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Old 30-08-2004, 07:21   #1
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The Swarm

Due to work committments, etc., I hadn't been able to get down to my boat in awhile. This last weekend my brother was visiting so I invited him to go sailing with me. When we arrived at the slip, I went down below and found a huge active mud-dobbers nest by my fold up bulkhead mounted table. After obtaining some of the 20 ft.reach hornet spray, I doused them good, and they dropped as soon as the stuff hit'em.I started gathering up the carcasses and then noticed a hornet flying behind my vhf. I peered around it carefully and found a hornets nest the size of your open hand with about 30 of the little buggers peering back at me licking their chops! They were the bad-ass hornets with attitude type. I went up on deck, leaned in the companionway and doused them real good. Unlike the mud-dobbers dropping immediately, the spray seemed to just piss the hornets off. They came out with a vengeance. After what seemed like an eternity of swatting, dodging, and spraying, the enemy retreated. I felt good about the defense my brother and I had put up and the fact that we had prevailed. There wasn’t any wind, so I suggested to my brother that we motor down to a little restaurant about 1 mile away and get some lunch. After we had been underway for awhile, I went down below to get a cold drink. I peered around the vhf again to make sure there weren’t any hornets regrouping for a second attack. Sure enough, there were about 8 or so of the little devils bug eyeing me and rubbing their legs together like they do. They knew I had the “weapon of mass destruction.” I sprayed them again and they came out looking for their pound of flesh! My brother was at the wheel and they went after him first. Obviously their strategy was to take out the wheel man, which would create a diversion for the following full out assault. As my brother was swatting at them, he was jerking the wheel this way and that, which was tossing me about. I was going down, but continued firing off rounds with the “weapon of mass destruction.”. Bodies of the enemy lay about the cockpit. The battle eventually subsided, and all was calm again. The lesson learned? Never spray a hornets nest while under way boss! There’s no where to run!!!.
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Old 30-08-2004, 09:31   #2
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On the job training

That’s the trouble with “the school of hard knocks” (on the job training):
First you take the test - then you get the lesson.

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Old 30-08-2004, 14:28   #3
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Hornets I think I know what they are. Kinda like a German Wasp(we are pplagued with those creeps here) But much bigger and as bad an attitude or maybe worse?
But what the heck are Mud-Dobbers????
It's things like this that are the only thing that worry me about traveling the world. The only Blood sucking poisonus ugly looking insects we have here in NZ are tax officials and Pollitions.
Actually we do have THE MOST poisonus/Toxic spider in the world here. But it is so small it is totaly harmliss. IT's called the Daddy longlegs. So this nieve little country boy is a little scared of the big bad world out there. Actually one of the links I followed from someone here, lead me to reading about poisonus fish and things in the sea. Made me wonder if I ever want to jump in the water ever again.
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Old 30-08-2004, 15:45   #4
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Hi all,

Wheels, we also have our share of the blood-sucking politicians here in the U.S. They must be spreading -- "Mud dobbers.--" I'm sure that's not the real name for them, but that's what we've always called them. They look a lot like a hornet, but are dark brown to black in color, with no stripes. I've never been stung by one, so I don't know if they can sting or not. I don't take any chances though. The insect builds a nest out of dirt particles, that resemble a mound. The mound is built either vertically, or horizontally. The mound is like a "dob" of dirt, thus - mud dobber. Actually, I made that last part up, but I thought it sounded pretty good. The little beasts love to build their nests inside boats, under sail covers, and some times to the sails. In the area that I keep my boat, there is a lot of red colored dirt. The nests are pretty easy to remove,but the red dirt usually leaves a stain.

As for your daddy longlegs spider. We have them here too, but I've heard them called "Grandaddy longlegs." Maybe our spider is your spider's daddy. Anyway, you mentioning it made me think of a story. Years ago, my daughter and me were taking a guided horse back ride in Costa Rica. The guide took us through an old hand dug railroad tunnel that was no longer being used. It was so dark in the tunnel that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Occasionally, the guide would shine his flashlight on the ceiling of the tunnel so that we could see the large vampire bats hanging off of it. Towards the end of the tunnel, where the light was coming in, it looked like the walls were moving. As we got closer, we saw that there were millions of daddy longleg spiders scurrying over the wall which made it look like it was moving.The guide told us that the long legged spider is one on the most poisonous spiders, but fortunately, it's mouth is to small to bite. I guess that's the good news!
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Old 30-08-2004, 18:39   #5
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Wasps and hornets

You will know the difference when you meet them. A NZ bee and a North American wasp are usually friendly enough if you do not bother them, but the hornet type wasp is an attack trained killer as decribed in the original post. They really do attack in groups, they get pissed off very easily, usually a loud noise will do it, and they will chase you just like in the cartoons. You can get multiple stings very quickly. Water cannons, Raid, smoke and darkness are your weapons, so is petrol and a match. Some live in holes in the ground, some hide from view as is the round pipe of a metal gate, and they attack without warning. Freezing temperature also does them in. BC Mike C
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Old 30-08-2004, 22:55   #6
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Ahhh yesI know what your Mud dobbr is. It is called a Mason Flie. (spell?)The Mason part is drived from the "Stone Mason". The guy that works with Brick and stone and sticks them together with Mortar(spell?)
I had them in my sails as well, when I first opened them up. I have never tested them to see if they bite or sting and I don't think they do. But the buzzing noise from them in the cement house sure puts you off wanting to get to close.
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Old 31-08-2004, 19:28   #7
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Here in the NW, Wasps are usually the ones that make paper like nests simular to a bees honey comb. And hornets make their nests in the ground.

Both sting like the Dickens!!! We've been having a lot more then usual this year. Had to run'm out a spare car and the boom on the boat. And a fuel dispenser at work...............
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