Progress so far: Brambles and thistles around door removed – check. Old bedding (2 years old) removed – check. Wasp nests removed – um, wasp nests?
Not pictured are several other small ones along the eaves on the south side of the house, one under the shingles on the roof, and another under the peak above the door. Fun times!
Our usual method of wasp nest eradication is with the hose on jet, around dusk – while we can still see them, and they are slow and sleepy. So we took the jet spray to them on Thursday night. Friday morning I thought it looked all clear, so I got going with wheelbarrow and shovel, but my similarity to a little black raincloud (see Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne) was not apparent to the wasps who’d come back, and I had to abandon the wheelbarrow. More water treatment. Ditto on Saturday evening and again today. In between, we did get the old bedding out and new bedding in, and did a couple of minor repairs.
Tonight, we checked, couldn’t see any wasp activity and decided we’d move the pullets anyway. If the wasps show up, and I’m starting to have great faith in their persistence, we’ll just have to spray them with the birds in the house. Fortunately, the nests inside the house were not active, so after the first night, all of our spraying has been on the exterior.
Tip for moving small flighty pullets – do it after dark, when they’re dopey with sleep. They are MUCH easier to catch this way. The actual transfer took about 15 minutes. I hope they like their new home.
So, next phase of the challenge? Beat my way through the jungle of brambles on the north side of the house which will be their future run, as it has some shade, and didn’t seem to have any wasp activity over the last couple of days.