Even pest management professionals have pest problems. I ran into one myself not too long ago where I was caught without any pest control supplies and had to improvise. This is the story of my vacation in the Adirondacks, the Yellow Jacket invasion and my homemade bee catcher.
Every year my family and I go camping in New York’s beautiful Adirondack State Park, and last week we made the trek to our usual spot at the Fish Creek Pond Campgrounds near Saranac Lake. The weather was perfect and the fishing reports were all looking great... What could go wrong? Well, a group of Yellow Jackets must have found out what I do for a living and decided to swarm the camp. There was not just a couple, but dozens of these aggressive wasps buzzing all over our food and drinks. It didn’t take long for my family to put the pressure on me, “Come on Gary, you’re the pest control expert!”
But there we were, in the middle of nowhere, without even a single can of bee spray and the nearest store was a far cry from around the corner. Trying to think fast, I remembered when my brothers and I were kids and we used to use soda cans to capture bees. It was a competition to see who could capture the most - and I always won. I grabbed a soda can, leaving just a little soda in the bottom, and fashioned a small roof for the can out of cardboard. I flipped the tab of the can straight up and tied a piece of string to it. Then I threaded the string through a hole I punched in the cardboard roof and hung the contraption from the awning of our camper.
Luckily, the homemade bee catcher worked pretty well. The Yellow Jackets were attracted to the sweet soda at the bottom of the can and crawled inside. Once inside, the cardboard roof blocked the light so the wasps couldn’t find their way out again. I probably trapped 50 wasps or more during my vacation. By the end of the trip, the wasps were no more and I tossed the can in the dumpster on our way out. I was back to being “the best of the best” and the pest control hero for my family.