Oldies at Large – What a Pest!

The Aussie mud wasp has struck. We thought we had it all in hand when it came to those glorious pests of the Aussie bush. You know the ones…

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 6.28.10 amThey come in all forms and some are as cute as kids. Anyone who freecamps out bush side will be familiar with the marsupial mouse who loves to nibble on rubber water hoses under the bonnet. We have accepted that life included regularly checking and replace the water hoses in the Cruiser … the mighty work-dog which tows the Grampie Flat … who would want to kill these little guys and besides the bush rats or the native marsupial mice are cute little beggars who we regularly encounter. Bait is not an option for us as we travel with dogs and we have already had one session at the vets with rat bait that I do not care to repeat… we carry spare hose instead.

Then there is the annoying black garden ant that sets up home when you least expect it. These I can live with but the mud wasp has made an enemy!

At present we are climbing over the Grampie Flat in a fit of maintenance. One of the items on the agenda was to check the hotwater system, which has been flicking up errors in the gas heater for a few months now. It is one of those things that you go ‘Ohhh dammn’ about before you put on the kettle. It’s been summer … hot and humid, so a cool shower is no hardship and it is easy to boil the kettle to heat that basin of hot water.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 6.17.43 pmI am familiar with the little Aussie, I even like these guys and in nature they are awesome builders. You can find them as you float down rivers and look up under bridges or even the eves of buildings. We always are on the lookout for the busy little blighter’s as they snoop around looking for crannies to build nests but in the hot water system! … Seriously guys this is the limit!

Parked in the backyard last year we became less than vigilant it seems and when the system flicked up its little error light we sighed. The electric component still worked, it couldn’t be too serious, probably a dusty or damaged circuit somewhere I figured. It was nothing to labour over … I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 6.50.24 amThese little beggars had snuck up into the overdrip pipe and set up a colony happily throughout the system. What a mess! You know … you expect some maintenance as the grampie flat sneaks into its tenth year, after all the terrible teens is on the horizon so we have made allowances for maintenance. This though, we hadn’t even envisioned. Messy little beggars that they are, are now banned from my good books. I think we will be investing in some fine mesh wiring for all those dark damp spots … the perils of life on the tracks.

Happy travelling!


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