Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Wall Eating Wasps

Daisy Turnip writes.....

We’ve had a wasps nest in the eaves of our house for quite a while now. They haven’t bothered us so we were quite happy to leave it there.

At the weekend I walked into the bedroom and could hear this strange noise – a little bit like rain drops gently falling on the window ledge. Strangely, for the middle of this English summer time, the weather was glorious outside and not a drop of rain could be either seen or felt. To my horror I realised it was the wasps nest behind the wall!

Monday morning I rang the pest control team at our local council who informed me they’d love to come and get rid of it for us and would equally love to charge us £50 for the pleasure of doing so. I begrudgingly agreed and was then informed, “Someone will call you in 24 hours to arrange a visit”

No one called.

This morning I went into the spare room and could seriously hear the wasps behind the wall. I walked right up to the wall and then spotted that part of the wall – about the size of a 10 pence piece was coming away from the rest of the wall. Adrenalin rush extraordinaire! Oh my God, the wasps are coming through the wall I thought. Then I calmed down and thought this couldn’t be so.

I rang the pest control team and asked why no one had called and what had happened to the visit. I then, slightly embarrassed by asking the question, asked if they could eat their way through a wall, “oh yes, came the reply” aaarrrrrggggghhh, “Would you make that call out an urgent one then please?” I screeched as I quickly ran upstairs and pushed back the plaster into the wall and carefully ripped off a whole tape of sellotape, trying to seal the broken plaster back into the wall.

Luckily, the lovely Neil turned up an hour or so later and gave me all the gory stories behind the life and times of being a ‘wasp man’ – twice this week he’s been on call outs where the wasps have eaten their way through the plaster board of both a wall and a ceiling. Talking and writing about it is seriously giving me the heebygeebies!

Anyway, Neil sprayed his potion into the eaves and then snatched a cheque from me and said, “All should be fine within the next few hours, you might see minor activity for the next couple of weeks, but if there’s anything more after 14 days, give me a call and I’ll be back” – thanks Arnie of the wasp world!

I’ll do nothing about the wall and the sellotape until a fortnight then? Any visitors can just assume we’re holding up the wall with sellotape. I’m not going to mention the wasps!

I later rang a colleague, who had slept in the room only just over a week ago. She’s now receiving counselling for mental trauma. She too thought she was going mad as she thought she could hear rain but when she looked out of the window could only see sunshine. In her head, she can now permanently hear the sound of wasps buzzing behind the wall at the side of the bed!!

Biodiversity in my eaves – you can stick it thanks!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your article Daisy. I just had this happen to me! I came back from vacation and was hearing an unusual sound in the dormer ceiling of my bedroom - I listened closely and convinced myself it was raindrops since we were having some rain at the time. But then I kept hearing the "raindrops" day after day when there was no longer any rain.

It sounded like something was eating away at the ceiling. I thought maybe a squirrel had eaten it's way through the roof and was building a nest so I called in the Humane Wildlife Control. The guy discovered the wasps when he was up on the roof checking things out. I asked if he thought it was the wasps I had been hearing but when I told him that the noise would stop for awhile each time I knocked on the ceiling he said that would only happen if it was an animal, not if it was wasps. Wrong!!!!!

Anyhow, the guy didn't find any evidence of holes chewed by a squirrel or of a nest but convinced me that there were a
couple of possible entry points where he would need to set up one-way doors that would allow the "animal" to exit but not re-enter.

Then he charged me over $400 for the inspection and servicing.

I asked him, when he had first arrived, and again when we were discussing what the mysterious visitor in my ceiling could be, if he would come inside the house and listen to what I was hearing but he refused both times, indicating it wasn't needed. I also asked him what I could do about the wasps he had discovered. His attitude was that I should just leave them be.

Now here I am, 3 days later with wasps in my house! Here's how it all unfolded. I was all set to bed down for the night after an intense week when I saw a wasp on the curtain. Just one. But I also noticed that where the slanted ceiling of the dormer meets the wall there was an irregular dark line and 'little things' moving. I wondered what I was seeing ... spider eggs? wasp eggs? I wasn't sure so I grabbed a tissue thinking I would squash them, whatever they were, but as I pressed the tissue against the dark spot on the wall I realized I was pressing against a gap and the 'moving things' were the feelers of wasps preparing to push through. Too late!

Unwittingly, I simply helped them push through faster. Suddenly several came flying through the gap. I screamed, ran, slammed my bedroom door shut and then went rushing around in a panic looking in other parts of the house for a blanket, a towel... something to stuff under the gap at the bottom of the door so they wouldn't get through into the rest of the house.

And then I put tape all around the top and sides of the door. I can't believe this is happening! I feel like I'm in an Alfred Hitchcock movie!!!

The adrenaline rush as I escaped the wasp invasion is still pumping through my system, two hours later.
It's 3am and here I am sifting through links on Google thinking this is so weird, but if it's happening to me it must have happened to someone before me.

Thanks again Daisy. None of the 24 hour emergency pest control businesses seem to be on duty on a Saturday night so your story has been my only anchor to a small piece of sanity at this late hour when I'm hungry for sleep but too worked up to settle down. -L.