When I lived in the city, I don’t remember wasps building nests near my apartment. But here in the countryside, the wasps have been busy with major construction projects under eves, near windows, in the attic.
If only they’d build their nests in the woods, we’d have no problem. But they always cluster around the house and garage, so that it feels like I’m running the gauntlet just opening my front door.
I’m afraid of wasps. They look mean and they can sting repeatedly.
I’m not afraid of honeybees and they sting too. But honeybees seem almost friendly as they concentrate on pollinating flowers and blossoms of every kind. I’ve even had honeybees bump into me as they fly by, and they never seem upset. They just keep flying with their little pouches full of powdery pollen, back to their nest.
But wasps always seem angry to me. Always in a bad mood, just itching for a fight.
When I researched ways to avoid being stung by paper wasps (because those are the long-bodied insects that build their nests in and around our place) my impression of angry, ready-for-a-fight insects was fully reinforced.
The instructions included, don’t run or make any quick movements around them because that might provoke an attack. Avoid heavily scented soaps, shampoos, colognes or after-shaves. Don’t wear shiny buckles or jewelry. Wear gray, white or tan rather than bright colors.
Can you imagine going around all summer in gray, white or tan? Those aren’t summer colors. I don’t want to wear such blah shades just to keep from angering the wasps.
This year we had three big nests over our front door. The largest was about four-inches in diameter. The other two were smaller. The construction-worker wasps building all three looked huge to me. And the guard wasps, just hanging in the hot summer air looking for something to attack, made me know we had to get rid of the nests.
So we bought some wasp killer in a can and Sweetheart Al did the dirty work.
He sprayed the nests above our front door and several other nests under our eves and the wasps dropped like rain. Our gray porch was littered with the bodies of dead wasps.
We used the back door for the rest of the day. And in the morning, when I left for work, I used the back door.
But when I returned from work, I walked up the front steps to the front door, and there were no dead wasps on the porch. None at all. The place was clean.
Later, when Al came home, I asked if he’d swept the dead wasps away.
"No, the ants cleaned them all off," he said. "I took down the nests, but the big black ants came and hauled off the wasps. I guess it’s an ant-eat-wasp world."
Always something to learn.
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