Saturday, June 19, 2010

When yellowjackets attack!

So, yeah ... yesterday morning I decided to start loading the truck with the scrap metal so I could take it to the recycler (scrap isn't bringing much right now but 1) I can't bear the thought of it going into our landfills; recycling is thrifty AND good for the planet, and 2) even if a truckload only brings me ten bucks, well, $10 is $10!)

It's typically hot and I'm out in my shorts, tee, and flip-flops and I'm tossing scrap into the truck. Some of the pieces have been there a while and are partially buried, so I'm tugging a bit out and, OUCH! I feel a sting on my foot! Then another!

Here in South Carolina that usually means Fire Ants,

so I hopped on one foot and brushed the aggrieved foot (the right) down with my left hand. I immediately got two (three?) sharp stings on my hand.

OK ... fire ants don't fly.

I looked down just long enough to see several yellow and black bodies swirling around and lit out like Seabiquit driving for the finish line.

If I was screaming, "OMFG WASPS WASPS WAAAAAASPS AIEEE!!" I don't recall it. That's certainly what I was saying in my head.

Turns out what I thought at first were hornets were Yellowjackets:

I managed six separate stings (maybe seven - not sure if my hand got 2 or 3 - left hand, right foot and leg, and one on my ribs where one of the wee bastards crawled up under my shirt). They swelled up and hurt like someone was pressing the tips of six soldering irons into my skin.

I'm not allergic to anything that I know of, but I had a mother of a reaction. For hours after the stings my heart raced like the overworked engine in some loser's rice rocket and my hands shook.

Apparently I'm still having some residual issues. Here's what my hand stings look like this morning - almost 24 hours later:

My left hand (stung) compared to my right (old and boney).

Left wrist. It's hard to tell in this pic but it's swole up like a sausage.


Well, you ask, what am I doing about the Yellowjackets? They might sting the kids!

We tried to take care of the nest last night. I try not to kill anything that's not bothering me but, I agree that the kids are in jeopardy if I leave the damned things there.

Since going Paleo I try to use as few chemical on my and my kid's bodies as possible, plus I've cut down even more on the chemicals that I use in my house and out of doors. I have given up shampoo, sunscreen, lotion, household cleaners, and much more.

So how do I get rid of wasps without nasty chemicals? Don't EVEN suggest the old gasoline trick. Not only is that dangerous, but it's environmentally stupid. It is idiotic to pour petrol out onto the ground!

Well, I Googled about a bit and discovered a smothering method. We tried it last night: wet sand over the entrance hole then cover the lot with a board. Don't laugh yet ... let's see if it works.


Have you had any harrowing experiences with hornets yellowjackets or other wasps?  How did you treat the stings?  How did you get rid of the nest?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:15 am   3 comments


At 8:27 am, Blogger moonduster said...

Yikes, Blue! That looks sooooo painful!

I had a wasp fly into my eye once, and got stung several times right below my eye (between the lower lid and where the actual eyeball was). My eye swelled shut for a good 24 hours.

At 10:19 am, Anonymous Barbara said...

Yellowjackets are the worst. They'll hump their body and bite and sting you at the same time. I don't mind bees, but yellowjackets...they're evil, I say, evil.

I applaud the no chemicals thing. When I first got sick with MS, m doctor recommended I start cutting out as many chemicals as I could. I got rid of household cleansers, try to use natural things, and I don't know if it helped but my MS went into remission. And I feel better about myself and the environment. :) Kudos.

At 7:57 pm, Blogger MrsEvilGenius said...

oww, ow, rebecca! that made my eyes water just to read it. Ouchie!

Thanks, Barb, and that's cool as hell about the MS!

It was funny, I'm not much of a 'stuff' person in the way of personal maintainence. I was never into hairspray, face creams, make-up, body spray, perfumes, lotions and potions but I was APPALLED when I suddenly realised all the SHITE that we slather on ourselves and our KIDS!

Toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner are loaded with bad stuff. There's crap in sunscreen that CAUSES ... wait for it ... SKIN CANCER. And most of Americans are very very deficient in Vitamin D because of our fervent overuse of these hideous chemicals.

Don't EVEN get me started on the antibacterial sanitizers!


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