In a brief departure from the food motif, what is occupying an extraordinary amount of brain space around our house right now is the annual invasion of the ground-digging cicada killer wasps.
When they first arrived, about five summers ago, there were around 20 of them in our back yard. They were HUGE and kinda scary. I actually saw one of the larger ones move a small rock out of the way of its burrow. A little internet research said the males don't even have stingers though, and the females use theirs almost exclusively to kill cicadas (or vice versa; who cares). Since they were apparently harmless we decided to join the internet crowd that found them "fascinating." Each wasp digs a single burrow ...
... but each burrow has four or five underground tunnels, into which the female lays one egg. Mom then kills cicadas and places one next to each egg for the young wasp to feed on when it hatches. You see where this is going? One wasp; four or five eggs each? The second summer there were about 60 wasps, and they scared the bejeezus out of all our visitors. I wasn't all that happy about it either; they may not sting, but they are either curious or aggressive and fly right at you.
By the third summer, when the wasps were telling friends about the fascinating humans in THEIR backyard, we declared war. We've tried hornet spray, mothballs down the holes, boiling water down the holes, fabric softener down the holes (gotta love those internet suggestions) and our neighbors think we're CRAZY; the most effective method so far is us out on a Saturday morning in our bathrobes, cappuccino in one hand, pink butterfly net in the other: swoop, stomp, sip, swoop, stomp, sip. (If you want to try this method, you don't have to wear your bathrobe, and the nets don't have to be pink.)
I like to think we're winning, but in reality we're just holding the line. We never manage to kill enough wasps before they lay their eggs to prevent the next summer's invasion. Still, if we hadn't done anything there would be a thousand wasps the size of cows by now. The next plan is to try to take better care of our lawn next year. Apparently they like dry areas with sparse vegetation and a lush, green lawn deters them. Ha! I'll report back next summer. All the things we've tried so far were supposed to work too.