OK, the title is a lie, I had my dad squirt it. But let me back it up.
As you may know, we’ve had some battles with bugs in this new place. The final straw was a giant ant hill in the front yard. We called pest control. I was tired of thinking every fleck of lint was a spider (especially since, sometimes it WAS).
I took Annie and Rigby to my parents’ house during the exterminator visit, leaving Mike to find out just how bad the bugs were. And the good news is that the house, “wasn’t the worst” the exterminator had ever seen. Yay? He did say we had a horrible case of ants, and that he’d sprayed the hornets’ nest with special chemicals and that we needed to knock it down after 24 hours or the hornets would come back.
RECORD SCRATCH! We have a hornets’ nest? I’m no bugologist, but that sounds bad. The nest was in the eaves right outside our bedroom. I was immediately glad I didn’t know about the hornets before the exterminator’s visit.
Yesterday was Operation: Knock Down Hornets’ Nest. I put on my gear:
First, you have to cover your head. I didn’t have any netting, so I used some Halloween spider web stuff to protect my face. I didn’t want any skin exposed so I put on long sleeves and pants. I used oven mitts because they were the only gloves I had. And I had on sandals because I haven’t unpacked any closed-toed shoes other than heels, and those are hard to run from bugs in.
SO. Once I was dressed, I convinced my dad to come help me remove the nest. And by help me, I mean have him do it while I supervise. He foolishly declined my offers for safety gear. Tsk tsk.
The nest looked to be about the size of a softball, and was gross.
My dad thought a good approach would be to spray the nest with a hose. Sounded like as good a plan as any.
That’s a loooong distance for that water to travel.
Despite a solid stream of water, the nest didn’t budge. Annie took advantage of the lull in the action to splash in the puddles.
My dad suggested poking it with a long stick. I thought, “hmm, I don’t think I have any 20-foot sticks in my backyard,” but of course, my dad had thought of that. He’d brought a pool stick thingy. Yes, that’s the technical term. You know, something you stick a net on when you want to clean your pool. It extends and stuff.
ANYWAY. My dad lifted the pool pole into position, then said, “Heather, be ready to RUN.” Oh goody, running, my favorite.
He started batting at the nest, and it fell to the ground and split into two pieces. It was icky.
I took a picture of the broken nest, and then my dad said all casual-like, “hey, let’s go inside right now!” and before he’d wrapped his lips around the end of that sentence, there was a Heather-shaped dust cloud where I’d been standing.
When the nest fell, a ton of hornets fell out all over the ground. My dad couldn’t tell if any of them were alive but he didn’t want to take any chances. After about twenty minutes he went back outside and swept up hundreds of dead hornets. Awwwwwwwwwesome.
Now we’re going to be haunted by a bird, a scorpion, and hundreds of hornets. Now all we need to make my nightmares come true is a big hairy tarantula.
I live in AZ and deal with scorpions all the time. The best think to use for them and any other bug is food grade diatomaceous earth. It is completely safe for humans and dogs so no worries for Annie or Rigby. In fact I feed it to my dogs because it kills any worms they may have picked up at the dog park. Just make sure you get the food grade and not the one for pool filters. I swear it works wonders on anything that crawls.
I have to second the diatomaceous earth! As long as it’s food grade and not pool grade, it’s awesome. My brother in law and his wife found out a few months into their new home that they had a flea infestation. Once spring and the hot temps hit, the fleas all started to hatch. They spread a tonne of the DE around and a few days later, sucked up hundreds of dead fleas.. it took a few days, but they didn’t want to spray since his wife was pregnant at the time.
Heather,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Once you get a little braver at this; I think that you ought to hire yourself out since you already have that wonderful looking gear. I’d hate to see that go to waste! LOL
A little over 4.5 years ago we had a BAD wasp problem (still not completely eradicated) and had an exterminator check things out. He said they would need to spray but since I was almost 9 months pregnant with my son we didn’t want to do too much. The wasps were coming into the house so we really needed to get them taken care of so we scheduled for the exterminator to take care of things while we were at the hospital. When we got home we thought things were taken care of and even found a few wasp corpses laying around the house so we weren’t too worried at that point. We had a cradle for Aiden that we laid in front of the fireplace (not on of course! LOL) while we relaxed in the living room on our first night home, it was wonderful. The next day while I was nursing my son a couple of wasps started swarming around the room!! I was NOT happy and of course retreated to the safety of the upper level, where wasps had not been spotted previously. Gabe took care of the wasps and called the exterminator – who then proceeded to tell us that sometimes it gets worse in the 2nd to 3rd day as the poison spreads before they all die!!!! We could have used that information SOONER! Oh and Gabe also found out that the wasps were coming in through the fireplace – you know, the place we sat our newborn infant in front of the night before!! To say we were unhappy is an understatement. Gabe caulked the fireplace, which solved that problem but we did NOT have that exterminator out again, that’s for sure.
