Saturday, August 8, 2009

Well, I had a craptacular day.

If you're not in north America, this little bastard is a Yellowjacket wasp. They nest underground and can be very aggressive about defending that nest. I've got them here and there on the property, but I usually don't run into any problems with them.
Not this morning though. Dad was mowing the lower yard, out by the road, and I thought I'd go prune up the little walnut trees down there.
I let the squirrels plant the walnuts for me a few years ago, and they're around 10 to 15 feet tall now. Walnuts can grow spindly and develop weak joints if you don't trim them back on occasion, and it's best to shape them young.
So, there I am, snipping back the low hanging branches, and I walk right on top of a yellowjacket nest I didn't know of. The vicious little bastards came boiling up out of the ground and stung me sixteen times before I realized they were even on me.
The tenacious little feckers hung with me all the way back to the house, a good hundred yards. I still had four on me when I stripped off in the kitchen.
I got it mostly around the ankles, with some on the arm and back, one on my pen holding finger, and two stings on my upper lip.
My grandmother was allergic to wasp stings and had to keep an epinephrine pen on hand, so my wife was pretty freaked out. Apparently though, I'm not carrying that particular gene.
My lip did swell up so much I looked like I'd been talking smack about Gary over at Knights&Knaves. I sounded like Elmer Fudd all day.
My face is just about back to normal now, but with all the venom, and the benedryls I took to counter it, I just laid around in a daze all day.
I did manage to put down some ideas for my Alchaemist class, so it wasn't a total loss of a day.
This does mean war, though. No more mister nice guy with stinging insects. I'm going to poison that nest and laugh. And every other wasp and hornet I can find. If it stings, and doesn't make honey, it's gonna die.


Mark Thomas said...

Man that sucks. Glad you aren't allergic.

Try and hit em up predawn. They're generally quiescent then.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I hate those $W#!@@%@#$!!! I had a huge nest boil on me when I ran them over with the mower back when I was a young boy. We have a nest forming in our yard that I need to eliminate.

Good luck, hornet warrior!

Piper said...

"My lip did swell up so much I looked like I'd been talking smack about Gary over at Knights&Knaves."


About the benadryl: make certain you drink plenty of water with those.

Joshua Sherrer said...

I remember the days I was in a daze all day but that is another tale...

Best thing I found to Yellowjackets is gasoline right down the nest. Kills 'em quick and they don't stand a chance. Adding the match is optional. >;-)

Sham aka Dave said...

Be careful! Those nasty little bastards kill about 100 people per year in the US. Experts assume that this is a conservative estimate, as many such deaths are attributed to cardiac arrest and not the venom which caused it.

Each time the venom is introduced to your system the chance of developing a potentially dangerous allergic reaction is inceased. The swelling you experienced could be a bad sign.

Timeshadows said...

Stay safe and heal quickly.

I'd light the match...but that's just me. ;)

E.G.Palmer said...

Thanks all! I'm good today, just a bit achey. I intend to commence my first assault in the war on yellowjackets tonight under cover of darkness. It'll be like catching Hessians off guard on christmas eve.

It seems to me that they didn't used to be so numerous and beligerant. I think the honey bee die-off and the milder winters are allowing them to expand their niche. I'm seeing lots of types of wasps and bees that I havent seen before.

Matthew Slepin said...

Doesn't it seem that D&D's fetish for Giant Animals is sometimes misplaced? Plain old Wasps can f you up pretty good. :)

E.G.Palmer said...

There's a trap I'm going to have to work into my next dungeon. A spring hurled hornet's nest in close quarters.