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Wasps

 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I don't know that anyone else will find this interesting, but I may have a new pet. There's a large black wasp (with yellow bands) that keeps flying into my bedroom. I know it's the same one because it's learning. The first time I pulled back my curtain for the sunlight to guide it out, it ran smack into the window. Now it flies behind the curtain, turns ninety degrees, flies along the window pane, and the turns again to go out the opening.

That's it. Flies into my room, circles and leaves when I pull the curtain open. This happens several times a day. I don't know what it thinks it will find here. I've already checked to be sure it's not building a nest.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11368
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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It may be thinking about building a nest.

We're pretty tolerant of wasps unless they build a nest right by a door or in a workspace in the shop. Corners of the shop are fine. Mud wasps built a nest in the shop air conditioner and we still haven't cleaned it out. Tolerant - or lazy - who can say?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1562
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I leave wasps pretty much alone. They have a place in my ecology here. The only time I remove a nest is if it's in a location where they might get defensive and sting me. But I'll remove those nests early on so that the colony goes and finds a different location some place else. I know of neighbors who kill every wasp they see, but I don't see the sense of that. Unless I'm messing around their nest, they pretty much leave me alone.

I have yellowjackets that always show up when we slaughter a pig or something. And of course, so do the carrion flies. What's pretty cool is watching the yellowjackets hunt the flies and capture them. Once they get one, they'll invariably turn it facing the same way they are before taking off with it. Since the wasps and flies can't reach the meat that's inside the screen house where I'm working with the carcass, the wasps turn around and harvest the flies for their food. Cool!

I've have had problems with yellowjackets hunting my honeybees, especially during a drought year. I solve that problem by putting out some scraps for the wasps. Then they appear to leave the bees alone and go for the easier meal. Only one time did I resort to using a trap to reduce the wasp population near the bee hives. It was a drought year and the wasps were pretty active. So I used a yellowjacket trap, using no poison. At the end of the day I'd pop it into the freezer to kill the wasps, then feed them to the chickens for breakfast. It didn't take too long to bring the yellowjacket population back into balance.
 
gardener
Posts: 1813
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A few years ago I had issues with neighbor kids to one side. They and their friends (five total) after school came over when  my peaches were ALMOST ripe and picked everything they could reach looking for ripe ones. What weren't they hurled into the street pavement. The mom of two of them (neighbor adult) caught them, and marched all of them to stand in front of me and apologize.

Last year was horrible for the pod buzzies and they had them under eaves everywhere and in (as I discovered) every fruit tree and grapevine. The kids stayed out of my fruiting front yard. When I wanted to harvest I put the sprinkler on and soaked everything down then picked quickly. Then dealt with destroying the populations and removing the pods. This year I had just a few but just enough the kids left everything alone. So I guess crop protection is a good thing.

Friend at last place I lived--we had a lot of door to door everything--had the screen out of storm door and paper wasps built a big one up at the top. She just hung a huge sign saying WASPS and an arrow pointing up. And used her side garage door. All summer she was left alone. Inside she had the door locked and a sign warning there was a wasp nest on other side. So sometimes the yellow and black buzzies are worth putting up with.
 
Posts: 113
Location: Pennsylvania, Dauphin County
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I love using the idea of wasp as door protectors.

I get along with bees.
 
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