Tuesday, August 2, 2016

To Kill A Yellow Jacket

The recent rains have had us scrambling to keep up with the mowing. It rained again last night, just as it did the night before. Some of my garden is in standing water, even though the beds are raised.

So, last evening, I set out to mow my back yard. I really intended to do just that. But, as I approached the barn to get the mower I noticed that the garden bed of day lilies next to the barn needed some serious attention. It was being taken over with a wicked thorny weed. I just so happened to have my garden gloves in my pocket.

I was making great progress as I pulled the thorny weed that has grape sized berries on it. Those are the seed pods and I was being careful to get the plants out, roots and all and not drop those seed pods in the garden. I was also pulling the spent stalks out of my day lilies so that they will bloom again. I had quite a pile of debris forming and I was losing light. I really wanted to finish this bed before I went in. The sturdier weeds were in the back of the bed, but the bed is only about 2 feet wide. Still, I placed one foot in the bed to get a good grip on the lower stem and felt something sting my foot.

I stepped out and the tiny little varmint was stinging the top of my foot over and over again. I slapped at it with my right hand and another one joined in and stung my hand. Before I knew it they were IN MY CLOTHES. I have no idea if anyone saw me, but I was yanking my shirt and then my bra off as I walked to the door as fast as I could. There was one in my shorts pocket!! After stripping and killing the ones that made it inside with me, I started hunting a remedy for the pain.

I always have Benadryl lotion on hand in case I meet up with my old friend, Poison Ivy. I slathered a generous amount on my foot and hand. It didn't seem to help and I had to throw on some clothes to check in a late-comer. I was writhing the entire time and the man wanted to chat about the weather. I finally made it to the shower and pounded my foot with the coldest water I could stand.

That seemed to help, but you can only shower for so long. My hand only had one bite and didn't hurt as bad as the foot. I decided to use ice packs and that was ok until I went to bed. I had a miserable night. I have been stung by wasps and bees before, but this was a yellow jacket. All night long I would get sudden stinging sensations. I got up at some point in the wee hours and found some Benadryl tables on the store shelf by the light of the soda machine. Took two, but still didn't get much sleep.

Today my foot is hot and swollen and itching like the worst case of poison ivy I have ever had. My flip flop is tight! I returned to the scene of the crime with HeWho is my hero and a can of wasp spray. He shot a healthy dose of poison into the hole they seemed to be coming out of. They did not die, though!!

While HeWho is lazy, consulted his best friend, Siri, I went online to confirm what they were and how to kill them. My investigation yielded some useful tips. The killing should be done late in the evening, as they are less likely to attack when it is dark ( I beg to differ!) and the entire colony will be in the nest (that sounds good to me). At this time you should apply the Pyrethrum very thoroughly and then wait for it to dry ( I will be a good distance away!), then apply another treatment in powder form. If that doesn't work ..... they suggest repeating the process in a day.

I will confess that I did enjoy beating the ones on  my clothes to death with my handy dandy fly swatter. If the treatment does not work, I will consider moving! Just took a half dose of Benadryl and will venture out to water my hanging baskets before icing my foot again. Along with the rain came another reminder that the roof is leaking where the water heater is vented. The kitchen was a swamp this morning and I would be having a small fit about it, if HeWho routes sewer was not currently doing just that.

Soon as the plants are quenched, I plan to sit back with my foot propped up while I compose an eviction notice to my gypsy tenants. So many infractions. Your dog may not run loose  with out a leash, nor should some children. Said children should be supervised if they are unfamiliar with modern plumbing and manage to clog every toilet in the park. You may not wrap wire clothes lines around my trees and hand all your laundry out for all to see. Using coolers with no lids to wash your dishes outside is also forbidden. But, the top of the list would be ............ don't send your kids out to the edge of the woods to pee in full view of other campers. Boys, but still, the bathroom is close by. But wait, the bathroom is clogged up BY THEM!

Yep, same old, same old.


Anonymous said...

I recently got some serious bug bites, but nothing as fierce as yours. I friend who is a doctor suggested using cortisone cream instead of Benadryl cream. I use Aveno now. Also, with the Benadryl pills take a pepcid. Turns out pepcid has an antihistamine in it. Who knew!

carol pavlik said...

Yellow jackets are the worst! They sting over and over and dont die. I have found relief from vinegar. Piece of paper towel with vinegar stuck to the wound. Seems to draw the venom out.

Val said...

Yikes! Every year, Hick mows over the same yellow-jacket nest out in the BARn field, and sports stings for a few days. He hasn't hit it yet this summer...

Hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Use a steeped tea bag on the bites, stops the sting almost instantly.