Yellow Jacket Eviction

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Swarm of yellow jackets attacks man.

Submitted: April 24, 2007

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Submitted: April 24, 2007

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My husband, my daughter Ariana, and I used to live on Highway 35 near Carmack, Mississippi. We had many encounters there with wild animals, but none stand out in my mind like the incident I’m about to describe.

On the porch of the big old house we were renting was a couch that we enjoyed sitting on in the evenings. It was summer now, and we had decided to discard the couch to make more room on the porch. (We planned to put a small table out there with a few chairs. This would have been perfect for drinking tea or lemonade.) Tom was going to move the couch. He had seen two or three yellow jackets crawl out from the back of the couch, but he didn’t think much of it. Little did we know that a whole colony of yellow jackets had chewed a hole in the back of the couch and had made a NEST in there.

Tom pulled the couch forward from the wall very gingerly, just in case there were two or three more on the back. What he saw instead was a buzzing, crawling BALL of yellow jackets. He turned as white as a sheet and walked backward from the couch, never taking his eyes off the stinging insects. He came back inside to form a plan.

Ariana and I were sitting by the closed front room window, eyeing the nest. This was going to be complicated. I would have offered to help him with the couch, but I was concerned for both our safety.

Tom decided to wait until the sun began to go down before he did anything with the couch. His theory was that the yellow jackets wouldn’t be so active right before sundown.

He purchased some yellow jacket spray to kill them, but I couldn’t fathom the idea of one can of spray being able to kill a whole nest of yellow jackets! No matter what happened, Ariana and I were to stay INSIDE when Tom went to do battle with the ball of bees. I locked the door and watched from the safety of the window.

Tom went outside with a can of spray. As soon as he aimed it at the nest and pulled the trigger, the whole colony came after him! He thrashed his arms all around him, screaming and banging on the door. Yellow jackets buzzed in a thick cloud, surrounding him completely and stinging him multiple times. It was surreal, like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film. Tom instinctively banged on the door to be let in, but I couldn’t let angry bees into the house, especially with a vulnerable three-year-old baby there. The house was supposed to be her sanctuary, someplace for her to feel SAFE. I couldn’t let a swarm of yellow jackets in there!

Tom ran down to the end of the driveway, still thrashing his arms all around him, trying desperately to placate the angry mob of yellow jackets. He grabbed a heavy chain that he always kept near the end of the driveway. Running back up to the porch, the threw the chain around the couch and hooked the other end to the ball hitch on the back of the truck. Then he jumped in the truck, threw it into gear, and pulled the couch right off the porch. It flew through the air and landed near the driveway. Tom rolled the windows up and waited for the cloud of yellow jackets to slowly disperse. Fortunately, the insects decided NOT to go back to their nest in the back of the couch. Instead, they flew away to parts unknown, the most important thing being that they were finally AWAY from the property.

By the time Tom stepped out of the truck and came back up to the house for me to let him in, he was covered from head to toe in yellow jacket stings. If he had been allergic to their venom, the incident would have been fatal. He refused to be taken to Montford Jones Hospital in Kosciucko. He doesn’t get along well with most doctors and has a particular distaste for Emergency Room physicians. Instead, he took a long bath to make the swelling go down, and never did suffer any long-term aftereffects.

Removing the couch from the beginning of the driveway became a top priority, and when we did get rid of it, we celebrated with cold glasses of lemonade at our new porch table . . . a table with no hidden areas where yellow jackets could nest. Tom wasn’t ABOUT to go through THAT again!

 

 


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