting the stinging bugs of spring and summer.
Sterling, which has been in business more than 25 years, has just released a product six years in the making, a three-in-one plastic trap it calls the WHY.
As in wasps, hornets and yellowjackets."
Click here to read the full article.
Yellowjacket Traps are part of the job
(Wendy Edelstein photo)
Just came across this article from a UC-Berkeley publication that profiles a staff member -- in this case, it was the person who handles pest management for the campus, Margaret Hurlbert. Of course, we liked seeing our Yellowjacket Trap in the photo as one of the tools she employs... she says she uses them to control yellowjackets around dining facilities, childcare centers, children's sports camps and the campus stadium.