UGH! The Terminix guy came to day to rid one of our mostly dead trees of a BIG HUGE hornet's nest. These aren't just regular hornets, but Giant European Hornet - one of whom stung Max two days ago.
We noticed a problem a few weeks ago, but thought it was just a bee or two collecting pollen from the flowers out front. Then we noticed one or two of these things flying around our big mostly dead tree. This past weekend while we were outside doing lawn work (which apparently pissed them off) one came after Max and got him. Max, after he stopped screaming hysterically - was fine. The stinger wasn't in his arm, and after some ice and Benadryl, was no worse for the wear.
So, I called Terminix on Saturday and our pest guy Abi showed up today. Great guy - gets rid of any and all bugs that dare enter our house! Anyway, he was very surprised at the size of the nest. He dug most of it out but pointed out that it goes way up into the tree. By tomorrow we should have several hundred dead hornets in a big pile out front (I'll get a picture if there is indeed a big pile!). There are already dead ones all over the lawn and street - a very good sign. There are still a few flying around trying to figure out what the heck just happened. Abi donned the beekeeper suit and went after those suckers with everything he had - ran through two cans of wasp spray (I mentioned that he said this was a very large nest, didn't I?) - and also dusted the whole area for any stragglers.
Hopefully when we call the landlord (and send him a picture of the pile of hornets and disemboweled tree) he will get it cut down. Not my tree - not my problem, but if those things come back that would be really annoying (and after that sting dangerous!). Abi mentioned that there's enough damage in the tree itself that it might not remain standing past a few months anyway (we're talking a tree that's taller than our house but mostly dead - lots of branches but no leaves). He said that we need to get the tree taken down to eliminate the possibility that they re-nest, but also to prevent the tree from falling on our house, a passing car, dog, or a jogger, the power lines - you get the drift.
So, goodbye our not so friendly hornets...and goodbye tree.