Monday, May 20, 2013

Get to Steppin'

Anybody ever remember that phrase, "Get to Steppin'?" Is it even cool to use anymore (or was it to begin with)? Haha, I digress.

Anyway, today's post has to do with the steps to our rear porch. I had been on a month long quest to exterminate the horde of wasps that seemed to congregate around that back door. I used one of those bright yellow wasp/hornet traps for a week or two which managed to snag and drown 6 of the little beasties. There were still plenty left, so I bought the "kills on contact" spray and took out another 5 wasps and 2 yellow jackets. Imagine me doing the spray and run tactic. It's not exactly as effective as it sounds, trust me. Once the coast was clear, I took the broom to the awning, and swept out the little mud nests that they were starting to build but some how, they just kept coming back. It wasn't until I saw a wasp duck under the carpeting of the stairs that I realized I had missed the mother hive.

Sorry that this shot is so far away. I realized that the only picture I had taken of the back steps was when we were going through the house for our home inspection during March. Boy, things have greened up in the last two months! Hurray for Spring!

The back steps had at one point been covered by that luscious faux grass carpeting. When I say luscious, I really mean disgusting. It was threadbare in some areas, mildewed at the bottom, and overall ugly. Did I mention that it was ugly?

In a death defying stunt, I swiftly ripped that carpet off of the steps. Like an ugly band aid. Okay, maybe not so swiftly since I was still employing the rip and run tactic (similar to the spray and run, except this time I was unarmed). After a few good tugs, that carpet was gone-zo. Leaving me with this hot mess:

And there she was. The little doorway to wasp Hell. I gave the area a good hose-down with the Wasp-X, and took my broom handle to the nest that was just barely visible, but insanely huge. I am crossing my fingers that solves the wasp problem, but we won't know for sure until we get that wood board off and look behind it. I haven't seen any more wasp activity, though.

Isn't the construction of the door sill just amazing? Fiberboard and plywood, my friends. Some of the wood is rotten over on the edge of the porch (where the wasp hole is) and will need replaced as well. Here is how we're looking after I spent a good hour scraping at the adhesive. Some of it was loose, the rest will take a good amount of chiseling.

Once I get the adhesive off and the stoop replaced, I'll be ready to paint this bad boy. I think that a nice dark, slate gray would look nice against the grey undertones of the masonry. We'll probably consider painting the exterior of the porch gray with white trim as well, to coordinate with the garage.

As for how to remove the rest of the adhesive, for now I am at a loss. I suppose I could keep scraping and slowly chisel it away, but it is an incredibly hard and difficult process. I am open to any suggestions that any of you who have experience with this sort of thing may have to offer.

Anyone else fighting with massive hordes of wasps this year? Considering that our home was empty since 2007, I am not surprised that we had a problem. The garage seems to be an even bigger haven for them. Hopefully I'll be able to get that under control this summer.

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