The absolutely most blood-curdling screams I have ever heard in my life occurred when my 8-year-old daughter and the neighbor kids annoyed some mud wasps. I was outside the house and moving toward the cries before I even knew I was out of my chair.
So, though I’ve never been stung, I have a healthy respect for wasps. Their stinger is actually a modified egg-laying tube attached to a venom sac. When you are stung, it’s like getting a hypodermic needle full of fire. Then there is the fact that wasps live in groups, and so you are likely to be stung by more than one member of any nest you disturb. On top of that, there is the issue that some of us are allergic to the toxins and have life-threatening responses. Not a pretty picture.
If you build it, they will come.
Wasps were not who James Earl Jones was talking about in Field of Dreams, but they might as well have been. If you build it …… Many wasps find the eves we create in our structures to be a dream site for a new nest. Before our barn was even finished, the wasps were setting up housekeeping.
I now look at each nest on a case by case basis. After all, the literature says that paper wasps are less aggressive than many other wasps. On a certain level, they can be considered good neighbors. They feed on other insects, including caterpillars, flies and beetle larvae, and in this capacity can be considered beneficial by gardeners. Beyond that, they were here first.
Still, there are certain areas of zero tolerance, and inside the greenhouse is one of those areas. Needless to say, the greenhouse holds an attraction to wasps like no other spot in the building.
I have researched natural wasp nest removal techniques. They all involve serious protective clothing, a two-person swat team and some kind of crazy scheme about covering the nest with cloth and sinking it with a heavy stone under water for a day or two. Or detaching the next, dropping it into a box and putting the lid on fast. Then filling it with cold water.
Well, you know what? I don’t think so.
I just can’t see it ending well.
I have resorted to a commercial product, which I use as minimally as I can.
It’s a good idea to confront your foes very early in the morning or in the evening when it is cool, and the wasps are drowsy. In case they are not as drowsy as you hope, here is a link to treating wasp stings.
This winter when the needles dropped from the tamaracks, we were amazed to find this massive wasp nest in the middle of the grove. Two winters ago, we thinned these trees, which involved studying each one carefully – and we saw no nest then.
These little fellows build fast, and they build with flare!
WHAT’S YOUR WORST OR BEST WASP ENCOUNTER?
Categories: TALES FROM OUR 44 ACRES