Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Hornet Saga

Gather 'round children, and let me tell you a story. This is the story of the hornets that decided to make their home on our balcony, and the leasing office that wanted nothing to do with them.

Our story begins last Wednesday (July 2nd) when I was out on our balcony watering our container garden. I noticed a large swarm of (rather large) insects near the corner of the over-hang, and remarked on it to my mother, who was on the phone with me at the time.
She suggested that I call an exterminator. I shrugged it off. "Meh," I said. "There are some bugs, no big deal."
I changed  my mind fairly quickly when said insects began attacking me. I was hit a few times in the head and shoulders by dive-bombing maniacs, and I fled indoors. I took a look at the corner of the balcony from the vantage point of our window... And saw this:

I called the leasing office as soon as I got off the phone with my mother. I explained that there was an alarmingly large nest on the outside of our balcony. I was told that the exterminators were actually in the complex, and there was a good chance that someone would come out that day to take care of the nest.
I gave the office detailed directions to pass along to the exterminator, explaining clearly that the nest could not be seen from the balcony, and that if the exterminator would look at the roof from the window I indicated, he would be able to see the nest no problem.

My husband and I went out that night, to see a fire-works show, and by the time we came back it was late, and dark, and we were tired. But we saw that a service note had been left for us. The service note had a box checked off on it... The box read "treated". It was dark, and we couldn't see the nest, but we were happy to know that the bug problem was over.

We were not so happy the next morning, when we woke up to see that the nest was still there, and that there were bugs till flying in and out. I called the leasing office again before I had to leave for work. I was told that the exterminator had been there the evening before, and that he sprayed. When I asked why there were still bugs flying around, the lady at the leasing office said:
"I don't know, that's not my profession."
When I asked her if she could find out for me, I was told that it can take 24 to 48 hours for the bugs to all die, and that it was all perfectly normal. I asked if I could call again in a few days if the bugs were still there, and I was answered very dismissively.

That was Thursday (7-3), and we had a very busy weekend. We didn't get home until Saturday night, when we noticed that the nest was still there. Sunday morning there were more bugs swarming around, and by Monday morning (7-7), when I called the leasing office again, the nest looked like this:

Bigger and badder. Yuck. I called the leasing office and was initially given the run-around. Finally, I was told that they would call an exterminator. I was frustrated and expressed this by explaining that we had been dealing with this issue since Wednesday. The lady at the leasing office said:
"Okay, we'll order and exterminator for Wednesday." And then hung up on me.
Great, annoying, but at least we'd be getting this taken care of.

This time, I was home for the exterminator, and it was a lucky thing. I took him over to the window, and showed him exactly where the nest was. What was the first thing he said?
"Good thing you were here, I never would have spotted that."
He confirmed my suspicions that the nest had never been sprayed to begin with, and gave me a name for our intruders.

Bald-Faced Hornets, nasty little things, and nothing to mess around with, according to the exterminator. I asked him why the nest hadn't been sprayed last week, when I first called. He said that the guy probably walked out onto the balcony, didn't see the nest, sprayed a bit and went home. I explained that I left detailed instructions with the leasing office. But apparently, the leasing office didn't pass along any of those instructions.


  • We had a hornet problem.
  • I called the leasing office - they promised to take care of it.
  • When the hornets persisted in being alive, I called them again
  • They continued to be dismissive with me - telling me it wasn't a problem
  • When the hornets were still there almost a week later, I called again
  • This time, they were rude, but did call an exterminator
  • He came and informed me that the nest had never been sprayed
  • This time, he sprayed and killed the hornets
How do I know. Because this time, the nest looks like this:

See all those gross yellow things? Those are eggs, ready to hatch into more hornets, like ~50 more of them! I'm so glad that I was able to get this hornet thing taken care of, but super annoyed that it took a week to do it!
I explained to the leasing office how they needed to handle this, and they were rude and dismissive, and as a result, I couldn't enjoy my balcony or take care of my plants the way I wanted to for the past week. I almost wouldn't mind so much, if we weren't paying quite so much for rent...

What's the moral of this story, dear readers? The moral is that this is not how you treat your leasers. The moral is that if you want people to continue renting you need to treat them with more respect, and respond more promptly to service calls. You need to take care of maintenance issues, rather than telling your renters to take care of it themselves.

For now, I'm upset yes, but I'm also relieved that this hornet problem is over and done with, and we'll just have to wait and see what the next issue will be...

1 comment:

  1. Those are, I believe, also an invasive species. So good on you for getting rid of them (eventually)! In the future, I recommend bees.