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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.