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Saturday, July 29, 2017


                                                        THE ORIGINAL "WASPINATOR"
                                               THE REAL DEAL IN FOREGROUND,
                                                     THE FAKE IN BACKGROUND

Saturday, 8:30 AM.  67 degrees F at the ferry dock, 64 on the back porch.  Wind variable and calm.  The sky is clear, with a few wispy white clouds here and there, the humidity 84%.  The barometer has begun to fall, and now stands at 30.6" of mercury.  The week head is forecast to be mostly sunny, with highs from 65 to 85, and the possablity of rain by the end of next week.  But for now, it is a fine summer morning.
   In years past we were often bothered by wasps and yellow jackets buzzing around our porch table (we eat outside a lot in the summer). Sometimes one would fly inside an open soda can, posing a pretty serious threat to the drinker.  About ten years ago I found a good sized paper wasp nest in the woods (they are abandoned by fall) and having heard that wasps are territorial and will stay away from each others nests, I hung it on the porch. It worked! We weren't bothered much after that.. but, since time takes its toll on everything, it got pretty ragged and finally fell apart, even though I took it inside during the off-season.  Paper wasps nests are usually high in a tree and I never found another that I could conveniently purloin after the owners abandoned it.
   Enter the  original “Waspinator,” an artificial wasp’s nest that mimics the real thing, purchased online in 2010 from the Canadian company that invented it.  I followed the instructions and hung one up on the porch and another on the downstairs patio. 
    I don’t think the Waspinator looks much like a wasp’s nest, but then I am not a wasp, and I know from using goose decoys that what I consider to be a realistic goose is not necessarily what the geese think. And I have to tell you, it is pretty ugly and ungainly to the human eye.  It appears that it is more the nuances of pattern and shading of the Waspinator that fool the insects than other characteristics.
   We used two Waspinators to good effect for six years, but being made of cloth they deteriorated as well, and I couldn't find replacements.  Last summer we were without our faux wasp nests and stinging insects returned (they repel most other bees and yellow jackets as well as wasps, since wasps are predatory to other insects).
   Last winter I finally found a version of the Waspinator online again; those I purchased are no longer ugly, and look much more like a paper wasp's nest.  Actually, I think it is designed similar to a Chinese paper lantern, and folds up, and is really pretty ingenious.  Does it work?  So far no wasps, yellow jackets or bees buzzing the porch, although the summer is still young.
   I just did an impromptu online search, and I see the original Waspinator is back on the market; we'll compare results and if necessary go back to old ugly.

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