I am Become Hedgehog, Slayer of Yellowjackets

No, this isn’t about Ron Jeremy.  Out trimming the hedge and other overgrown stuff in preparation for the pouring of a new driveway, and since I could definitely stand to lose weight, the title seemed to fit.  For some reason I like doing work outside when it’s in the nineties and up–I feel like I get more out of it from an exercise standpoint.  Of course, there is probably a study posted somewhere with the headline:  “Working in high heat or cold actually burns less calories” because of the ‘everything that seems to make good sense can be proven wrong by some study’ principle.  Don’t care, I’m doing it anyway.

It doesn’t come without some excitement.  It seems that yellowjackets build their paper nests in my hedge; I’ve already uncovered two tangerine-sized nests, and I think there’s another.  The yellowjackets naturally did not appreciate the construction work going on near their homes.  Were it up to me alone, I would not molest them, but it isn’t just my decision.  My wife is apiphobic, meaning she has a morbid fear of bees, and if I left the nests alone she would phone a pest control service and have them soak the entire property in toxins.  Thus, selective hosing of the nests with bee killer is the lesser of the two evils.

Protip, by the way:  if you ever get stung, get baking soda and make a paste with it using water, and rub that on the sting.  I was at my cousin Roger’s in Wichita some years back and got stung.  Well, Rog was the chief chemist for a refinery, so when he says to do something with chemistry, I pay attention.  “Ah reckon their poison’s based on formic acid,” he said, “so this ought to take care of it.”  I don’t know if all bee sting venom is acid-based, but if it is, a base (such as baking soda) should neutralize it.  It certainly did for my own sting.

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3 thoughts on “I am Become Hedgehog, Slayer of Yellowjackets”

    1. Yeah, Shannon, I used to get stung by them in football practice almost daily. However, during practice, I was in so much other misery and pain that it was simply a sharp twinge penetrating the overall dull ache that was my entire being, so it had less effect.

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  1. Yellow jackets are a species of wasp. Yes, they are mean. The primary ingredient of bee venom (and probably wasp venom, too) is to cause pain. There are also several other toxins involved. I have to agree with your wife, yellow jackets have a bad temper, they will attack en masse if you kill one of their nestmates. Use a spray designed for yellow jackets, and do not allow them to use your hedge as a building site. You would find with time they’ll be around fruit trees, garbage cans, your pets’ water dish, etc., not to mention if you live in the city or suburbs, your neighbors’ area, too. But tell Deb that honey bees and bumble bees are not aggressive, and will not attack unless first attacked. Yellow jackets are “first strike” creatures, then they check to see what they’ve attacked.

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