Dealing with rats then wasps

RATS

While we were away in Pangkor Island rats took advantage of the quiet and moved into our ceiling.  Web sites say lay traps to catch them, but they were too smart / not hungry – anyway, they didn’t work.

What we found did work was simply keeping on a light that would illuminate the cavity area.  Brilliant! They moved out and haven’t been back.

WASPS

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Yesterday afternoon I noticed a local building issuing a lot of smoke – but it wasn’t fogging for mosquitoes, and it wasn’t on fire.  An hour or two later we noticed a wasp / bee nest on a branch of one of our large potted trees.  Scary.

I checked the web for self-help solutions, combined ideas, and then did the following:

I moved all other plants away so they wouldn’t get sprayed

Trimmed the tree a little, but wasps were flying around so I couldn’t get very close, and couldn’t do a good job.

Waited until dusk, when they would be less active, but I could still see a little

Turned outside lights on that were not in the direction I would stand

Had a quick escape route if necessary

Ensured I had antihistamines nearby in case of multiple stings.  You can also put ice on stings to help.

Mapped out a route to the nearest hospital in my mind, so I could quickly drive there if necessary

Got two cans of insect spray – for bigger insects like flies etc.

Put on thick socks, Wellington boots, thick trousers, shirt, scarf around neck, hat, raincoat, plastic poncho with hood, gardening gloves – in light colours as they prefer dark colours, and it’s also easier to see if any land on you if your clothes are light.  Kind of like a Ghostbuster outfit

There was very little movement at the nest by now – they were tired after a hard day moving house, I guess

Stood up wind about six feet / two metres from the nest and then directed both sprays against the nest.  The nest appeared to be wasps sitting on wasps all the way to the centre of the nest, so the whole thing just collapsed into an array of bodies on the floor after spraying for a minute or two.  Most were not moving, but some were – very few flew, and none landed on me. I sprayed in the air around me, then moved a little closer and sprayed the floor where the moving ones were

An hour later I returned and washed the bodies away, washed all the foliage of the plants to try to remove insecticide, and washed the floor – which was slippery

The next morning I strung up brown paper bags in the gardens as wasps won’t set up house near where other nests are, and they think the paper bags are nests.  When it rains they’ll become soggy, but in all the years we’ve been here this is the first problem we’ve had with wasps, so it’s unlikely we’ll have another anytime soon.  I just didn’t want any wasps that might have survived returning to set up home again.

And I moved all plants back and watered them

This all worked and I wasn’t stung at all.  Here is a dead one the next morning.

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And a fake wasp home

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