News : The Wasps Next Door

Sep 5, 2014

Published on Portsmouth Patch, Seacoast Online and Weekly Sentinel

By Craig Brown

ELIOT, Maine - Sometimes it starts with a low hum, something dull and distant droning like a lawnmower in the distance; someone in the neighborhood perhaps. Then, at a backyard cookout, a friend sipping on their lemonade can’t get away from one. That’s when you see it, a wasp’s nest the size of a volleyball hanging underneath the porch steps like a paper lantern. This summer Tom Pray, of Ecotech Pest Services in Eliot, Maine, saw a drastic spike in yellow jacket populations that, even with a B.S. in entomology, leaves him stumped as to why there are so many reported nests.

“Last year we had a bumper crop of bald face hornets and yellow jacket nests. We’re probably just seeing the result of that,” Pray hypothesized. “All those nest sites last year created new queens for this year, so a large number of them survived the winter and now they’re creating new nest sites during the summer.”

Pray was recently called to a property not by the homeowner, but by Minute Men Painters, a green painting company in Portsmouth, who couldn’t paint the home because three wasp nests were found along the roof line. To combat these pests, Pray has different pieces of equipment and treatments that allow him to remove these stinging insects wherever they may nest.

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