Guinness Record Book’s holder of the highest I. Q., Marilyn vos Savant, once wrote that she measured people’s intelligence by their problem-solving skills. When he was five years old, Eagle Point resident Issac Russell first encountered a thorny problem-a yellow jacket sting. Four years later, after he’d barely reached his ninth birthday, a swarm of the nasty insects stung him again. The ensuing heavy dose of venom triggered a series of reactions escalating from skin rashes, to troubled breathing.
Medical specialists cautioned him. Yellow jackets often signal bad news
to humans. Among them, celebrities, physicians, lumber jacks, and even
strapping, professional athletes battle severe sensitivities to the
colorful wasps’ toxic effects. Russell would need to guard against the
threat of anaphylactic shock.
He became engrossed in a
study of this winged enemy, at times too numerous to count. Observing
the social hornets’ habits, he noticed that, unlike some related
species, yellow jackets usually built nests in the ground. "They dig
down where it’s cooler," Russell said. "The queen sends the workers out
to locate food. They like raw meat, but if they can’t return with it,
their colony will starve."
On his family’s five-acre
property lurked the answer-to thin the invaders’ ranks, he’d have to
block the worker wasps’ deliveries of their goodies.
this youngest of three siblings designed and assembled a clever device.
Using materials commonly available at home, he constructed an
inexpensive trap that worked without requiring any kind of bait or
chemicals. "It’s 100% effective every time. Each nest I’ve used it with
is no longer active within a week," Russell explained.
the plastic traps he now sees in gardening stores, his reusable
invention works to capture the bugs on the ground. "Commercial baited
traps swing from tree branches where you have to hope the insects will
be lured by scents such as tuna fish." After enough sun exposure, those
plastic cylinders eventually become translucent, or almost opaque, and
lose effectiveness, his findings concluded.
said his dad Dale’s occupation is truck driving; mom Elizabeth is a
nurse in the hospital where their youngest was born fifteen years ago.
a freshman at Eagle Point High School, the young inventor hopes to
secure a patent some day soon, and market his product. Earth friendly,
in that it uses no pesticides, it won’t harm the precious honey bees so
vital to America’s farmers. Yet it could prove invaluable to that
segment of the population well-advised to avoid run-ins with his pesky
foe, the yellow jacket.
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent