About Jim

Comparison of the Rescue Disposable Fly Trap and a Chinese knock-off

I did a side-by-side test of the effectiveness of the Rescue Disposable Fly Trap and a Chinese knock-off. The difference is almost shocking: the Chinese fly traps captured just a tiny fraction of what the Rescue traps did. This video shows the results after one week. I have both versions of these traps placed all around the property, and the results are the same: the Chinese traps capture few flies, while the Rescue traps end up being packed solid with flies. It could be 100 to one, or more, in the catch effectiveness. There is no question that the Rescue fly trap’s attractant is far superior to that provided by the Chinese company.

Plus, the Rescue traps have the attractant built into the unit, so you just add water, and the plastic holding the attractant dissolves. You have to cut open the Chinese trap’s attractant and pour it in, and you invariably get it on your hands.

What matters most is how well the trap works, and the Rescue has the Chinese knock-off beat by a factor that is probably 100 times.

 

Yellow jacket nest in grill of VW Van

A customer reported a nest of yellow jackets in the front grill of a VW van. That was an unusual nesting site!

7 August 2019, Campo Seco Road area, near Sonora. Technician Erik Brians took care of this one.

 

Aerial yellow jacket nest takes over a birdhouse

Ryles Richards discovered an unusual yellow jacket nest: aerial yellow jackets had built their nest around a bird house. On August 2, 2019, Ryles brought back this nest, pictured below, from a customer’s house in Groveland.  We don’t often see aerial yellow jackets; most of ours are ground-dwelling. But this was extra special, being they used a birdhouse as a nesting platform, and managed to almost entirely encase it.

The customer did not want the birdhouse back, so we added it our collection of oddities.

 

Ryles Richards with the birdhouse yellow jacket nest. Photo by Heather Nordstrom.

Ryles Richards with the birdhouse yellow jacket nest/ Photo by Heather Nordstrom.

You can see the bird house inside the enveloping paper nest. Photo by Heather Nordstrom.

You can see the bird house inside the enveloping paper nest. Photo by Heather Nordstrom.

The birdhouse yellow jacket nest. Photo by Heather Nordstrom.

The birdhouse yellow jacket nest. Photo by Heather Nordstrom.

Backside view of the birdhouse, showing the backside of the yellow jacket nest.

Backside view of the birdhouse, showing the backside of the yellow jacket nest.

Sideways view. The left side is the back of the birdhouse, and yellow jacket nest.

Sideways view. The left side is the back of the birdhouse, and yellow jacket nest.

Looking up into the nest. The nest appears to have started on the eave of the birdhouse.

Looking up into the nest. The nest appears to have started on the eave of the birdhouse.

 

Rapid kill of elm leaf beetle larvae from tree injection

Steve Deaver, of Foothill-Sierra Pest Control, used the Arbor Systems tree injection system to inject Pointer insecticide into a number of elm trees suffering from a massive attack of elm leaf beetles. He started the injections at about 6:30 am. This video was taken about two hours later. You can see the elm leaf beetle larvae raining down. The kill was fast. If left unchecked, elm leaf beetles can kill fully mature elm trees. Steve rules!

Job done in San Andreas, 31 July 2019.

Velvety tree ants, Liometopum occidentale, infesting a ceiling

We had an unusual occurrence of velvety tree ants infesting a ceiling, inside a home, in the Sonora area. I have seen this type of infestation in the past, but it is rare, and we were able to document this case. Most commonly, it is pine tree ants, Liometopum luctuosum, that we see exhibiting this “nesting in the ceiling” behavior. But this one was velvety tree ants (confirmed by Dr. Philip Ward), and the velvety tree ants were there in large numbers.

Ron Walther reported that the ants were in the open beam ceiling, and were dropping larvae down onto the sofa and floor beneath.

After the application by technician Erik Brians, there were piles of dead and dying ants.

 

 

Home interior, showing beams that the debris was falling from

Home interior, showing beams that the debris was falling from

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ant larvae and pupae that fell from ceiling.

Velvety tree ants died at the corner, outside the house.

Velvety tree ants died at the corner, outside the house.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Accumulation of dead velvety tree ants.

Dead Horsehair Worms

Horsehair worms, dead, in abundance, is something I see occasionally in melted snow, usually in tire track areas, in the meadow area of Bear Valley. Photo taken 20 June 2019. The snow was late to melt this year.

Dead horsehair worms in mud, 20 June 2019 Bear Valley California

Dead horsehair worms in mud, 20 June 2019 Bear Valley California.

Panicle Willowherb

Panicle willowherb, Epilobium brachycarpum, is becoming more of a weed species to contend with. Glyphosate is typically not very effective on it.

Thanks to Scott Oneto for the ID.

Panicle willowherb, Epilobium brachycarpum

Panicle willowherb, Epilobium brachycarpum.

 

Steve Deaver holding a specimen of panicle willowherb

Steve Deaver holding a specimen of panicle willowherb

panicle willowherb

panicle willowherb

panicle willowherb

panicle willowherb

Photo Diary of a Western Wood Pewee Nest

Heather Nordstrom is chronicling the development of a western wood pewee nest on her front porch.

The first photos show the nest on 20 May 2019. They had hatched on, or before, the 15th of June, 2019.

24 June 2019: The nest fell off the ledge. Heather rounded up the chicks, and put up a box to hold the nest. The mother bird continued to care for her babies.

26 June 2019: Heather went to look in their nest and that scared the chicks, and they all fluttered out and landed on her porch. She rounded them up quickly and put them in the compost bucket. They flew out a few more times before they finally settled in and stayed. She had to turn off her porch light so that they would go to sleep.

28 June 2019: Heather reported that three of the babies flew into the woodland adjacent to her house, this day, and right before nightfall she heard a scrub jay eat one, she was pretty sure. she heard the jays squawking around that area and then she heard what sounded like a baby bird squawking. she went over there but couldn’t reach anything or walk into it because the vegetation was too dense.  “Hopefully there are still two left out there. The fourth one would not leave the yard and would not get off the ground so I put it back in the nest for the night and I might just let it leave when it’s ready because the mom keeps feeding it.”

29 June 2019: Heather was out for the day, and when she got back, right before dark, “everything was quiet so I’m assuming the last one joined its family in the brush or got eaten.”

So it took about two weeks for the western wood pewees to grow up enough to fly away.

The End

Photos below.

 

20 May 2019 Western Wood Pewee

20 May 2019 Western Wood Pewee

20 May 2019 Western Wood Pewee

20 May 2019 Western Wood Pewee

20 May 2019 Western wood pewee nest

20 May 2019 Western wood pewee nest

15 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

15 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

16 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

16 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

16 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

16 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

17 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

17 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

18 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

18 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

18 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

18 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

18 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

18 June 2019 Western Wood Pewees

24 June 2019. The nest fell off the ledge. Heather put together a new nest arrangement, placed the chicks in it, and the mother bird continued to care for her offspring.

24 June 2019. The nest fell off the ledge. Heather put together a new nest arrangement, placed the chicks in it, and the mother bird continued to care for her offspring.

24 June 2019. The rescued chicks.

24 June 2019. The rescued chicks.

24 June 2019. The new nest box.

24 June 2019. The new nest box.

26 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

26 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

26 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

26 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

26 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

26 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks in 'upgraded" nest.

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks in ‘upgraded” nest.

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks

27 June 2019. Western Wood Pewee chicks