The War on Wasps

Reader Contribution by Jacqueline Wilt, R.N. and C.E.M.T.
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I hate wasps. No, seriously … I HATE WASPS. OK, OK … truth be told, I am PETRIFIED of wasps. Yup. This bona-fide country girl who wrangles 5-foot snakes, rides horses, shoots guns, swims in farm ponds, catches crawdads bare-handed, walks barefoot in the goat pen, and hypnotizes chickens is reduced to a quivering, sniveling, panic-stricken complete fool in the presence of one of these miniscule creatures from the depths of hell.

Logically, I understand I am much, much bigger and stronger than they are. But when I am dive-bombed by one of these evil fire-breathing demons, my fight-or-flight instinct kicks in high gear and I become a windmill of flailing arms, screeching unintelligible gibberish and sprinting in no direction in particular. I. Hate. Wasps.

We live in an old farmhouse. I don’t know what it is about old farmhouses … maybe the gaps in the construction that have formed over time … maybe there is an attic portal straight to the hell they come from … whatever it is, old farmhouses seem to birth wasps from thin air. It makes my life as a spheksophobic (that’s apparently what the phobia of wasps is called, according to Google) akin to living in a perpetual nightmare.

So, I have embarked on a Total Wasp Annihilation Campaign (T.W.A.C. for short). My only defense right now (aside from the aforementioned arm-flailing, screaming, running thing) is our atom-bomb wasp spray that covers everything in a smelly, oily, toxic napalm. I admit the stuff works, and I do enjoy watching the wasps (aka demons from hell) writhing in agony when they hit the ground after being liberally hosed with the stuff. But, I don’t enjoy the chemicals being liberally showered everywhere as a result of the ensuing battle. We need more weapons in our T.W.A.C arsenal.

Fly swatters and shoes have been put into action. These weapons work OK, but there are a couple of issues. First, wasps are most prevalent during the summer months. I am normally, blissfully, barefoot during the summer months. My feet thoroughly enjoy this time of release from winter captivity, and so shoes are not always at the ready. When I do happen to have shoes on my feet, they are usually in the form of cheap flip-flops and could hardly be classified as a weapon capable of inflicting any lethal form of blunt-force trauma.

Second, I do not make it a habit of keeping a fly swatter on my person at all times. And wasps are known to unleash hell at any given time. So, I am usually unarmed when an assault occurs. Not only that, but wasps, whom God has seen fit to grant an unnaturally tough tank-like shell coating to their bodies, are merely perturbed by the fly swatter. It just makes them mad. Well, mad-der. I think wasps have a perpetual chip on their creepy little winged shoulders.

What to do? I have read countless articles online, but most deal with just killing them once they are already there. There are lots of “natural solutions” to killing them, but again this is once they are already in residence. I want a permanent eviction notice. I don’t ever, ever, EVER want them to come back. Ever. This is a tall order, I know. But surely someone out there knows how to keep these pests from moving in. Especially in places like kids’ playhouses, greenhouses, horse trailers and garden sheds. We have a persistent family of midnight blue-colored wasps that builds a nest every year behind the spare tire and in the nose of my horse trailer. Every year we evict them … several times. But they come back again and again!

Yes, I know they are beneficial pollinators, and they help take care of the nasty bug population, and “they won’t hurt you if you don’t hurt them.” Whatever. As far as I’m concerned, they are big bullies, and I just want some form of control over where they set up house. Specifically not anywhere in, around, or near MY house. So, anyone have any tried and true methods for me to add to my T.W.A.C arsenal? I’m declaring war.

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