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Our Olde House – October 2022

side windows

When I was up early one morning taking my usual short walk, I looked at the camera under the house and there was a rat in the electronic trap; that makes six rats total.  I got up the next morning and gleefully went under the house to remove the moribund rodent, but when I looked in the trap there was no rat, but the trap had been tripped.  I went back in the house to run the camera back to see if there was a resurrection or what the heck happened.

Sure enough, I was not dreaming and the camera showed Columbo going into the trap around 3:00 am and not coming out.  However, at about 5:00 am the little possum showed up, dragged the rat out of the trap and marched off with it.  Ok, not exactly my plan but it works for me.  Once again giddy with success from having the last rat removed from under the house, I went to sleep that night knowing that even though Christmas was still two months away that not a creature was stirring under the house.  I checked the camera under the house the next morning, confident that all was well, but there was Columbo running along the pipes.

Rats, or words to that effect.  Since all rats look alike to me, I am guessing that yesterday’s rat was a newcomer overcome with joy at finding free sunflower seeds and ignored Columbo’s advice to stay out of the traps.  The possum is not the sharpest tool in the shed, because he now checks the rat trap every night.  Apparently the possum thinks it’s a Rat Dispenser but he can’t figure out how to make it work again; he seems to be searching for the “on” switch, or reset lever, or maybe for a coin slot to deposit a quarter and get a rat.

Giving up on the rat for now, again, I continued my outside painting focused on painting the five window frames on the side of the house.  Of course this requires a ladder for every window, with frequent repositioning and relocation of the ladder just to make it more tedious.  I finished all five window frames without help from any red wasps which did make the job seem almost fun, well almost.

I read that wasps do not like white vinegar and will leave their nest if they smell it.  Worth a try, so after a few weeks and a few gallons of vinegar sprayed where the wasps enter the attic on the front peak of the house, the wasps appeared to be gone; I randomly checked for the little buggers flying around several times per day and did not see any.

Cautiously thinking and definitely hoping that the red wasps were gone from the front peak of the house, I put my ladder up and resumed painting.  I thought it couldn’t be that easy to encourage the wasps to vacate, and of course I was right.  Just as I finished painting for the day and started down the ladder two small wasps decided to speed up my descent.

I thought that maybe the wasps were just passing by that afternoon and decided to buzz me for the entertainment value.  So the next day I started  painting in the morning, once again without a wasp in sight.  I painted for a half hour or so, feeling pretty good that I outsmarted the wasps, when I heard some angry buzzing and saw a large wasp struggling to squeeze through the crack to exit the attic, just a few feet away.  She was not happy, but fortunately easily distracted by the paint can which she attacked while I went down the ladder.  I did manage to get about half of the front peak painted before being chased away again.  I did not get stung, but I got another Mister SmartyPants award for another failed wasp eradication attempt.

I also have a red wasp nest in the carport so I cannot finish painting the carport ceiling.  Twice I tried painting before I noticed the nest and I was instantly surrounded by swirling wasps.  I have been spraying this nest hole with vinegar for a few weeks without any visible success.  The wasps have started using two more nearby holes into the carport attic and still use the original access point.  Another swing and a miss.


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