Monday, September 19, 2016

The Wasp Killers

In preparation for Michael’s family birthday party Richard mowed the front lawn.

Now I don’t know why, for we spent the bulk of the party on the back lawn or in the house.

Only those who felt compelled to find the sun were on the back lawn. Those who feared the heavy wind that was blowing headed to the house. Not to mock them, for this was the kind of wind that will whip your plate off of the table unless you have it anchored down with all of your utensils, which cannot be plastic.

In the morning when I first heard the lawn was going to be mowed, I started clearing the back lawn of toys. Every time I moved another small trike or red swimming pool over to the cement I noticed wasps around my compost – a community of them. Richard has a wasp-batter, a tool shaped like a tennis racket but lightening strikes the wasp at the same time as the wasp hits the racket, or so the directions on the package say. No matter how many times I swatted, the wasps dodged my racket. The only other solution was to move both compost bins and try to find the nest.

Richard and I worked together, Michael joining us, suitably covered with a long sleeved jacket and pants since we were in enemy territory and greatly outnumbered by them. Anyway, it is true that a morning’s planned work can be set aside, or maybe it just went astray as we battled the wasps, Richard explaining to his children, “No, we love the honey bees. They give us food. The wasps only give us stings.”

And in a nod to the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, “Seven at One Blow”, not one of the three of us got a sting.



  1. A couple of summers ago in Calgary Xavier stepped on a wasp nest and got stung about 30 times. Luckily a friend who knows plant remedies was there and immediately started grabbing plantain leaves and having people chew them and put the pulp on his stings. It really helped.

    And then there is the story of Leo swallowing a wasp and it stinging his esophagus several times on the way down.

  2. Hi Mary,

    I had to go check this out. I went to the internet, which made me laugh, because we all know, Google is the place where we find all of our best medical information. Still, I went there and found out that "For stings and bites, make a poultice of fresh plantain leaf and bentonite clay with water to form a paste. It will take away the pain immediately when placed on the bite or sting. If you don’t have the other ingredients nearby, just chew up a leaf of plantain and spit on the bite. It sounds gross but greatly relieves the pain."

    Then I got thinking? How sanitary is it to be putting saliva from other people on wounds.

    I think I am going to go with using water to make a paste out of it, though who always has water nearby.

    Anyway -- had to laugh at how many times I read something and then off to the internet I go to check it out. Looks like plantain takes away the sting.

    I don't have any of that in my backyard at home, but I see plenty of it here in BC every time I go for a walk.

    And speaking of walks, yesterday Bonnie and I saw something large in the ditch. Large and brown/black. I started shouting bear, bear. She said no, it is a car that is in the ditch (just up by the new signboard LaRue posted.) I kept shouting bear, bear, anyway, for I didn't have my glasses on. She thought maybe I was just trying to scare anyone who had stepped out of the car and into the woods at that spot.

    We later came to realize, the car was there for someone had run off the road into the ditch and high centred themselves.