What is Black and Yellow and Flies All Over?

A very confused Yellow Jacket. Get it “”Flies” all over”?

They hover outside your door and the second you open it, they ride the air current into your house. “They” are Yellow Jackets.

If one gets inside, you have to follow it around with a rolled up newspaper or other weapon of choice until you get it because if you don’t, it will wait for you – then – zap – then pain.

I got stung twice this summer and my husband once. His was worse because he was  sleeping when I heard him groan in pain. It was really bad judging by his reaction.

What a rude awakening.

The Yellow Jackets were rampant this summer. When we went to get spray, the store  shelves were empty. Apparently the scourge was worse than usual this year –  perhaps due to the heat and shortage of water.

To keep them at bay, we set out various DIY and store-bought traps.

One deterrent is to make a fake hive and hang it up. Those didn’t seem to work but most of the water bait traps worked fairly well. Yellow Jackets love meat – especially hot dogs. We’d place one in a shallow tub surrounded by soapy water and the bees would land in the water and die quickly because of the dish soap.

We found some hives in the trees around our property and used a garden insecticide type sprayer filled with water and soap to soak the nests and kill the colonies. It worked really well but of course you have to keep your distance.

We had fun shooting down a nest that was too close to the trailer with a BB gun. By the time it fell, it was nothing but shreds of nest material. I began to shoot rocks at it with a sling shot. I still shoot marbles today but with a can for a target.

I spent a lot of time digging our spring deeper because of the declining water table and the yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, black headed whipper snappers or whatever you call them liked “the hole” as much as me. It was a primary water source for everyone during an especially dry summer and the competition was fierce.

For the most part, we shared the space in peace but every once in a while I would grab my homemade oversized swatter and smack them all down so I could dig for a few minutes without having to have eyes in the back of my head.

I also invented a game I’ll call Yellow Jacket Tennis.

Game play consisted of smacking them out of mid-air with the swatter. I used a combination of golf, baseball, volleyball and martial arts maneuvers. I was bored.

God forbid you open a can of tuna in the trailer to make a sandwich. They would smell it from miles away and swarm the door and vents, trying to get in. It was almost scary. I would have to eat inside.

We used the tuna juice against them also. A store bought one-way lid on top of a gallon milk jug served as a yellow jacket mosh pit. Dozens would fight each other to get inside only to find there was no exit. We’d watch the jug fill up with buzzing bodies with morbid fascination.

Thank goodness the cooler days are here and I haven’t seen one in a  while. I won’t miss them or the games.

Time to put away my Whackajacket 2000 till next summer.