Anybody afraid of wasps? I used to be afraid of them too. Then I got interested in the Small World and bumble bees (see the Save Our Bees page). I figured wasps weren't that different from bumbles, so the fear went away. I have seen many different wasps in our yarden. I have had a wasp land on my arm and my first reaction was "Oh crap" and a little fear. Then I took a breath, looked at the wasp, and said "Hi dude." I am thinking he or she could have been thinking the same thing. I gave my arm a light shake and it took off. No harm, no foul. We exist together. This theory was pushed and tested even more in 2020.
We noticed a wasp nest being built above our back door. These were Areal Yellow Jackets, known to be a-holes and have a reputation of being dangerous, provoked or not. I felt a thump on the back of my head that was a wasp "bumping" me as I went out the door, giving me a warning to move on. We didn't want to kill them and we didn't know who to call to get them safely moved, so we decided to handle it ourselves and hope we weren't being really stupid... Below are pictures of what we did and me getting ready for the worst...
- Armor up in case you screw up. Wear several layers and netting over your face. Dress like a bee keeper, no gaps in your clothing.
- Do it at night when they are mostly asleep.
- Use minimal light to see what you are doing. I read they can't see red light, adjust accordingly.
- Have an escape plan in case things go FUBAR (bad). I had the back door partially open for quick escape and if any came in they were fair game to get smashed, just sayen...
The sheet worked for Theresa for a while until she got stung, after which she starting just using our front door. I used the back door to go in- I usually made sure it was unlocked and easy to get through. No stings for me!
The wasps were only aggressive for two or three weeks, then for some unknown reason, they abandoned the nest. I think putting the sheet up reduced the possible size of the nest- maybe that's why they left? We decided not to take chances, though, and left the sheet up after it was too cold for the wasps. Supposedly wasps don't build nests next to abandoned nests, so we've left the nest there. It is really cool looking.