Monday, 16 July 2012

Waspy Situation



It was one of those annoying Springs you sometimes get in Britain.

Rain and a little sun, then rain, and sun again. Over and over for days.

This meant that the grass in the back garden grew taller and taller and it proved impossible to cut it. Whenever we had a little sunshine the grass was too tall and still wet and it would not cut with the lawn-mower. As it dried and we got ready to cut it, that’s assuming we had nothing better to do at the time, as soon as we got the lawn-mower out it started to drizzle again.

I went out to the shed to put the lawn-mower in again and I noticed just under the roof what appeared to be a large nest of wasps. They were buzzing around all over the place and saying to each other: “Here he is again … shall we have some fun like last year?”

The previous year I had inadvertently disturbed their nest and got stung several times, no doubt to their delight and amusement.

But not this year … revenge will be finally mine.

I quickly got into the house, searched my telephone directory, and rang a Pest Control Firm. I’d never used them before but their name sounded quite proficient: “Pest Control” – Direct and to the point.

About half-an-hour later a small white van with absolutely no signage whatsoever turned up.

“That’s good …” I thought, “very discreet. I wouldn’t want the neighbors to know I have pests … and have them speculate what they could be.”

 Mice … rats … cockroaches … fleas … or other vermin. Some neighbors can be quite nosey and would look at me with disdain if they knew I had pests. And let’s face it … some pests are more acceptable than others. Like wasps for instance, and bees, or bats … they are treated with respect and are environmentally more acceptable to society.

Anyway … out of the little white van comes a man in his forties dressed in a yellow T-shirt and blue jeans, and a young lady in her mid twenties dressed in a thin, almost transparent blouse, and the miniest of mini skirts.

Now I’m not a very clever man but I’m sure that a yellow T-shirt is not the ideal apparel. Bright yellow tends to attract flying insects. Even I know that.

But then, maybe this is part of their disguise to fool the neighbors. Perhaps they’ll dress up in overalls and face masks once they’re in my garden to avoid being stung.

They got to the back garden and I warned them that the grass is slippery and wet.

They ignored me and walked all the way to the shed. The man took out a little notebook from his pocket and said: “Let’s see what we have here … asp … adder … bee … bumblebee … cockroach … cricket …” 

“Great …” I thought, “he’ll go through the whole alphabets until he finds they are WASPS !!!”

Then, to my amazement, he took a little extendable metal stick from his pocket and opened it out like you do with old style car radio aerials until it was some five feet long. He moved a little closer to the nest, leaving the young lady a few feet behind him, and started poking the nest with the stick.

As I said, I’m not a very clever man, but I knew straightaway that this was not a wise thing to do. I withdrew a little.

The young lady remained a few feet behind him as he disturbed the wasps which started buzzing like a small dark cloud up ahead.

He kept poking, almost destroying the nest, with his stick.

“There are no wasps in this nest” he said to the young lady behind him, “it’s empty”.

She stood there and said nothing.

I shouted “They’re right above your head … you’d better move away quick!”

He looked up at the dark cloud getting nearer and ran away knocking the poor lady so hard that she fell flat on her back sending her legs flying right up in the air.

He then slipped and fell right on his face in the wet grass and mud. He got on all fours and ran towards me like a dog; followed by the young lady doing the same.

They stood up beside me cleaning themselves from the wet mud which covered them from head to toes.

“They’re wasps all right!” he said with authority, as he looked at the poor creatures buzzing around their destroyed nest.

“What do we do now?” I asked.

“Oh … I’ll spray some powder to stop them returning to the nest!” he replied.

He got some powder which he sprayed like a white cloud everywhere; no doubt including his lungs.

I paid him, somewhat reluctantly I must admit, and they left never to be seen again.

As for the wasps; I suppose they built a new nest somewhere else.

