A Day Buzzing with Surprises

On the job—any job—there are invariably days that are routine and days that are exciting. This holds true as a pest management professional, too. And one of my most exciting happened just a few short months after I began working at EnviroTech.

Surprise #1

The service call seemed pretty run of the mill: “Customer with bee issue in wood closet.” I headed out, thinking it would be a fairly straightforward job. Based on the time of year, I expected a nest the size of a grapefruit, possibly a volleyball as a worst case scenario.

The customer, Jim, greeted me cheerily at the door and confirmed that he had called about a bee problem. “Well, yes. I suppose you can say that. My wife convinced me to call you out here, but I don’t mind them. It isn’t like they are hurting anybody.” Surprise #1: this is not your typical reaction to a bee infestation.

Surprise #2

Jim led me to the back of the house. I was impressed by the large yard, pond, and surrounding woods. Jim then showed me a closet attached to the house where he stored his firewood; it could be opened from outside or from inside the house. As we stood there, I watched 15 or 20 yellow jackets enter through the upper right corner of the door. “No big deal,” I thought to myself as I headed to my truck to get some supplies.

I equipped my bee hood, scraper, 565 XLO (contact insecticide), and my secret weapon Drione, which is a thick dust-type insecticide. As I returned to the nesting area wearing my gear, my customer exclaimed, “Oh, I haven’t seen one of these in years!” Surprise #2: Jim used to be a beekeeper!

Surprise #3

I slowly opened the door to the shed, and all I heard was paper ripping. I assumed nest was attached to the door, which didn’t concern me. Within seconds, though, I was swarmed by yellow jackets. I finished opening the door and found, to my surprise, that the entire shed was filled to the brim. Surprise #3: It was one giant yellow jacket nest!

Insecticides in hand, I began treating the giant nest, still surrounded by thousands of angry wasps. I treated 15—yes, 15—full layers of the nest. Once removed (after an hour’s work), it filled an entire 55-gallon trash bag. It’s one thing to get the satisfaction of a job well done, but on this call I also got some great pictures and an amazing story, too.

It just goes to show you that there’s never a dull day in the field!