Sadly, summer is clearly winding down, days are noticeably shorter and dew has returned in the morning. Our calorie dense winter crops are starting to mature (more on that later). Spider webs appear over night across seemingly impossible divides and I despise walking into spider webs. I suspect all the spiders will migrate inside the house for the winter – the spider equivalent of heading to Florida. I don’t mind spiders inside the house as long as I don’t see them – the ones I see get evicted. Wasps are a different story.
The wasps started getting desperate for food early this year swarming around the yard and house looking for grub. They rely heavily on smell to find food, their noses leading them directly into the kitchen (unfortunately, we don’t have screens). Regularly, we were swatting one or two yellow-and-black banded bandits. Their bold colouring a warning of their sting. Unlike a bee, a wasp can sting more than once and they don’t hesitate to do so (a bee’s stinger gets ripped out when it stings, which is fatal to the bee). Plenty of animals eat wasps like other wasps, spiders, dragonflies, beetles, moths, crabs, badgers, frogs, fish, birds, skunks, bats, rats, mice, etc. So wasps do fill a ecosystem niche – but I have limits to my tolerance of them.
While making applesauce with my little helper, I counted twelve wasps buzzing around her head – that was the last straw. I hate the idea of poisoning my yard or home, so we settled on using a wasp trap. Within a day we caught dozens (I’m stunned there were that many around). Now the trap is so packed, wasps have to force their way in – and we are still catching them.
As a tangent – people also eat wasps, or more specifically, wasp larvae. I’ve read (as I’ve never met anyone who eats insects) the larvae taste great fried in butter, further support to my theory that butter can make anything taste good.