By John Toth
My battle with wasps continues at the hideout.
I thought we were through after I used about a dozen cans of expensive wasp spray, but they keep coming back, probably because for weeks at a time they live undisturbed around the property.
I saw them buzzing around and knew that I needed to go on the attack again. The few I left alive last summer must have multiplied and resurrected their wasp activities, which include buzzing over me as I try to enter the house.
I was stung several times last year while doing yard work. I’m not allergic to their sting, but it's not a good feeling. If you have ever gotten stung by one of them, you know what I’m talking about.
I’ve been busy this winter stocking up on “wasps be gone” supplies. You can never go wrong when grocery shopping to also pick up a couple of cans of wasp spray.
A few weeks ago a yellow wasp trap also got my attention. It’s a plastic container that screws into a structure where you hang it and where wasps can easily find it, like right by their nest.
Inside the container are two cups of water, one cup of sugar, and some powder that is poisonous to wasps. On the directions, they also recommend that you throw in a pinch of cat or dog food (sold separately).
I like the immediate result of the spray, though. It shoots out about a 15-foot stream and kills wasps on contact. The problem is that the spray is too expensive to keep shooting at random wasps, and when I hit the nest, some of the wasps escape.
I do pride myself on how well I can pick them off in mid-air, but this is not cost-effective. On to the traps.
I got two of them ready to hang. I decided to hang one right at a wasp entrance above the porch. That must be wasp headquarters. But how could I tie it to a supportive beam when there are all these wasps hanging around?
I reverted back to the spray, but this time, doing it more efficiently. I pulled myself up to the opening and started unloading the contents of the can, spraying it inside their abode. It was risky, but I had to clear the area to hang the trap.
The wasps didn’t like that one bit. Those that survived departed. I planned to hang the trap before they returned.
I grabbed one of the traps with one hand and pulled myself back up to the nest opening with the other. I was standing on the porch railing, hoping that I could get this over with and return to my normal life at the hideaway - without the wasps.
I tried to quickly slip the tie into the little hole on the other end, but I kept missing it.
Meanwhile, several wasps were getting closer. There wasn’t much I could do but keep trying. I did it successfully on the ground several times, but hanging from the porch with one hand and trying to do it with the other under battle conditions made it somewhat more difficult.
Two wasps buzzed right by my head and straight into the hole leading to the nest. They had a clean shot at me. I was helpless and would have had to take the stings, thanks to this uncooperative tie gadget.
I felt the tie’s end slip into the receptacle and gave it one last push. It was a sight for sore eyes when I saw it go through. I tightened it and got the heck away from the nest entrance.
I placed the other trap at another location where I thought it would be the most effective. Sorry, wasps. This is just the way it has to be. I wish we could live in harmony, but it wasn’t meant to be.
I don’t know how well these traps will work. If I were a wasp and saw other wasps floating in there, I wouldn’t go in. We’ll see if they will. If not, I still have a lot of wasp spray cans left.
(Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX 77516.)