19 comments:

  1. If it makes you feel any better, Victor, pest problems are very common, over here. Most of them have lost their fear factor for us, but I must admit to not exactly loving the ones with red stripes or fangs. We found a funnel web spider in our study, once, and a red-bellied black snake, in the garden. Luckily, the children know which are the poisonous ones so they were cautious.

    Oh dear! It's bedtime, here, and now I know I'll be dreaming the dream where the house is full of red striped monsters with huge black fangs:-< If you suddenly find a lot of useless comments from me, it's probably because I'm trying to stay awake in case I get eaten by a six foot spider with four foot fangs:-s


    God bless, Victor:-)

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  2. Victor, how do you know that spiders are good with computers?

    Because they are always building websites!!!

    Hahaha!

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  3. Victor, how do you measure a snake?

    In inches because they don't have any feet!!!

    Hehehe!!!!!!

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  4. Victor, why do spiders spin webs?

    Because they can't knit!

    Gosh, it's going to be a loooong night....

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  5. I really don't know how you can live with so many dangerous creatures Vicky.

    My brother visited Australia often and told me he saw all sorts of birds and animals in the garden where he stayed with relatives. He said at one stage a huge lizard type creature came walking in from the garden. Also not far from the house there were wallabies, or kangaroos.

    I'd feel very frightened.

    Do these creatures ever crawl into the bed amongst the bed sheets where it's nice and warm? Dangerous spiders for instance or snakes? What if spiders lay their eggs in crevices in the mattress? And they hatch when ready? How does one keep them out of the house?

    When I got stung by wasps last year it was in the most unlikely of places. I have a small cupboard in the shed for tools and so on. I opened the drawer to take something out and the wasps had built a nest in there. Can you imagine? In a drawer? They all came out and for a moment I couldn't get out of the shed fast enough. In my panic I just couldn't open the door. It was summer and I was wearing just a short-sleeved T-shirt. I got stung several times.

    When my uncle and family went to Greece on holiday with their daughter aged about three they stayed with their family in a cottage on the mountains. My uncle found a scorpion in the toilet only inches away from his little daughter.

    So I suppose I'm fortunate to contend with wasps only. We seem to have them often for some reason. I wonder whether they return to the same place every year - or the Mother Queen does?

    Hope you have pleasant dreams. God bless.

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  6. I used to think you were kind, Victor:-(

    Well, it's morning here, now, and the bed bugs didn't bite, after all, so your scary stories are washing right over me:-D

    I didn't dream about so much as a tiny, harmless ant! Though, I did have a beautifully harmonic dream about hummingbirds...

    It must be nearly bedtime, in the UK, now, isn't it? Oh dear, it's wasp season, too, isn't it?? Oh deary dear!!

    We have wasps all under our eaves, in the summer. They started in the shed and gradually moved to the house. We've even found them on the light fittings, inside the house. They build their nests, in the night, but their eyesight isn't too good in the dark so, sometimes, they end up in the sheets of the bed. Fortunately, we don't get those really angry wasps around here but we do hear about your wasps, in the news. Apparently, there's been a plague of them, this year. Huge swarms of them are gathering together at their favourite sites. And, it's been discovered that they only like certain blood types. They tend to choose a victim and 'pair' for life - like birds do - then, they bring their friends to join the feast. One person got stung by three swarms, at once, last year! I think they came from a nest near his shed...

    Keep an ear out for buzzing and you'll be okay.

    Sweet dreams, my friend:-D
    God bless:-)

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  7. I'm truly sorry Vicky. I didn't mean to scare you. I'd just heard stories about insects nesting in warm places.

    The other stories about my brother, my uncle and me being stung are also true.

    I believe you about the wasps in the eaves of the house. When we had our rain gutters replaced a few years ago they found nests in the eaves. I believe wasps for some reason do return to the same places. Don't know how long they live. Probably the Mother Queen flies off and restarts her nest close by.

    God bless.

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  8. That's okay, Victor. The team at the hospital said that, with gentle treatment, I should be able to resume a normal life, given time.

