Wasp sucking machine

    Wasp sucker
    The Wasp sucking machine in action on my roof
This machine was the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy!

Growing up in the country, wasps nests and the possibility of getting stung were a frequent nuisance. I have no sympathy for yellow jackets that sting and don't even make honey!

In the summer of 1996, opportunity presented itself. Near a picnic table where some of us at work were always having lunch, there was a wasp nest in a crevice in the building. Wasps were frequently bothering us, but we could not even see the nest, just a gap in the concrete that they used for their entrance.

Now of course, I could have just used a shopvac, but you don't want to leave one of those running for hours on end, and then you can't see your catch, and how the hell is one supposed to empty it?

I happened to have this incredibly powerful blower that I bought at a surplus store thinking I might use it for a successor to my pipe organ, but never used it for that. Given this opportunity and the blower, I decided to build a dedicated "wasp sucking machine".

The blower and 1/3 hp motor came as one unit, connected together with a flatbelt. I know, the shopvacs are supposed to have 5 horsepower, but they don't suck much harder than this unit, and they just don't last. The box has a glass lid so you can see the status of the catch, and only bug screen for a "filter" so there isn't much to slow down the airflow. A piece of cardboard can be slid in a gap where the hose connects to seal off the box, and the box just sits on top of the intake spout for the blower, so it can easily be removed from the machine for purposes of showing off one's catch.


    A full load
    A full day's catch
The catch above is from leaving the machine running for 9 hours straight while I went to work. The machine doesn't suck the wasps out of the nest, it just catches most of the wasps that come back from the field. Coming out of the nest, most of them are smart enough to crawl away from the suction before getting airborne, but coming back, they get get sucked in on the landing approach.

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