E R N I E ' S H O U S E O F W H O O P A S S
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Hey Ernie, Longtime reader, couple photo submissions in the past. After reading your story about the spiders, I thought I'd contribute my own horror story. In early summer we bought a new house in the suburbs of Maryland and moved in in June. We loved the new house and it's big yard but in July I started seeing a bunch of these holes popping up on the side of my house. A day later we noticed these gigantic wasps buzzing around and even attacking us. My God, they were 2" long. It appeared that these were coming from the holes in my yard. I was pretty worried about my 3 year old daughter playing outside and my bee allergy, thinking that these monsters would easily kill me and injure my daughter. But alas - the wonder of the internet provided me with this information. While the Wasp is a "Killer" - it only kills Cicadas. The males don't even sting and the female sting is considered painless (as they inject a paralytic) The "attack" is actually just the males seeing if we are a female Wasp, they are actually very non-aggressive and retreat after being swatted at unlike most bees. Here is a size comparison of a female and a cicada I caught her carrying - yes, she was flying with that bug in her grasp. The quarter is there for size reference. Unfortunately - there is little you can do about this wasp as they are very resistant to bug sprays, they bury their larvae in closed chambers with a Cicada to feed on and they emerge the next summer in even more numbers. I've talked to a few pest control people and most say there is little you can do. The web suggest some expensive poisons poured down the hole, boiling water - even putting saran wrap over the holes. The most successful thing I've found is my tennis racquet. Once I discovered they were harmless, me and my daughter swatted this collection in one afternoon. Maybe next year I'll post up some more fun. Rook
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