Me Versus the Yellow Jackets

“This is my house, and I have to defend it!”

~Kevin McCallister (Home Alone).

135gcpLast weekend, while blowing leaves into pleasant little piles, I was assaulted by a group of mini-kamikazes known as yellow jackets! A week later, I was still treating my arm for the itching hives left by three tiny warriors who simply wouldn’t let go of my arm. After smacking them multiple times, while screaming like a high-strung goat, I finally managed to crush them en masse.

Sure, I respect their laugh-in-the-face-of-death tenacity, but this is my house (and my body) and I have to protect it! So I did some research. It turns out yellow jackets, who are sometimes mistaken for benevolent bees, are quite the opposite. In fact, they often attack bees and wipe out entire hives. But they hate fall weather, when the bees begin to hibernate. So they work out their anger issues by causing hives–on humans!

Last night, my wife and I waited until dark, when they’d retreated to their underground headquarters to plot world domination (starting with our house). And then, as she pointed a flashlight at their den entrance, I got down and covered it with a heavy glass bowl. Almost instantly, they began flying up into the bowl. Trapped!

“Hah-hah!” I shouted. “Die, you evil, bee-eating–!”

“Uh, honey…” my wife interrupted.

“What?”

“They’re flying out from under the edges!”

“Nooooooooo!” I shouted as she and I whacked them off my hoody. We ran into the house, screaming a two-goat duet.

Safe, right?

Wrong. The moment we got inside, I felt needles piercing me in multiple places. As I ripped off my hoody, three flew out from inside it. Trudy grabbed the fly swatter and began chasing them down. I began stripping, sans pole and mirror ball, hurling my clothes to the floor (not very sexy). I peeled off my pants; four flew out of the pantlegs. I pried two off my throbbing neck, and threw them to the ground, delivering hot death.

“We die in battle to live in Valhalla!” their tiny warrior voices exulted.

But what was it with my ankles? I peeled off my socks and found three yellow jackets anchored there. Unlike bees, yellow jackets sting over and over again. Clinging with barbed feet, like reverse vampires they deliver as much venom to their victims as they can before being physically pried away!

My ankles and neck stung like &@!#*&%*! Once we were pretty sure we’d hunted down and killed the last of them (Trudy found still more in my discarded t-shirt, pants, and hoody), I treated my wounds with ice, antihistamines, and Netflix. And then I did research.

Tonight, the battle resumes. I found several useful tips, but as always, my primary source is the world’s leading expert on home defense, Kevin McCallister:

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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43 Responses to Me Versus the Yellow Jackets

  1. I hope you’re feeling better, Mitch. That yellow jacket attack sounds dreadful, although you did write about it in the most amusing fashion, complete with images I can’t unsee. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mitch, what were you thinking? A good insect killer will kill them. I shared this with my daughter over the phone and she loved it. She is allergic to yellow jackets and has to carry an epi pen with her. She says if she finds them she sprays them from a good distance or gets her husband to do it.
    Lucky you are not allergic or it would have been your last day and we wouldn’t have gotten this fun blog that gave me my laugh for the day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Say When says:

    🤣 Hahaha! You’re funny! But not the situation, OMG! 😳

    Liked by 2 people

  4. revruss1220 says:

    So sorry, man. That sounds terrible!
    Just curious… which one of the Kevin booby traps are you going to try first? Maybe the ice in the stairs? Perhaps the red hot doorknob?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Be careful or they might escalate and bring in the murder hornets. I suggest a massive air strike followed by an hour of artillery before assaulting under a heavy smoke screen. You might want to consider hornet proof clothes and long poles with giant flyswatter things attached.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s a shame we live so far apart from each other. My husband is a wonderful warrior against the mighty yellow jackets. Early morning, Lots of netting and gloves, lots of hornet spray, and a tool to pry them off a property or crush them–or both.

    Have you considered an early morning outing (with bridal netting from the fabric store) to pour some gasoline down the hole and light a match?

    I’m surely not a safety expert, but my husband swears by the method.

    God bless, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is the stuff of nightmares! I’m with Andrew, this calls for heavy artillery. And definitely, be on the lookout for Murder Hornets!

