Infrared Training Center

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IR finds Yellow Jackets Nest in House

by Sanin Mulic, Barber Foods

After attending my level one instruction during the week, and ITC wetting my appetite for thermal imaging, I returned home with my company's P-65 camera.  I decided to scan my own house to practice what I was taught all week.  All looked good until I went upstairs and noticed a bright spot on the inside wall.  I took several images of the spot and come Monday, I talked to two level 2 associates about what I had found.  There were several possibilities and I was told to take several more shots at different times to see if it moved or varied in temperature.   When we found it never moved I suggested that it might be insects (wasps, hornets, etc.) and talked with one of the other thermographers who would bring in a stethoscope to see if  I could hear them before opening up the wall.

Wasps  Wasps-vis 
Thermal image of the wasp nest (left).

I couldn’t wait, so that night armed with a drill, a can of flying insect killer, and the enthusiasm of a new thermographer,  I went up to the room; my pet cat, who loves to lay in the window there, had to investigate with me too.   I approximated where the hotspot was and drilled a 1/8 “ hole through the wall board. As I removed the drill bit, about 8 to 10 yellow jackets came charging through the hole and I started to spray the bug spray at the hole.  By this time, the yellow jackets were in an attack mode and I started to swing at them in defense.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my cat speeding to the door with his tail bigger than I have ever seen it.  I finally killed the last one, sprayed about 1/3 of the can, and plugged the hole; but not before being stung twice.  I went outside and saw a swarm just outside the window. I drilled a second hole a few inches above it and knowing what was going to follow,  I had the spray ready to go as soon as the drill came out.  I sprayed about 1/3 of the can and then plugged the hole. I returned several hours later and the swarm was gone.  I climbed a ladder and found a small hole where they were coming and going.  I plugged that from the outside.  As I came back inside I saw my cat peaking from around the door as if to ask “Is it safe to come out now?”

After a few days I took another thermal image and there was no evidence of the yellow jackets remaining.  I submitted this investigation as my level one field report and it passed, but the memory of this initial experience will last a long time (the cat won’t forget it either!)

No-wasps no-wasps-vis
No wasps after removal.

No comments:

Post a Comment