Help!- wasps invading my darkroom

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Rob Archer, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Rob Archer

    Rob Archer Member

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    I haven't been able to get in my darkroom for a couple of weeks now as there are always 2 or 3 wasps in there. I'm allergic to wasp stings so I can't take the risk. Fortunately, there's no sign of them nesting, but I'd like to know if any of the normal chemical insect sprays are safe to use anywhere near photographic materials. Anybody else had this problem?

    Rob
     
  2. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    Why not use an acid stop bath? :wink:
    Contact your local pest control people and let them have the fun of dealing with the wasps - how did the wasps get in?

    Lachlan
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I don't know about normal bug sprays that might be darkroom safe, but one tip for you- if you need something household-safe to take down wasps and/or other flying insects, Windex with Ammonia does an amazing job. The ammonia dissolves their wings and they drop out of the sky, then it dissolves their exoskeleton, and they suffocate on the ammonia fumes. Nasty way to go, but better them than you.

    If there are always a few of them in your darkroom, I suspect they have a nest you just can't see - either in the ductwork or behind the walls/ceiling.
     
  4. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I haven't had a problem with them in the darkroom, but they are a constant problem on the boat. I would try a wasp trap, which is basically a soda bottle with a narrow mouth attached like this one http://www.groworganic.com/item_PIT920_SodaBottleWaspTrap.html.

    Then get someone who is not allergic to find and remove the lnest. The wasps we have here are not aggressive, but I don't know about English species.
     
  5. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Those White Anglo Saxon Protestants are everywhere.

    (sorry -I couldn't resist)
     
  6. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Maybe not in your neck of the woods, but the ones up here get down right surly! Especially if it's really hot! :surprised:
     
  7. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Sure they are wasps? Might be bees or hoverflies - I can never tell the difference - usually too busy moving in the opposite direction! Only bumblebees are easily distinguishable to me...

    Without a source of food, I think the wasps/bees would be dead in a day if locked in the room. If wasps are always about then you may have a nest nearby. If so, the simplest solution is to call the local council who will destroy it (might charge 20 or 30 quid). If they are bees, find your local apiarist and they will probably remove the bees for you FOC if there is a hive nearby (if they turn out to be wasps, they might kill them FOC too - not a great fan of wasps, your average beekeeper!).

    To kill a wasp's nest yourself I found that the powder insecticides that you can buy for that specific purpose worked very well.

    Good luck, Bob.
     
  8. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Really hot? In Wisconsin? Try DC in August, or points south any time after this month.
     
  9. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    But you have to understand, after getting used to that -40 winter weather, Wisconsinites (and folks in northern Mich as well) start whining about the heat when the temp gets above 65F.

    The aggressive wasps are European imports - those native to North America nest in the ground. If they are attaching their nests to buildings etc they are the other kind - the ones that show up en masse and steal the hamburger off your plate when you do backyard barbeque. :D

    Bob
     
  10. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Bang...

    You could always shoot them, and see what develops....
     
  11. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I was going to suggest that for a person with allergies, I would leave it to professionals. But I am still under the influence of the customer service related thread going on elswhere on APUG and realized that trying to get answers from people who are supposed to know them might make an allergic reaction and a trip to the emergency room seem more pleasing.
    All I know about wasps is that if there are two or three always present then it is an issue of nearby or concealed nesting - I would bet you just haven't found the tricky little place and the tricky little way they use to access it, and your darkroom. Its amazing how little room they need for either. If not professional help, someone who is likely to suffer less dire consequences from a potential sting should go in there and perfom a more thorough inspection that you would under the duress of fearing a potentially very harmful sting.

    Peter.
     
  12. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    I tried the Windex w/ammonia, it dissolved the wings, but he kept walking around looking like he had an attitude. Going to add more ammonia. Pat :D
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Well, once they're down, you can swat them at your leisure. If you get the kind of Windex that clings to the glass, it's even nastier for the bug.
     
  14. lesd

    lesd Member

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    I had two hornets (big wasps) in my darkroom/attic recently. To be quite honest it is too hot to go in there during the day at this time of year.

    Les
     
  15. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Those are the ones! :D Blasted things! And trust me... it gets hot here... and humid. Right now (it's 12:28pm CST), it's 88deg F, and the humidity is 59%. We are located on a large body of water, you know! heheheh :wink:

    If you are allergic (I am as well, so I know your concerns) you can either battle them yourself (with an EPI-pen in one hand & wasp spray in the other), or get someone who's not allergic to take care of it for you. Have them seal any place where the devils are coming in, too. Good luck! :smile:
     
  16. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    W.A.S.Ps? White Anglo Saxon Protestants? Just ask them to leave. Most of them are very polite people.
     
  17. Rob Archer

    Rob Archer Member

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    Thanks all!

    I called in the local council (round within 20 minutes!!!). The nest was in a shed next door (phew!) and the guy reckoned they liked the smell in my darkroom! Alternatively, he reckons they might have been hibernating in the roof space and got in somehow. I haven't seen any in there since yesterday morning and I've re-sealed around any visible cracks with duct tape. When they first appeared I was selenium toning some prints and in my hurry to escape I left a trayful out - maybe the ammonia fumes got to them! Hopefully I can get printing again tomorrow!

    Rob
     
  18. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Weren't the local council mostly W.A.S.P.s too?
     
  19. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    How about double-barel?

    Just joking. I would ask some friend to solve the problem with newspaper or similar. Chemicals can affect you lens too. Or just leave it several days in and they are death.
     
  20. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Quite likely... Norfolk was one of the main Anglo Saxon settlement areas when they migrated to (i.e. invaded) what was to later become England.

    Indeed, "Norfolk" itself is of Anglo Saxon / Old English origin (which is itself mostly from Old Norse): i.e. "Nordfolc" (land of the northern people). That part of eastern England is called East Anglia. It does not take an expert linguist to translate that as having come from the Old English for the "Eastern Angles".

    The Church of England is Protestant of course. Skin colour is highly variable however.

    Here endeth the history lesson... :wink:

    Cheers, Bob.