    My husband, my stepdaughter, and my daughter are all deathly allergic to the sting of bees, wasps, and hornets. Everybody carries an epipen, and when flying stinging insects make their appearance, it’s MOM to the rescue!

    There’s just one problem: I am deathly allergic to the pesticide sprays that kill the flying stingers!

    But I spray the buggers anyway, because that’s what moms do.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Gary Fultz says:

    A farmers trick, passed on for generations I suspect, is to make sure the kids overhear the whereabouts of a nasty nest of bees. It’s like putting up a “wet paint” sign. Then you get out the medicines and extra cans of bee spray (and possibly epi pens). The bees will be gone and the kids…well they catch on after the 3rd time. We of course didn’t pass that on to our kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks like yellowjackets are a wasp. I think their stings are the worst. I’ve taken hundreds of macro photos of bees and they never bother me. I did get a bee sting on my leg exiting a park, he got up under the edge of my shorts. But his sting was nothing like you describe. Yikes!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TEP336 says:

    Mitch, I’ve had horrible run ins with those nasty things. I was once mowing the lawn when one nailed me on my knee. It felt like me entire leg was wrapped in liquid fire, and I’m pretty sure I managed to levitate my way inside, where I stripped off my shorts and dealt death to the winged evil that was peeling the skin off my knee. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know for a fact he is incapable of creation, I’d swear Satan created yellow jackets.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. V.J. Knutson says:

    What a nightmare. Hope you get the pain and itch under control.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Virginia says:

    So sorry Mitch for the stinging success of the yellow jackets (no fun for you!) Hope the pain goes away soon…and that your battle wages success the next go round!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We have issues with yellow jackets every year. Despite pest control coming and spraying they return. Definitely wondering the purpose for these creatures. Feel better!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Smitha V says:

    Hope you’re ok now. Despite the painful experience, this is such a fun post. I could actually imagine the entire scene. 😀. The yellow jackets sound like a ‘mean’ enemy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well, Mitch. We both had waspy weeks. Sorry. Mine involved less pain but more internal conflict…
    https://godcomesby.com/2020/10/11/nature-red-in-tooth-and-claw/ These dialectics really sting sometimes….

    Liked by 1 person

  17. jeffw5382 says:

    Ohh boy! they are fierce, tenacious, and completely fearless defenders of their hive. I contend with them every late summer/ early autumn, the initial sting, the ache then the persistent itch. I try to give the entrance a wide berth but have to mow – using the trimmer seems to be the best as I’m around 6′ away and the vibration not as disturbing to them. I feel you

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ann Coleman says:

    I am so sorry, Mitch! Do you have a pest control service that can get rid of them for you?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Is it bad if this me laugh out loud?! Hahaha! Honestly, I am so sorry for all your bites and pain!! But, what a fantastic story!! I sure hope you can get those buggers!!

    P

    Liked by 1 person

  20. boromax says:

    Oh, my. That was hilarious and terrifying at the same time! Eeeeeee! Hahahahaa! Eeeeee!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. thedamari says:

    I have fought this battle in my yard a couple of times. You need to go out at the very crack of dawn, before they stir awake for the day, and spray hornet killer into the nest, then cover it with a large rock or something else that leaves no opening.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. exhebdenmick says:

    So how did it go Mitch? Did you see them them off or leave the country?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      After dark (when they’re inactive) we shot some bug spray into their entrance hole, then plopped a large cement paver down on top of it and covered it with dirt. Kinda creepy: it looks like a small gravesite. And, in a sense, that’s just what it is.

      Like

  23. Carla says:

    Oh no, that sounds painful Mitch. I read about someone who used a torch of some sort to burn them out of their underground home and started a major fire. I hope your latest idea worked. My grandson has never been stung but is petrified of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Nasty stings, for sure, plus a week of itching. We waited till evening when they were inside their hole in the ground, then bug-sprayed the entrance, slammed a big rock down on it, and covered it with dirt to seal the spaces between the rock and the ground around it. Seems to have worked.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Pingback: Sympathy for the (Little) Devils | Mitch Teemley

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