Eeeeeeee!

Ron found this little guy today and took his picture before releasing him. Isn’t he cute? I love his eyes. He looks like an anime version of a lizard. We think he’s a juvenileĀ Mediterranean house gecko. Apparently they’ve been coming up from Texas in recent years, although they usually don’t make it this far north. Considering our climate the past couple of years, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to find tropical species in Tulsa. We’re getting a lot of Texans around here — armadillos, cow killer wasps, and the rumor in beekeeping circles is that a few colonies of Africanized honeybees have found their way into southern Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, the paper wasps on our front porch appear to be thriving. We considered removing their nest when we discovered it next to the door, but there’s not really a way to relocate them without threatening their survival, so I made a deal with them: You don’t sting me, and I won’t destroy your house and kill your family. So far, that agreement seems to be working. I’ll take down the nest when the season ends, but in the meantime, I see no reason to disturb them. They aren’t hurting us, and they’re a good deterrent to door-to-door salesmen and con artists.

Emily

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3 thoughts on “Eeeeeeee!”

  1. We have two nests of yellowjackets at our cottage, one right beside the door and one at the skylight. Like your paper wasps, these also have a very live-and-let-live attitude, though they do keep an watchful eye us whenever we’re nearby. (This could be disconcerting for someone who didn’t like being watched.) Quite very different behaviour from the yellowjackets I remember from growing up in northern British Columbia. The variety there was aggressive – they would literally steal the food off your plate while you’re eating – and wouldn’t let anyone come within a yard or so of their nests. The problem I see coming up is that this is the second year they’ve nested in the same spots. Last year the nests were quite small; this year they’re four or five times larger. Do I risk letting them return next summer, knowing they’ll be even larger, or should I snip them in the bud while the nests are still tiny in the spring?

    1. I think I’d wait until the end of the season and then remove the nest to discourage them from returning. Polistes won’t return to the same nest the next season, but some aerial yellowjacket species will, and the nests can get quite large, with multiple queens. (So sayeth Wikipedia, anyway.) I’m going to take down our wasps’ nest after they leave. The workers will die, and the queen will hibernate somewhere and start over in the spring, at which point we’ll try to encourage her to choose a more appropriate location.

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