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Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

A very nice looking forecast for the Memorial Day weekend but some uninvited guests could disrupt your party or picnic as yellow jackets are already showing up in record numbers.

Experts say there are an unprecedented number of yellow jacket queens flying around this spring and they threaten to breed clouds of offspring. If you don't like having your barbecue buzzed it's time to start your battle against yellow jackets now.

The people who put out their yellow jacket traps early this year are seeing some disturbing results.

Queens are emerging in record numbers after fattening up during a long and mild fall.

"Well the large number of queens that we're seeing right now kind of really adds up to a perfect storm for hornets and yellow jackets this summer," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Products said.

Right now queens are looking for nesting spots. If they find a suitable throne in your yard, your trouble with yellow jackets will multiply.

"Each yellow jacket queen can represent 200 to 2000 yellow jackets later on this summer depending on the colony size," Alyssa Ando with Rescue Pest Products said.

Beware the swarm!

Beware the swarm!

Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.

Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.

Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.

"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.

As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.

"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.

Save big bucks in online auction

Save big bucks in online auction

KXLY Radio is partnering with businesses across the Inland Northwest to bring you an online auction that you won't want to miss.  Here are just a few of the deals you'll find on the Bid on Spokane website.

  • A McCulloch 27" Snow Blower, retail value $799, with a starting bid of $180
  • A $100 Blush Beauty Bar gift certificate with a starting bid of $20
  • A Flexsteel Sofa, retail price $2,190, with a starting bid of $440.

There are more than 50 items to bid on, including furniture, sporting goods, and family entertainment.  You can see pictures, descriptions, and bid on the items on bidonespokane.com.  

The auction closes on March 31st, so take advantage while you can!

Bill assistance provided for Avista customers

Bill assistance provided for Avista customers

From Avista Utilities:


Winter has landed in the northwest and with it comes cold temperatures. The bitter temperatures alone can cause rising energy use and costs, but combined with the holiday season bringing visiting friends and family, more showers, cooking and other energy using activities, many customers will see higher utility bills in January. Knowing this, Avista wants to remind customers of the bill assistance tools available to help them.

Avista gets green light for rate increases in Idaho

Avista gets green light for rate increases in Idaho

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved rate adjustments for Avista’s residential and small commercial customers. According to a news release, customers will be paying about 6.8% more for natural gas and about 0.4% more for electricity as a result of the adjustments, which are effective October 1st. They do not increase Avista earnings. 

From IPUC:
The gas increase is Avista’s annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA), which is adjusted up or down at least annually to reflect that portion of gas rates that change from year to year, due to changing market prices and fuel and transportation costs.

Avista Energy Resource Team goes mobile

Avista Energy Resource Team goes mobile

Avista Utilities is taking their services on the road setting up their mobile Energy Resource Team in communities throughout the area. Today, they were in the Spokane Valley with Second Harvest's mobile food bank offering tips and supplies to make homes more energy efficient.

 

“The biggest goal is to educate people on ways to conserve energy in their homes,” says Ana Matthews, a Consumer Affairs Program Manager with Avista. The Energy Resource Team provides resources and materials to help people who are struggling lower their monthly bills and set them up with resources such as SNAP when they need more help.

 

Avista workers handed out bags with rope caulk, window insulation kits, fridge coil cleaners and compact florescent light bulbs to help get homes on their way to a lower bill. Matthews says the biggest energy sucker is drafts in the home and they come from places you might not think to look such as your outlets.