For the last several weeks we have been experiencing what I can only describe as the Wasp Apocalypse. It seems like every square inch of Ireland is covered in wasps–and they just won’t go away. It’s gotten to the point where I won’t even go into my own back yard without toting along my trusty fly swatter (or, if I’m feeling particularly feisty, a baseball bat). I open my kitchen window to let in some fresh air and, within minutes, the room is full of buzzing, flying, crawling, stinging wasps. And it’s the stinging part that really gets me.
I have, shall we say, an aversion to bees. When I was a little girl I accidentally jumped on top of an active beehive, and I paid the price. Ever since that incident I’ve been pretty wary of bees and their stingers.
I hadn’t actually been stung in over a decade until I entered the Irish Wasp Apocalypse. A couple of weeks ago we were walking through the Medieval Festival and, out of nowhere, a wasp stung me IN THE ARMPIT. That’s a sensitive area! I held it together pretty well, though, and I did survive (I’m still pretty ticked off that I wasp would just come up and sting me when I was minding my own business, thankyouverymuch).
But even getting my own sting didn’t set me off on a rampage. No, that happened when they attacked my offspring. My poor, sweet little boy–how dare they. We were playing an afternoon game of “wack-a-wasp” in our kitchen (David’s actually quite good at it), and he’d just downed his most recent target. David was so proud of his successful attack. He brought me over to show me the wasp that fell at his fly swatting skills. He went to pick up the wasp carcass for proper disposal. The wasp wasn’t completely gone yet. It stung him.
You should have seen the look of shock and confusion and pain on his tiny face. And then the screams came. And came. And came. Poor little thing had never felt a sting before, and he didn’t like it. Not one bit.
After some quick first aid, an M&M, and a Pac Man band-aid he was on the road to recovery again. But I was angry. These wasps had not only infested our yard, our house and our lives, but now they were hurting our family. Enough is enough.
Thus launched my career as a wasp murderer. I tried to jimmy-rig my own diy wasp trap from an empty milk carton, but the dog drank all of the soapy sugar water that was supposed to attract, then kill, the little buggers. I tried setting out bowls of enticing foods to lure the wasps to a central location, but they must have sensed I was on to them and they flew right by.
So, I’m back to the fly swatter. I keep it in my back pocket now. And to any wasp who dares come near me or mine: beware.
I’m after YOU.