More pests this year?

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Wicksey
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More pests this year?

Postby Wicksey » Tue Jul 05, 2022 6:21 pm

I don't know if it's just us, but this year we have loads more wasps than usual. They are everywhere and I can't go outside much. We have always had watering cans and cat water bowls out there but just one of the cat bowls has about 8-10 wasps around it all the time. There are no visible nests and it's not obvious where they fly off to after being on the water, but I guess they are nests somewhere in the trees and bushes around the garden.

In May we had ants in the house for the first time in years. They got into the kitchen cupboards and were also on the bathroom floor. We have managed to eradicate them at least.

This year we have also seen more snakes then before. There are the huge Montpelier ones that are usually just outside on the road, but we now have Ladder Snakes that I've not seen here in previous years. There was one up in an orange tree one day, another close by the house and a tiny baby one that the cats were playing with. The tiny one I swept up into a dustpan to lob over the edge of the plot but it slithered out straight for me and when I tried to put the broom between me and it, it was going for it and biting it. I've read they are quite feisty and they are bit a scary when they are full sized.

Of course, we still have the usual biting insects and flies and a family of rats but that is nothing new!

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gavilan » Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:07 pm

Wicksey: I was very interested in your post ... firstly about ants: yes normally each summer there are some around kitchen worktops ... this year, hardly any in that area ... nor in cat food bowl which I would usually have to sit in a bowl of water to deter ants ... but lots coming in strange places like the side of the bath and on a wooden chest of drawers at the top of the stairs ... where no food has ever been! ...

then there are the wasps ... a few weeks ago I was stung by one ... I put some Bach cream on said sting and after 10 mins no more problems ... then last week ...in a different part of the garden on 2 separate days I got stung again ... but both times were most unpleasant ...one near my eye and one on my arm ... Bach cream was useless ... had to resort to antihistamine pills and ointment ... swelling lasted several days ... we tracked the source to a large nest in the middle of a lantana bush ... never seen nests there before ... these wasps seemed much more aggressive than usual ones and packed an unpleasant punch ... I almost posted on A.com to ask if anyone knew if there was a different kind of wasp around this year ...

and then the flies: my homemade rosemary spray is useless ... the minute it dries, the flies are back ... and the basil plants dont work either ... even saw a couple of flies hopping around on the leaves yesterday!!! ...I have ordered some basil oil from amazon ... hoping that brushing it into the wwood will be a real deterrent to said pests!

no snake problems yet but there's still time!

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Pamela1 » Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:13 pm

I was sat under the roof porch last year around the table, low and behold OTH looked up and pointed to a snake peaking down below the roof canes..I told him he had to remove it, i wasn't going to sit around a table with a snake hovering above over my head..He managed to get it down using a pole and took it away from the house, it wasn't small by any means and i don't know what species it was, i didn't care, i just wanted it gone.Bet i will keep looking up above me from now on.. :lol:
Another problem i've noticed is every year in Spring when i go over i find a pile of huge dead bees inside the house in the same place..It has me baffled.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Wicksey » Wed Jul 06, 2022 4:34 pm

That sounded a bit too close for comfort Pamela. We've had the brown Montpelier ones and they seem to just want to get away, but these Ladder Snakes seem a tad more aggressive.

The wasps we generally get here are ones with dangly legs and I never thought much about them until they stung me. I had my first sting about 12 years ago and although I haven't been stung much, each one is worse than the previous. The last one was on my calf (totally unprovoked) and it took a good couple of weeks to go. I ended up with a bruise that covered one side of my calf and it hurt like hell for days on end. It's for this reason I am rather alarmed by the increasing numbers of them around now. I've been chased around the pool by them and they are right in my face which really worries me. We keep the pool covered all the time and I only lift the cover one end to get in, so it's not as if they are used to the water.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby spanish_lad » Wed Jul 06, 2022 4:37 pm

Could it be a result of covid ? People were indoors for months, so there was less food waste at restaurants. The rats and cats and dogs and foxes moved towards houses instead of city centres, deer and normally solitary animals were seen by the rivers in towns etc..

Could it be that people have more bugs because of that reason too?
Alhaurin el Grande since ´99, working at the airport since 2011.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gavilan » Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:30 pm

s_l ... might also be something to do with climate changing ... around here less rain in winter and more heat in summer ...

Wicksey ... we dont get many of the dangly legged wasps here ... their nests are usually easier to spot as made of mud and against straight walls or similar ... but from your experience obviously still nasty stinging things ...

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Pamela1 » Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:12 pm

Certainly was Wicksey....During the same visit OTH was building a dry stone wall and i just knew that there could be a snake buried in the heap of stone he was using, sure enough there was a 6ft snake, he must have disturbed it because it came out on its own accord..The farmer neighbour next door told him about another farmer who had a very nasty bite which had been serious at the time..
I have noticed an increase in wasps, had a few nests, one was inside the aircon box on the outside of the house wall facing the pool, they were a nuisance and i had to get rid because they were always around the children. All part of being in the campo...

