In principle, I prefer to learn from other’s mistakes. Preferably from a distance. Sometimes, though, things are forced upon you, and you have no choice but to learn from own experience.

Recently our area has become invaded by an intruder specie of wasps.   I have now removed a number of these wasp nests from my residence, with mixed success.

In one instance I spotted these buzzers entering one of my roof tiles at the front of my house – at the very highest point from ground level possible on my erf. But having been fairly successful on previous occasions, I waited until dusk one afternoon and decided to tackle these guys.

I got my (friend’s) telescopic ladder that could, with a stretch, make it to that point of the roof. I then took two canisters of aerosol, said to be effective under circumstances, put it in a plastic bag over my shoulder, and took the long road to the roof.

Upon reaching the destination I immediately realised it was a mistake. I should have sent my wife to do this job. This was really **** high! You see, up to the height of say three to four bricks I can still get back to ground level without assistance, but this was way higher than what I consider palatable.

Somehow the wasps became aware of me, with a few of them coming to have a look. They were supposed to be asleep that time of the day. But it is for this purpose that I mos armed myself with the doom fogger.   A slight technicality stood in the way of utilising my weapons of choice, though. See, to reach into the plastic bag to get the doom, I had to let go of the ladder with either one or two hands.

My brain instructed my right hand to let go of the ladder and reach into the plastic bag. Both hands told my brain to take a hike. Funny how white my knuckles became.

I realised that the only way to get them to let go, was to motion some movement downwards. Which I then duly did. I slowly made my way down to the ground again. Very slowly. So that I do not disturb the wasps, that is.

OK, new plan. I took the ladder around the house and put it up at a level where the ground was a lot closer to the roof. Approaching the wasp nest from the other side not only gave met the element of surprise, it also allowed me to crawl over the roof on all fours, rather than to dangle from a ladder.

This was much better.

I took up station near the roof tile under which the nest was. The two cans of doom fogger I put down neatly besides me so that I can grab them easily. See, I first have to lift the roof tile a bit to get to them.

It turns out this roof tile was rather stubborn. Moving it quietly was not an option.

Watching from a distance, my wife raised her doubts as to the wisdom of this exercise and urged me to leave it to the experts. She’s going to call the vet, she said.

I would have preferred her to call the doctor, maybe, rather than the vet, but before I could suggest that, the nest seemed to explode with all the wasps suddenly getting out.

Like Billy the Kid (maybe more like Lucky Luke) I rolled over to foil the attack. I grabbed my double rollie doom fogger and started squirting away. Any wasp coming near were either suffocated or drowned in the doom fogger, depending on the distance. Some might even have died of poisoning. One or two made it through my defences and landed on me, but by that time they were too, well, doomed to launch a proper attack.

I nevertheless urged them firmly to leave me alone. At about that time the neighbour came out and wanted to know what the shouting is about. Unfortunately I could not comment on that. I was busy talking to the wasps. I was not aware of any shouting.

Actually, I was started to enjoy this. I could foil the attacks zapping wildly in all directions with the doom fogger. Take that fogger. Gotha!

Then one of the cans ran empty. Oeps. I felt the balance of power shifting ever so slightly. I wondered whether now might be a good time to maybe start negotiating with the wasps, but most of them seemed pretty fogged up.  So I rather started retreating back to the ladder. Fortunately the wasps seemed to have run a bit out of steam, and I could make my way off the roof in orderly fashion.

The nest is now still there.  And I notice the wasps has since moved back to their nest.

Well, you win some, you lose some.


One Response to “Wasps”

  • Ek gaan jou huur as ek so ‘n probleem kry. Lyk my jy het hierdie ding by die horings beet.