If you ever own a home, you know that the monthly mortgage, property taxes, and insurance are not the only payments that you’ll ever have. A significant portion of your housing expense involves its maintenance from both inside and outside the house: plumbing work, appliance repairs, repainting, yard work, etc.
Throughout the many years that we’ve owned our home, I’ve hired a professional only a handful of times. The last one was four years ago, and that was to upgrade a cheap builder-grade furnace to a more efficient and powerful system– something that is truly beyond my capabilities.
With the countless resources available over the web (including YouTube), my money-saving philosophy is to never hire a professional except for something that I can’t do or learn how to do correctly.
That philosophy of mine almost changed when I saw this thing hanging on one of the trees in my backyard…
Help!!! Killer bees in my backyard!
I was mowing the area around the base of the tree when, as I looked upwards, noticed a strange object that somewhat resembled a bee nest. It was much bigger than a basketball and was hanging 12 feet high in one of the branches.
There was a small opening, towards the bottom, where the bees enter and exit. And then it occurred to me that there could be several hundreds of them inside, if not thousands, and at any moment a swarm of bees could sting me into oblivion.
It was a terrifying thought that I suddenly lost my grip on my running push mower to hop several steps backward. Growing up in Manila, I’ve had encounters with various types of pests like cockroaches, rats, and even house lizards. But that was decades ago. What was in front of me is unlike anything that I’ve seen before.
I took a picture of the nest and went back inside the house to do some research about my discovery.
“These bees pose a danger to my kids who frequently play in the area,” I told myself, “The nest has to go down.”
Actually, they’re Bald-Faced Hornets
A quick googling revealed that, based on the characteristics of the nest and its nasty winged occupants, they weren’t the kind of killer “Africanized” honey bees that invaded some parts of North America, including Texas and Arkansas, in recent years.
But just the same, Bald-Faced Hornets can be dangerous, at least according to PestWorld.org site.
“Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space, unlike other stinging insects that may only rarely sting when they feel extremely threatened. This makes bald-faced hornet removal, which should be left to a professional for safety, somewhat difficult. These hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again, whereas other stinging insects, like honeybees, are only able to attack once before their stinger falls off.”
In fact, one YouTuber already learned the hard way that you shouldn’t get rid of the nest using a garden hose.
So it looks like this task is better left off to a professional, right?
Sure, if you can afford to blow 200-300 dollars
Sadly, the cost of labor in America, pest termination services included, is not cheap. Otherwise, I would have hired a professional in an eyeblink.
Some tasks are better off left to a professional– particularly the ones that have disastrous consequences if done incorrectly– tasks that are too cumbersome for normal people to undertake. I’m just not convinced that getting rid of a hornet nest is one of them.
And then there’s this argument that your time can be more valuable than your money. But c’mon, let’s be completely honest with ourselves here. If you hired a pro, would you really make efficient use of that saved time to compensate for the expense? If yes, then go ahead and hire a pro. But keep in mind that there are many benefits of doing any job yourself that goes beyond saving money:
- You get to exercise more
- Improve your brain power by learning a new skill
- Increase your self-confidence to tackle the same or similar task in the future
Read, Learn, and Apply
Further research suggests that you can get rid of the nest by using an effective Wasp and Hornet Nest spray. You can use a pole extension adapter to spray into hard to reach areas.
And if you decide to do so, you should do it with the following precautions:
- The best time to treat is at night when the Hornets are less aggressive.
- Spray directly inside the main opening and around it.
- Standing directly below a nest increases one’s risk of being stung.
- You should wear protective clothing.
Lastly, don’t be a coward. Just do it.
And we all lived happily ever after (except for the bald-faced hornets).