Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Bee-Ware of Unseen Underground Yellow Jacket Nests Lex Loeb, Contributor Network . The best you can do to protect yourself from an unseen underground nest of yellow jackets is to bee aware they exist. The reason for the bee pun is the yellow jacket does resemble a bee with black and yellow stripes on it's abdomen. You can be walking in your own back yard on a shaded part of your lawn or in a flower bed and find that you have violated the airspace of an underground yellow Jacket nest. You will necessarily be aware of it until you step on it. Yellow jackets might only swarm out once you have stepped on their territory. You might observe one or two bee looking insects in the vicinity where you are walking but you won't likely see the swarm until after you are under attack. My dog and I just made that mistake. It is not the first time I have had this encounter. I seem to have about one each year. This time was particularly bad because it was a larger underground nest than the ones in the past. I had even mowed the lawn all of the summer and fall seasons over the nest and not known it was there. In one fateful moment running to chase starlings out of a tree in the yard, the dog and I made our encounter with the hidden underground hive. As soon as it dawned on me I was under attack , from prior experiences, as it took having a few stingers in me to realize what was happening I started running as fast as I could and so did the dog. The yellow jackets were already stuck to me and the dog and others were following in close pursuit. I barely avoided having my face and other parts of my body stung. I could already feel a burning sensation in my hand as I shook it to get the insect off of it. The area near my elbow was also stung. I could see the dog having several on his tail end and tail. The dog was in a panic not knowing what to do because it had never happened to him before. We got inside the house and I found yet another yellow jacket still attached to me up above the back side of my waist under my shirt. I flicked it off and it flew over to the window trying to get outside. The dog had a couple leave him after he was in the house too. It was impossible to calm the dog down so I looked up on the Internet what to do and found out dogs could go into shock from the experience. The vet was called and he said to give the dog Benedril at the rate of 1 mg per lb of dog. That eventually calmed the dog down. The next thing I had to do is go back out in the field and locate the nest because it had to be destroyed since it was so close to the house and someone else would soon have the same trouble if it were not taken care of. Immediately I located it because there was a swarm up-to a foot off the ground over the underground nest landing area. It looked like an even more busy example of O'Hara Airport with all the insects buzzing around in holding patterns. I went back to the house and grabbed a can of Wasp Hornet and Yellow Jacket Killer in an aerosol can to take it back to the location before I might forget where it was located after all the frenetic yellow jacket activity ended. These particular cans are designed to shoot a stream of insecticide 10-20 ft distance. That was necessary because standing some 15 feet away I was getting buzzed by yellow jackets warning me not to enter the zone. Usually I would not touch a can of pesticides. Now there really was no choice. I sprayed the high density fly zone and ran away after emptying the can that had originally been less than a half full from a prior year. The yellow jackets were still flying but hopefully dying. Tomorrow or the next day I will have to check to see it it needs to be sprayed again. The Aftermath is the dog was scared to go back outside alone but he did find relief with the benedril. There could still be other yellow jacket nests hidden in the yard so I have to bee ware for a while longer. My hand swelled up to almost twice its size a few hours later. I have attached a picture of my hand to the article showing how much larger it is than my unstung hand. Moral of the story is to beware of the underground yellow jacket nest to keep an eye out for them before it is too late once you have stepped on top of it. You also need to be aware of the signs that you are under attack to quickly run away from there or suffer worse consequences. That unfortunately might take more experience first. I would not have known I was being stung had it hot happened so many times before because the initial feeling does not sting as much as it later does. . Close

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