Sunday, November 14, 2010

How Bizzare

I have been meaning to put this photo up for some time as I found this about a month ago. Right before Jack and I went out to Arizona, I noticed this yellow jacket nest in the ground one day as we were experimenting with putting up his tent. It seemed large as there were lots of the little buggers going in and out of the hole but thankfully, they did not bother us. I made a mental note to dispose of them when we got back because they had built right near the clothes line and it would be my luck to get them riled up just hanging out clothes. Well, after we got back I was out doing a little yard work one day and noticed this big hole in the ground. Upon investigation I surmised that armadillos had dug the nest up and eaten most of it. I don't know of any other critter that could have managed that without being stung so bad they would have run away. I had noticed in the previous months that armadillos had been digging here and there in the yard but I don't bother them. They are only after grubs, which turn into Japanese beetles among other things, so I let them have at it. Well, apparently they like grubs of all kinds because they had completely decimated this yellow jacket nest. I found pieces of it strewn all over the yard. I guess they picked it apart to get out the larvae. There were also lots of dead adult yellowjackets lying in the hole.
I know many people despise the ol' dillers but I don't mind them; same with the moles that lots of people drive themselves crazy trying to run off. They do make little holes or mounds here and there but I've never had them destroy many plants like a lot of people claim they do. An occasional veggie victim here and there but to me, the pests they eat are worth a few uprooted plants on a rare occasion. Most everyone else around me has horrible problems with Japanese beetles and such but I rarely see more than a handful around my house and I can pick them off by hand and squash them. And now that I know the 'dillers eat yellowjacket nests, well, they are greatly welcome to root around a little. I had a heckuva time trying to eradicate one nest last year the the bees had dug right in the middle of a trail I frequent to the spring. I tried several bombs and sprays and don't know that I really succeeded but these ol' possums on a half shell made short work of them it seems! Saves me money and aggravation. The only thing better would be if they would eat fire ants too! I think Nature itself will often provide for it's own control and management if we would just let it, no chemicals needed.

10 comments:

Engineeredgarden said...

I think it's cool that armadillos can dispose of such a harmful pest with no harm to itself. They dig holes all in my yard each year - as japanese beetle grubs are always plentiful.

Sissy said...

No armadillos here but I think I'd like one. And I feel moles do a service turning the soil. Ha, I have a mole 'civilization'.

Yellow jacket nests I see often. I let them be; skirt around them. Before I knew to just evade them, I decimated a huge nest using a cup of gas on it after dark. Never again this remedy. I'll give them their space.

Gin said...

Since we don't have armadillos here, the raccoons take up the duty of digging up the yellow jacket nests. Their hair is so thick, I imagine the only places they get stung are the nose and ears.

On another subject, do hope you'll post pictures of your pieces after they're glazed and fired. Would love to see them!

Island Rider said...

Vicki at http://amarkonmywall.wordpress.com/
has had bears eating her hornet nests both in ground and in trees. Glad you are feeling better and up to your usual routine. I enjoy hearing about your garden and home improvements.

edifice rex said...

Hey EG! I think it's cool too! especially if they do it for me. lol!

Hey Sissy! I usually let them be too but twice I've had them build right in an area where I have to walk; either by the deck steps or under the clothes line. Just can't have that!

Hey Gin! Oh wow, I didn't know raccoons would do that!
Yes, I will put up some photos of the finished pots!

Hey IR! Well, that's interesting; I had no idea anything would eat hornets!
I will try to get some photos up soon of several home and garden projects I'm working on.

HermitJim said...

Sometimes what we may see as pest (armadillos) are put here by Mother Nature to help us out!

All of natures have a purpose, so they say...but some critters are harder to figure out than others!

edifice rex said...

Hey Jim! very true!! if only more people would see this.

Linda said...

I ran over one of those yellow jacket nests with a lawn mower...a couple of times before I realized what was happening they were up my pants legs and I was half stripped and screaming like a crazy person before I ever got to the house. I HATE bees.

edifice rex said...

Hey Linda! yeah, Allen dug into a big nest with a backhoe one day here and I felt all these things hitting me in the chest. It took me a few minutes to realize what it was! Freaked me out! I actually never got stung though.

Jenn said...

This is so cool to know. I had the armadillo as an adopted totem for a while, to encourage a thicker skin.