Came down to either them or me

I have had to go to war again with hornets/wasps.
The last time, a few years ago, I was the easy victor, though it was a significant battle. I may have bored you with the details. As such, I rather smugly faced this year’s battle with a hint of over-confidence.
It didn’t quite turn out as I planned.
First of all, I was picking my blueberries, minding my own business while humming what I considered a happy cheerful tune. Alas, the hornets may have been of a different mind. I was stung six times on my lower left leg before I could blink.
I finished filling my bowl and by then my left leg was pulsating. I put ice on it, toothpaste, and cider vinegar, and also swallowed a Benadryl, but my leg kept swelling. By morning, there was little, if any, evidence I had mixed it up with the dreaded insect. But then the other shoe dropped.
I went into my greenhouse/garden shed to fetch some tools and hanging on one wall was a large, nasty-looking nest with hornets swarming in and out of it. I vacated said premises. Then while I was cutting the lawn, I noticed a similar crowd moving in and out from under my deck–likely evidence of another nest judging by the steady flow of traffic of the flying marauders.
I went to work.
It was 800 degrees out but I bravely donned my hazmat gear, also known as bright yellow rain pants and my daughter’s snowboarding jacket, rubber gloves and rubber boots, with my netted face mask/hat. I was ready–or so I thought.
First I opened the gate under my gazebo where the hornets were congregating. My generator sits there with a tarp over it. I couldn’t see any nest. So I pulled the tarp off my generator and in doing so, I ripped a very large nest in half and none of the residents were particularly pleased.
They swarmed me, but I was covered and picked up the nest parts and put it in a plastic bag. First problem solved. On to the next.
It was getting dark and I was having a hard time seeing. I climbed up on the table in my garden shed and carefully was trying to put a bag around the nest when it fell off the wall. Said residents swarmed my face and were able to sting me through the netting.
I fell off the table and have a bruise the size of Indiana to prove I don’t bounce. I looked a bit like Rudolph when all was said and done.
The wasps weren’t going down without a fight. They immediately began building new homes. There were tiny nests everywhere. The next morning, I counted 12 before I quit.
I’m all for sharing my space with wasps and hornets. I know that wasps eat the larvae of insects that harm my garden and I know they eat blow fly larvae, but they are not efficient pollinators (I don’t hold that against them).
They can build their nests wherever they like as long as they don’t sting me every time I go near them. They got me again in the other leg as I was just strolling across my lawn.
It came down to survival of the biggest. I won the war. And now, just when I was beginning to feel victorious … there is a cricket in my bathroom, loudly proclaiming his dominance.
Sigh. Did I mention I’m not a fan of the cricket?
wendistewart@live.ca

Wendi with an ‘eye’ logo