I believe karma, the bitch, has taught me a lesson.
Karma was watching me on that mild summer day, a decade ago. I sat at my window facing the street, savoring my customary morning brew. I imagine my favorite smells— inhaling deeply the robust richness of coffee, coupled with the balm of fresh-cut grass, courtesy of my neighbor who mowed his lawn on the other side of the street.
The thrum of the motor abruptly ended, exchanged for screams. He had abandoned his lawnmower, panicked, and was running back and forth, swinging his hat around with flailing arms, as a swarming cloud gave chase. It wasn’t long before he disappeared into his house.
Being the ass that I am, I laughed. Humor for me can be found in any situation. That had been a cartoonish act performed for an audience of one, me. Thankfully, he couldn’t see or hear me.
A few minutes later when an ambulance pulled up, my laughter subsided and my mood sobered. I reminded myself not to laugh at the expense of others. Thankfully, he recovered.
Ten years later, I still didn’t appreciate what a sting felt like. I found out several days ago when I was ambushed. Each one was a knife wound, followed by a throbbing ache that lasted three days. Now I’m afraid of my “garden.”
It started with a desperation born of envy. My neighbor’s gardens, all of them, would inspire Claude Monet.
My garden would inspire deviant art. My landscaping skills are wanting. No matter how many trees and flowers I plant, none survive.
Rubber tube in hand, I intended to water my dead but thirsty trees. I set the hose down next to what is supposed to be a small hibiscus, hoping it would come back to life, like a zombie, because from it I sensed energy.
I realize now my intuition wasn’t telling me the hibiscus is alive, but that in the underground beside the wilting stick exists the pulsing fury of a yellowjacket hive.
The first buzz I assumed was a fly. I swatted at it. Then I was introduced to what lies beneath, monsters from my flower graveyard rose. They wanted to hurt me.
My neighbor’s reaction a decade ago was reenacted, starring me as the raving lunatic. Perhaps I had an audience, amused by my misfortune. It would be fair.
*I did not have an allergic reaction.
My neck and arm bore the brunt of the attack. I passed the early days of my recovery researching my nemesis. Allow me to repeat this from my last post: These are not innocent, endangered honeybees. One yellowjacket can sting repeatedly and the fiend will send out pheromones inviting his entire colony of hive-mates, to crash your flesh party. They will chase their target, they remember faces, and they hold grudges. In summation, they’re not my friend.
I however am vengeful.
I had to ascertain the exact location of these buzzing Beelzebubs before I could plan revenge. I have watched them descend, one by one, floating downward and disappearing into the ground at the center of my garden.
These are the results of my research, some online methods of extermination:
The first thing I did was try to engage a professional because these wasps scare me. I texted my exterminator because coincidentally he had texted me first to offer tick and mosquito abatement. Um, I’m poor, so no to that.
Anyway, this is the exchange:
Weird that I haven’t heard back.
Moving on to home remedies. Homemade spray:
“Mix one teaspoon of dish soap with two cups of water, spray this solution on the wasp and wait 10-15 minutes until it dies.”
So, let me paint a picture for you. This remedy is to spray the wasps with soapy water and wait 10-15 minutes for the soap to weigh them down.
Pew pew, pew- no way.
Moving on. Setting a bait:
- Two-liter plastic bottle, cut the top third off.
- Fill approximate 4-inches with your choice of any sweet liquid
- “Add a bit of vinegar to the mix to deter bees from the trap.”
- Flip the top of the bottle upside down, tuck it into the bottom and it’s ready to use.
- Wait until dusk, because wasps are less active at that time. (I had to google what time dusk is.) Put the “trap” next to where you’ve seen activity.
I made two because I tend to overdo everything. They should look like this picture from the internet.👇🏻
I didn’t photograph mine because they weren’t pretty.
Time to get serious. Moving onto wasp spray.
Supposedly, when the wasps smell the sweetness they fly in but can’t get out. It says “empty weekly.” No need for me to empty mine. They didn’t even attract a mosquito.
To be concluded in my next post… I hope.