Eww, eww, eww, that is the grossest-looking thing EVER! We had a hornet’s nest at our old house, and I refused to even look at it. I shielded my eyes every time I had to walk past it.
I hate bugs. In our old house, we had ants. Spiders. The occasional centipede. “Cicada killers”, which are giant wasp-like things as long as my thumb. But my “favorites” would have to be the stinkbugs. These things are gross. Google brown marmorated stinkbug. They have no natural predators. And there is no chemical that will kill them. They are nasty and will let off a horrible stink if threatened. I made the mistake of sucking about 40 of them into my Dyson (not knowing what they were), and then spent months trying to de-stink the vacuum. Our area is overrun with these bugs right now. Nasty.
Your pic of the hornet nest made me shudder.
We always get hornets and wasps nests around here. Once sprayed, I think the nest is fairly safe. It’s just the bees that sometimes hang around wondering what the heck happened. We have my little old car that sits in the driveway for occasional use (my husband uses a company truck). I got in and noticed wasps swarming around (okay only like 10 but still!) When I called my husband he said, just drive away they won’t follow. WTH?! They made a nest in the side mirror!! I got some spray while out, only the queen was left along with her nasty babies (pupa???). In the parking lot of the store I sprayed them. It was so gross. And my husband sprayed some bees hanging around before I got back. There were a few more that came around to see what happened for a while. We also noticed them trying to make a nest in the opposite door prior to this. Good luck to you! I hope the bugs are coming to an end!!
Heather you looked well prepared to me and thank god for your dad! Next time arm him with a super soaker and Dawn dishsoap. Fill up the soaker first and then add enough dishsoap to turn water quite blue. Saturate the nest and any living ones will drop to the ground at once. We use it behind shutters and works wonders. Mike may even find it fun too!! It’s always gross to see how many dead pile up on ground under the windows after we do this.
OOHH MMYY WORD!!!!!!!!! I must say, I’ve been having a HORRIBLE week but once I saw how you got all dressed up, only to learn you weren’t actually doing the job…just watching. Well, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Thank you for that. You are so cute!!! I adore you and I’m very happy you guys are all safe and sound in your new and MOST IMPORTANTLY… bug free!!! YAY!!!
FYI, if you or Mike or Annie ever get stung by a bee, use deodorant on the sting immediately (it must have an anti-perspirant in it). I got the tip from a friend who was a hotline triage nurse for a health management company. I have used it on each child and myself over the past 20 years and it works like a miracle, no kidding. Keep a mini size in your purse!
We live in Georgia and that nest looks like a paper wasp nest that they construct under eaves of houses. These wasps are not nearly as agressive as hornets, which have round, HUGE nests in trees or against any structures. Maybe California hornets build their houses differently than here in the Southeast! At least they are gone and you can now sleep at night!! Love your outfit, you brave girl!!!
I want to put in another plug for food-grade diatomaceous earth- it’s awesome! But I really wanted to comment on your head protection. At first I was all impressed that you owned mosquito netting and then when I found out it was fake spider web?!?! Well… that just made my day!
Nice work, I have never had to do this, but my guess is the previous owners knew of the pest problem and should have been disclosed. If this persists and costs you much money I would talk to your realtor. Just saying….
Ugh, I absolutely HATE bugs of any kind. When we moved from our 3rd floor condo to our single story home last summer I was amazed by all the bugs that just randomly make their way into our house. Creeps me out!
OK, I have recommended this before and don’t know if you followed thru so NOW I have to recommend it again – and you won’t be sorry – but you did say “tarantula” — youtube “Tequila Pest Control” – this Ed Bassmaster guy is hiLARious!! You will love him and his crazy characters – granted he does have some that miss the mark like the farting character, the hacking character but most are hysterical. My kids and I like Tequila, Becky, Craig’s List guy, Teste, etc. Sean Penn’s son discovered him so now he has been on a couple episodes of Mad TV. Please, at least watch the “Croissantula” one!
Thank goodness they were all dead. I’ve been stung by a hornet and I seriously thought my arm was going to fall off it hurt soooo bad and thank goodness for dads!!
BTW, I love your comforter on your bed. The little knotted squares and super cute.
What is it with moving that invites every pest imaginable? When we moved out of our old house, we had never had or seen any bugs. The new house……..had tons of ants (that came inside!) and spiders and roaches!! Yikes!
Always take down hornet’s nests, bee hives, etc after dark. It’s too dangerous to do in the day and much safer at night.
That’s exactly what I thought, Jean.
I didn’t even know hornet’s nests were THAT big of a deal. I remember having to go outside with my dad (a while after he sprayed the nests with Raid Wasp & Hornets spray) to hold a lamp while he knocked down the nests. We had about 5 to 10 every summer. I was scared of hornets (having been stung a couple times), but I was glad to see them gone.
