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Yellowjackets declared war on an unsuspecting couple, who merely wanted to wash the floor mats from their vehicles last week.
Water from a hose that had been put down momentarily apparently poured into a former gopher hole next to the garage. Yellowjackets had set up their home in the little cavern and did not appreciate the sudden flood.
Throughout the summer, the couple and the yellowjackets had lived in peace and harmony. But something terrible happens to yellowjackets when their home is disturbed. Their reaction is fierce and relentless.
Coming around from the side of the garage to the driveway, your reporterís wife said she had been stung, and then suddenly she was stung again, and her husband was stung as well. Swatting and swinging their arms in the air as the attack continued, the couple hastily retreated into the house, where at least two of the angry little yellowjackets continued to sting until they were knocked down and crushed by frantic stomps.
The Internet was searched for sting treatments. A little ice does wonders on relieving the pain and swelling. Ibuprofen helps reduce the inflammation. After a day or two, the pain subsides and itching follows.
Your reporterís wife had stings on her hand, her arm, the back of one shoulder, and on the top of her head. Her husband was stung on his arm, the back of one shoulder and just below the ribs.
Internet sources said yellowjackets and other wasps and hornets are generally beneficial, but yellowjackets are especially nasty and aggressive when disturbed. Unlike honey bees, each yellowjacket can sting repeatedly.
Thinking about children in the neighborhood, the couple decided the yellowjackets must go.
The counterattack began one night after rainy weather cleared out. A can of wasp killing spray was used on the former gopher hole opening. This was repeated the next night, and on each following day, yellowjackets could be seen coming and going.
A change in strategy was employed on the third night. A bucket of hot, soapy water was poured into the opening. This appeared to be more effective because fewer yellowjackets were seen the next day.
The plan is to continue the hot, soapy water onslaught until yellowjackets are no longer seen in the daytime, and then a mixture of dirt and water will be used to seal up the former gopher hole.
With luck, the threat will be eliminated, and the yard will be safe for the neighborhood children.
Dubious weather recap
Several rain amounts in the gauge on the deck added up to about 2.50 inches over the past week. Recordings included: .25 inches Monday morning, Aug. 17, .125 that evening, 1.25 Tuesday evening, .5 Wednesday morning, .125 Thursday morning, and .3 Sunday morning. The high temperatures started in the 70s, dipped into the 60s and then rose to about 80 before 67 on Sunday. The lows started in the 60s, and then dipped into the 50s. Windy conditions followed the rainy conditions.