Photos of readers

October 5, 2019 • 1:30 pm

Yes, here we have Stephen Barnard, who has sent us many wonderful photographs over the years. Except in his own photo, you can’t seem him very well! His caption is below, with his lovely environs behind:

September 25, 2014. I accidentally stood on a yellow jacket nest. (They nest in the ground.) They stung the bejesus out of me, got under my clothes, chased me full-speed 200 yards back to my house, and CAME IN WITH ME! I took great pleasure in killing them one by one. Here I’m out for revenge. Deets is in the background.

Don’t forget to send in “photos of readers” (i.e., you). Two max, and please make them interesting. For those of you who have sent them, never fear: they will be posted.

41 thoughts on “Photos of readers

  1. Nasty business that. I’m guessing that is fuel oil or gas. I once used a large pan of gas and a pump sprayer to attack those critters. When they get mad, look out.

  2. I guess killing them one by one is OK and satisfactory.
    But that red tank looks ominous. Revenge? poison? Burn them out? are you sure you want to do this? Is that worthy?

    I have half a dozen red stinger wasps under my roof. They are well behaved when we are too.

      1. I have paper wasps, too. They’re sweethearts — never sting. I leave them alone. Yellowjackets are terminated with extreme prejudice.

        1. Yeah, I hate those nasty little buggers! They attacked me and my rotti years ago, in my own garden. It was very painful and I felt sorrier for the pooch than for me.

        2. I can guarantee you they do sting , if you bother them. And the sting of the “rooi perdebytjie’ as they are known here is rather painful, excruciatingly so, according to those stung.

  3. HOLY CRUD, Mr Barnard ! .THAT. is just horrendous !

    Yeah, I am glad you are okay.
    But … … W H O O O O A ! Close call, Sir !


  4. You can come over and kill my yellow jackets for me! They’re everywhere this year.

    I remember a photo of you in your fancy sports car. Was it a Shelby? I forget.

    1. They must know you love insects. 🙂 The wasps in my neck of the woods are pretty meek too. They hover around my food but I’ve never been stung even, when I swat at them.

      1. I’ve often been stung by ‘german yellowjackets’ Vespula germanica. Kinda painful. They sting when they get trapped in your clothing, or worse, behind your glasses.
        However, they are considered great controllers of insect pests, hence my questions.

  5. Give me bee stings anytime over wasps. I had a wasp fly down my shirt on a bike that gave me 10 stings before i squashed the little bugger. Another time I walked over a nest (fortunately a small one) in the wilds of some sort of wasps whose stings produced necrotic wounds in the next weeks. Bees please!

    1. You haven’t met killer bees. Imagine yellow jackets that never give up and that recruit hundreds or thousands of their companions to attack, having tagged their victims with pheromones so there is no escape. They have killed bulls near my house.

      1. Killed bulls? How do you manage to avoid a similar fate? What can be done if you are attacked? Plenty of life insurance?

  6. Deets has the right idea – keeping well away, though I don’t think his black & white camo is effective in that growth. The younger dog is very good with the camera!

  7. I had the same experience with yellow jackets! Those little bastards don’t give up. I apparently stepped on a nest, got stung on my legs and arms (and a couple on my face) about 25 times, and then ran about 100 ft. to my house. They followed me to my house and a few got inside to keep stinging me. I couldn’t believe they chased me that far.

    Why, yellow jackets? Why do you hate me? It was an accident!

  8. We get a lot of them here (Auckland, NZ). They’re pests, they’re a menace to native insect life, and they’re very nasty to have around – especially if (like me) you go barefoot in the garden (or the bush).** And they would be sadistic killers if insects were capable of sadism.

    I take great satisfaction in exterminating any nests I find around the house. One time they were making a nest in a pencil cypress tree by the door, more often they’re in a hole in the ground under some brush.

    Usually a can of ‘fly spray’ and a can of ‘surface spray’ or ‘crawling insect killer’ does the trick – the cheapest supermarket ‘house brand’ I can buy, I wouldn’t waste money on the pests. I just sneak up and squirt half a can of each into the nest entrance and retreat before they work out what’s going on. Repeat as required.

    ** In NZ, there are very few dangerous-to-human creatures. There are a very few poisonous spiders – quite rare; no snakes; large centipedes – also quite rare. That’s about it. If you get nastily stung/bitten, it will almost certainly be by a wasp.


      1. You have to wonder, how would they get there? There’s 2000 miles of open ocean between Sydney and Auckland.

        1. The yellow bellied sea snake, banded sea krait & Saint Giron’s sea krait are visitors to New Zealand’s waters, arriving here naturally from time to time on ocean currents. They are tropical species & it will be some years/decades before they settle in & become totally native Kiwis.

    1. In NZ, wasps must rank like 1500 on most dangerous species, right? Shit there and Australia is bonkers. Why does everything down there want to kill you.

      1. I looked up the most dangerous species in NZ. Number 8 on the list is the Kea! NZ must be a pretty benign place if the eighth most dangerous animal there is a parrot. lol

      2. As darwinwins implies, NZ is remarkably free from dangerous species, while Australia is brimming with them. Why this should be, I don’t know, but I’m happy to take advantage of the fact. (The fact that we’re free of them, I mean).


  9. Aw, shucks, Stephen… you’ve hidden your handsome mug under mosquito netting! 🙂

    Did you tell Deets to stay, or did he understand the wrath of the yellow jackets?

  10. I imagine they are the same as what we call European wasps in Australia.
    Agro things that nest in the ground and forage widely.
    I have had to deal with several nests. It is recommended to do it in the dark with a red light. Noy infrared just dark red.
    The first time I did it, in my shed, I pulled away an old pile of cardboard laying flat and exposed thousands of now disturbed wasps.
    I dropped the cardboard and backtracked, quickly.
    Normally you are supposed to apply a lot of powdered insecticide around and into the entrance such that the workers will carry it deep inside as they go about their business.
    Not this time. I had to wait till the next night and bombard the whole place with powder and run away and try again the next night when enough were dead to get the cardboard, quickly, and runaway.
    Turned out they were in layer after layer of cardboard and deep into the soil underneath.
    I had a piece of the layers of cardboard with all the hexagonal cavities where the young were growing.
    Like a very nasty and big, honeycomb. Quite interesting.

  11. Best solution I’ve found for yellow jacket nests: Find the entrance during the day and mark it – it’s the one with yellow jackets crawling out of it, looking to sting you. A lot (been there). At night, go back with a can of room fogger insecticide taped about a foot from the bottom of sharpened dowel, nozzle down. Set off the can, jam the dowel in the ground so the can plugs the entrance.

    Come back tomorrow and toss the fogger. I’ve done it 5-6 times and it’s never failed to wipe the nest out, without me getting stung in the process. And no risk of setting the neighborhood on fire.

  12. We had a substantial yellowjacket nest this summer in an abandoned mole or vole den. We get a few nests every summer. I try to deal with the ones on the house early as possible, but the nests in the ground are a pain. I didn’t even have any close calls with this big one and neither did my kids, so I was happy to live and let live. Unfortunately our mail carrier got stung. Canada Post sent a goon to our door the next day to threaten, “If this happens again we will have to suspend delivery!” Actually he wasn’t a goon at all, he was very nice.

    You definitely have to address these nests at night, the cooler out the better. I used about a quart of castile soap, fed the hose into the entrance and let it run full blast for about half an hour. That took care of about 90% of them, judging by the amount of activity. A bit of mild powdered insecticide finished it off – they track the stuff into the nest. I didn’t come close to getting stung.

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