First ~ the chicks are getting tail feathers. When I opened the top of the brooder, one of the Rocks tried to fly out. He’s a few inches short. They may need to be switched to the coop soon.
At this rate, I may have to either hire someone to build it or buy a pre-built one which are very expensive. There is still a foot of snow on the ground. There is no place to work on one. The basement has no room to build walls, and we don’t have a garage. The closest I can get is the driveway, then we’ll have to carry walls, roof, etc. to the other side of the house. I really need to shovel out the area where the coop will be.
Anyhow, strange visitors showed up last night: wasps.
DD3 came down to let the dogs out, and discovered three winged critters between the storm and basement doors. Since we have already had Carpenter Ants showing up, she first assumed they were ant queens. She managed to get the mutts outside without disturbing the winged critters, then called me and we killed them. Looking at one, she said, “Oh, gross! These aren’t ants.” She then did the “icky shiver dance”. Guess who is terrified of wasps?
It’s 30something degrees at night; 40something during the day. Researching this morning confirmed they are wasps. Wasps?! Now?! At night?! I was under the misconception that they stayed in their hive at night. Researching online showed that lights attract them. We have basement lights on, because I am down here. That 3 showed up at the same time, in cold weather, worries me.
One was HUGE. I’m going jump to an assumption and say it was a queen. The websites I read said wasps showing up at night indicates a nest nearby. The year after we moved here, we had to have an extremely large nest destroyed. The tree branch it was wrapped around had to be sawed off to get the entire nest down. It was easily the size of two basketballs. Now it looks like we may have more, and I’m pretty sure I know where they are.
We have a two-story shed that was left by the previous owner. It is about 10 feet from the house. The construction on it is horrible, and accessing the second floor can only be done by squeezing through this tiny opening from a ladder that goes straight up a side wall. We don’t go up there much, though we do have things stored in there. I know there is a nest in there that DH and the boys were supposed to get rid of this winter, but they never did.
They may also be nesting in our folding resin picnic table. I’m almost positive I saw several flying under it last summer, but we couldn’t figure out where they were entering and exiting from, so we could block it off with spray foam or even duct tape.
This is a problem. Every year we battle with nest building. They love the edges of our roof. When I went outside this morning, I saw a Mud Dauber nest started on the cement wall next to the basement door. I destroyed it. As soon as I see a nest, I get rid of it. If I don’t, DD3 won’t go near that part of the house. If one is on the door, she’ll leave the room even if it’s on the outside. She won’t scream, but she will absolutely panic if one is in the car with us.
The temperature is supposed to drop again by the end of the week. I am posting on the calendar: Wasp Removal Day. If we’re already getting them in the house while it’s cold, I don’t want to see how many will show up when it gets warmer.