Just to add, woman who used to own the property had been bitten by something when she walked under the grape vines above her head, her face started to swell and by the time her hubby got her to A &E 3 miles away it was like a balloon. No idea why but she said she was still wearing her sunglasses and they had to cut them off her face..Probably an allergic reaction to the bite but there are lots of bugs around so could have been any one of many.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Wicksey » Thu Jul 07, 2022 9:47 am

spanish_lad wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 4:37 pm Could it be a result of covid ? People were indoors for months, so there was less food waste at restaurants. The rats and cats and dogs and foxes moved towards houses instead of city centres, deer and normally solitary animals were seen by the rivers in towns etc..

Could it be that people have more bugs because of that reason too?
We've always had rats here and foxes too, but we don't consider them a nuisance (except when the foxes call just outside the house in the middle of the night and wake us up!). We have rats living underneath our shed. I was just approaching it the other day when a rat ran out with a baby in its mouth and we both froze and just looked at each other :lol: She turned and ran back under the shed. Ten minutes later one of our cats appeared with a baby rat in his mouth. I rescued it and shoved it back under the shed but not sure if it was reunited with the mother or not. Our cats do eat them from time to time :oops: We'd had many a night chasing a live rat around the living room at 3am after a cat had brought it in but we solved that problem by now restricting the cats to the conservatory at night :thumbup:

Perhaps it's the drought that has brought more insects to the house as we do have water standing in cat bowls and watering cans outside. The river in our valley is dry and our neighbour's well down there has run dry, so definitely less water around.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby olive » Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:39 am

You will consider rats a nuisance when they get under the bonnet of your car for warmth and find some wiring to have a gnaw on. Our VW dealer recommended wedging blocks of polystyrene packing ( the sort TV’s come with for eg) . Seems to be working.

Havent seen a single snake here this year. Perhaps I have just been unlucky. More biting insects though than normal.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Pamela1 » Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:11 pm

They are certainly a nuisance, they chew though anything, they chewed through plumbing pipes,we had to bash a hole in an outside wall on a number of occasions where they got inside the wall to do the repairs...Got fed up of it so the pipes have now been diverted and are now inside the garage running along the top of the high wall just under the ceiling...Amazing how they manage to get in but they find a way.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Wicksey » Thu Jul 07, 2022 12:15 pm

When we lived in France we had a large colony of rats in the roof of our house and our gite next door had a family of pine martins in the roof space. They did gnaw through electric cabling but getting rid of them seemed to be impossible, we tried all the usual methods. The new owner has completely re-roofed the house so they will have blocked up the entrances for good I imagine. We used to lie in bed at night and listen to all the skittering going on up there but did get used to it. We also had a large colony of bats in the roof over the front door, adders in the compost containers and there were always mice in the house, so living here is pretty dull in comparison.

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Pamela1 » Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:37 pm

Your post reminds me of when my sister lived on a farm before her husband died. She told me about the rats running under the floor boards above the ceiling, they used to throw smoke bombs into the attic...Once while i was sat chatting with her the ceiling lampshade suddenly dropped down, i got the shock of my life, a rat had chewed the electric cable.I don't think i could live in any house where there were rats running around above me but like you Wicksey she got used to it..

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gerryh » Thu Jul 07, 2022 5:00 pm

Just noticed this nest being constructed.
What are the insects?
Or more to the point, do they sting?
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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gavilan » Thu Jul 07, 2022 5:17 pm

beautiful photo ... ?but do you really not know they are wasps?

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Wicksey
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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Wicksey » Thu Jul 07, 2022 5:18 pm

:shock: Wasps, Gerry. See previous conversations on stings :lolno:

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gavilan » Fri Jul 08, 2022 12:45 pm

if Gerry really does not know what a wasp looks like, maybe that's because he hasn't seen any around Cajiz before ... and maybe that's the place to move to?!

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gerryh » Fri Jul 08, 2022 12:56 pm

They look different from the wasps I used to see in the UK and they don't buzz either.
Haven't found out if they sting. :silent:
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Wicksey
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Re: More pests this year?

Postby Wicksey » Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:34 pm

They buzz when they're in your face! Those are what I call the dangly leg ones. We occasionally get what I call an English wasp but very few. We've now also got a larger waspy-type thing with a darker orange bottom visiting the water bowls ..... anything more :shock: :roll:

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby gavilan » Fri Jul 08, 2022 4:37 pm

which ever kind of wasps they are ... with a nest that size I would suggest you stay well clear of them ... ... or when it gets cooler after sundown, zap them then

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Re: More pests this year?

Postby olive » Fri Jul 08, 2022 5:51 pm

Zap them? ! Wasps are very beneficial. Now mosquitoes - what purpose do they serve in nature!


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