Now scorpions–THAT would freak me out worse. Guess it depends what you’re used to.
I used to hold the flashlight for my ex husband. He would spray at night. Then the next night he’d knock the nest down. Bees make me freak, but after I was divorced, I did the same thing when I had to take a hive down. It’s much safer to do at night.
Bugologist. I freaking love it. I love your safety costume. Maybe this year you and Mike could be beekeepers for Halloween? Annie could be the bee…
Girl, we had a wasp nest on our front porch. Under the seat of our rocker. Wanna guess how I found that out?
It could be worse.
Ohh, that sucks. I’m glad they were all dead at least! Bugs freak me out way more than they should, so you’re not alone there.
Holy cow. At least it’s gone and you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
I say invest in a monthly/quarterly exterminator service for the first year, you will be so glad you did. We had a serious ant problem and did that for awhile and all the little buggies went bye bye. So worth it. Now we get crickets, I get so tired of hearing them chirping ALL .THE. TIME. And when you go to try and find them, they stop!!!!
In the last month we have discovered THREE wasps nests. The most unfortunate on being INSIDE the outside wall of the house near the front steps. So one afternoon I rigged the vacuum cleaner hose to catch all going in or out intermittently during the afternoon and evening. Very satisfying When hubby got home with wasp spray he gave the hole a good spraying and then plugged it.
Three weeks later they have found another way in, sigh.
Too funny though, our insect discrimination. A few days after my wasp sucking marathon my daughters alerted me to a dragon fly on the living room ceiling. I waved things at it hoping it would fly out the front door (so pretty! Can’t hurt it!) It flew to a floor lamp near the door. I put the floor lamp top outside the door so it could fly away. No go so I shook it a bit, breaking the glass shade, cutting my foot leaving glass all over the entrance way and steps and blood all over the house. Sigh.
Son reminded me of my glee at sucking up hundreds of wasps not a few days earlier. How I was practicing insect racism! Ha, never thought of it that way, just love dragon flies!
Amy G. says:
Now THAT was a funny story! If I ever make it out to California, could I please come hang out with you guys?
Jessica Makuh says:
I have a very funny story. June 2006 I was 6 months pregnant with our first child and we were renting a house in our new town of Wapakoneta, Ohio. I was tired and went to bed early one night while my husband stayed up to play video games in our den. He did not have a light on in the room. While he was playing he noticed a shadow pass by him in the room and thought it was one of our cats. It wasn’t. He realized the shadow was flying and was surprised to realize a bird had gotten into the house. It flew into our bathroom down the hall followed closely by our cats and my husband! Once they were in the bathroom, he closed the door and quickly realized it was not a bird…but a bat! This is when I woke up, much to my husband’s dismay. He had hoped to get the bat out of the house before he told me about it. I realized in my groggy state that my husband was in the bathroom with our cats with the door closed, which was really odd! I could hear him talking to the cats and the cats meowing and I could hear a commotion with the stuff in the bathroom. I had NO idea what was going on! Remember, I was 6 months pregnant and I really needed the bathroom! I asked him through the door why the cats were in there with him and he told me to go back to bed. “Don’t worry about it! Just go back to bed!” However, I needed to go to the bathroom. So, I just said, “Whatever!” and went downstairs to use our half bath. While I was in there, I heard my husband and our cats run downstairs and my husband went out the back door to the porch. What was going on! It was 10 o’clock at night! When I was done, I walked to the back door just in time to see a bat walk out of our bathroom trash can! The cats assisted my husband in catching it in our trash can! That was when I screamed! My husband looked up and immediately said, “Why don’t you ever listen to me? I told you to go back to bed! I didn’t want you to see it!” I said, “I had to go to the bathroom! What the heck was that?” My husband still brings this story up as an explanation of how I never listen to him. It was a very interesting night! We are very lucky that it flew into the bathroom instead of the bedroom where I was sleeping, which were next door to each other! Shudder, Shudder!
After that I started paying more attention to my surroundings and realized the church across the street had bats flying around the bell tower at night. I also noticed weird droppings around our porch and immediately called our landlord who sent someone right over. This fix-it guy came over and took off the siding of the house near the droppings and found 2 bats living in there! On our porch! As he took off the siding, one of the bats flew right towards me and if I hadn’t ducked, might have hit my head! We think he was disoriented from sleeping. I then ran into my house. Turns out the siding had opened a little bit and made a perfect little house for them to sleep during the day. Once it was fixed, we never had another problem, but I still wonder how it got in the house. Fortunately, this is my only experience with bats, but I do look at them quite differently at the zoo now.
That hornet’s nest spraying outfit is AMAZING!!
Way to save the day Bampa! Hoping the bugs leave your house for good now.