Hornet Gate

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By: Alex Weiss, CFP®

You know that feeling when you look at something and you just know that something isn’t right? That’s exactly what happened while I was in the backyard with Natalie and noticed a swarm of hornets around our back window. Though interested, I brought Natalie back inside in an effort to take a closer look as to what was going on. Much to my surprise, I saw several hornets coming in and out of a section of the house! This was something we really didn’t want to be dealing with, especially since we had people

joining us for Natalie’s socially-distant 1st Birthday backyard party.

Ashley and I were city dwellers for a long time and have shared walls with many neighbors. While sharing a wall has a few downsides, it presents itself with one major upside. That is, if you seal up all of the cracks/holes around the house, the critters are likely to seek shelter on your neighbor’s side– not yours! In a stand-alone single family home, that is clearly not the best strategy (even though I tried).

I decided a few hornets wouldn’t be that hard to get rid of, right? You spray the nest and they’ll go away. With that in my head, I quickly got my hands on some hornet spray and attacked what we thought was the source of the problem. When I circled back the next day to assess the damage I inflicted, it was like I didn’t do anything. Upon a closer look, I clearly identified three little holes that they were entering and exiting the house through (at the seams of the trim and siding). I took some caulking we had laying around and did what I thought was best: entombment! Since our house was so freshly finished, I figured they couldn’t get into any living space.

Wrong! What I failed to mention was that their entrance into the house is right near our gas fireplace insert. The day after the entombment, we saw a few dead and a few flying hornets in the house– which isn’t ideal with a 1 year old crawling around. This time I grabbed my trusty ol’ painters tape and sealed off the fireplace which seemed to do the trick. Fortunately, we were able to slow the infestation until pest control was able to come over and hopefully solve the problem for us. Let’s hope we do not have anything living in the walls of our new home.

Natalie’s 1st birthday picnic (social distance style) went off without a hitch (or someone getting stung). It’s hard to believe this little girl has lived in three houses, been through three moves, and spent just about half of her life in a global pandemic.

Until next time…

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