    I'm sorry you all got stung and glad your niece was okay. When my son was in hospital, this year, the boy opposite was being treated for a spider bite.

    Sleep tight, Victor:-)

    PS. Don't look up at the lights....


    (Hehehe....)

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  9. So sorry to hear about the boy. Was this recently? Was he OK? How poisonous are these spiders.

    I'd heard about wasps coming in through ceiling light fittings. It's so unnerving.

    I never recovered from the trauma of being stung in the shed. I was told I was lucky I didn't get an anaphylactic shock. I quickly rubbed lotion on the bites and eventually all was well.

    But the bites/stings were red for quite some time afterwards.

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  10. Hi Victor,
    I am not a bug fan and we have HUGE spiders where we now live. One strung a line from our tree to our house SO thick that I thought Randy put up a clothes line for me. Don't think I'm joking either. (Vicky did enough of that for all of us :) We are talking scary, HAIRY, spiders here... I don't mind the daddy-long-legs. Thankfully, my "exterminator" lives right at home with me!

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  11. I quite believe you Mary. Some of the spiders' webs in fall/winter are quite large on the bushes and trees in the UK. But the spiders are not poisonous.

    I'm OK at catching spiders when they fall in the bath and taking them out. It's wasps that really worry me. They're probably attracted by some plants in our garden. I know I encourage a mini eco-system by allowing an area to grow wild with weeds such as dandelions, daisies and nettles. I'll have to check which plants attract wasps and get rid of them.

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  12. Gosh, I didn't realise you were so badly hurt, Victor! You still sound very shaken - all joking aside.

    We tend to take creepy crawlies lightly here because we'd be living in constant fear, otherwise. You learn how to avoid them and about firstaid if you do get hurt and, then, you just pray to Our Lady for protection.

    The boy in the hospital was treated for a red-back spider bite but the anti-venom is quite good. He was in and out, within two days. It was in January.

    God bless, Victor:-)

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  13. I know it sounds silly Vicky to be afraid of wasps. But in my panic somehow I could not get out of the shed fast enough and as I was wearing just a T-shirt they stung me several times.

    I'm so glad that child was OK from the spider bite.

    God bless.

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  14. Another funny story. Glad you weren't in big trouble from the wasp stings. Here in southwest Missouri we have sprays that allow you to stand quite a few feet away from the nests and kill the wasps. Now these sprays are recommended to older people who don't have guns for repelling two legged intruders. We keep them by the bed in case of home invasion. No kidding. Striking somebody in the face with wasp spray temporarily blinds the person. Don't mess with grandma! She's got good aim.

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  15. Yes Barbara, I was very lucky indeed. The stings turned red and lasted about a week or so.

    God bless.

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  16. You have just reminded me to make an appointment for pest control to come out to our house! We don't really have a wasp problem, but we do have an excess of yellow jackets. They ruin our roses by laying eggs in the stems. Luckily we found a yellow jacket trap that hangs from a tree. It works really well. Anyway, you write so well, Victor, that I can never tell if you are pulling my leg or relating what really happened! Ha!

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  17. At first I wondered why you bought so many yellow jackets. Didn't they have any other colors?

    Then I Googled it and I find it's what we call in the UK a wasp.

    That's exactly the creature that attacked me. And what we had again recently in the shed. It really happened Monica.

    I'll have to investigate the yellow jacket trap. Do you put a piece of cheese in it and it snaps whenever a yellow jacket tries to get the cheese?

    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Your so funny Victor! And it is interesting to discover the differences in language. And well, no cheese is for mice! Anyway, the trap has some kind of really skinky oily stuff that you put onto a cotton ball which goes inside of the trap. The wasps/yellow jackets fly into the hole at the bottom because they like the stinky smell. But they are stupid creatures and can't find their way out. Too bad I can't post a photo here. Oh, wait, maybe I will post a photo on my blog.

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  18. Thanx Monica. I'll search for the trap in the shops.

    God bless.

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