Up close image of a wasp. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about wasps.

A Hornet to the Heart

When I was a kid, I had a perfect summer day ruined by hornets. I was walking in our orchard to get myself a crisp green apple. I had my saltshaker because that is how I eat Granny Smith apples. I could feel my mouth pucker in anticipation. I was only wearing cut offs, tennis shoes, and no shirt. As I walked, four hornets raised out of the ground like Harrier Jets hovering 3 feet in front of me. All of a sudden, they turned into bullets hitting my chest and stomach repeatedly. I dropped my salt (I know, bad luck) and bolted back to the house. A dozen welts were developing on my kid-sized abdomen. Out came the home poultice remedies and I spent the day in bed. Damn hornets. To this day, I only buy my apples.

Stuck up a tree with wasps

My younger brother Bart was the exact opposite of Bart Simpson, which made him even more annoying. I was three years older than he was. He thought life was a sporting event and kept trying to one up me at everything. One day to get him out of my hair at Grandpa’s house, I challenged him to climb a tree, up and back in three minutes. He made it to the top in two minutes and I knew he couldn’t make it down in a minute.

I looked down for a second and then heard a loud commotion in the tree. My brother was leaping down the tree, jumping from branch to branch then lost control and crashed through the rest of the branches to the ground. He jumped off the ground with wide eyes and yelled, “Run!” He was being chased by angry wasps. We ran onto the covered porch and shut the door, swatting any wasps that followed. We later saw the rugby ball sized nest at the top of the tree.

Faster than a speeding bullet

As if we hadn’t learned our lesson, we counseled with our grandfather on a good strategy to take out the nest. He just shook his head and said, “I wouldn’t try anything.” He then told us about a time he and some farm hands saw a big wasp nest in a tree by the barn.

One of the farm hands went to his truck and got his 30-06 rifle out of his truck. He had a scope on it, so the plan was to move to safe 50 yards and then let the nest have it. His first shot hit the nest dead center. Everyone hooted and cheered. As he got ready to fire again, he noticed a couple wasps coming at him, then 5, then 20, then more. Everyone scattered. The wasps had actually triangulated where the shot came from and sent out an attack signal to the hive. There is no safe distance to attack a wasp nest.

When it comes to wasps, I am not trying to scare you but if my legitimate phobia against wasps rubs off on you and you have a wasp problem, then you should call a pest control organization. They have tools and products designed for professionals to remove your wasp problems.

If you would like to learn more about wasp control in Portland, check out other blogs on Interstate Pest Management.