Hornet and Yellow jacket Safety

Two separate pieces of news came across my desk today. One caught my attention because the incident happened in Wheaton, Illinois where I lived for several years, the other caught my attention because the unfortunately man died.

Both incidents involve hornets, wasps or yellow jackets. The incident in Wheaton involved a postal worker who was attacked by hornets and stung 30 to 50 times. She was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover. You can view the news click below:

Hornet

The other incident involved a man named John Clark from Tampa, Florida. John accidentally stepped on a yellow jacket nest in his yard. John was only stung 4 times but died because he was allergic, something that he wasn’t aware of. You can view the news click on that below as well:

Yellow_Jackets

I personally had my own experience with yellow jackets last year. I was fortunately not stung. I was mowing my lawn when I suddenly realized that several yellow jackets were buzzing around me and realized that I had just mowed right over the nest they had dug in the middle of my lawn. I was able to exterminate  the whole colony by covering the hole with a clear plastic cake lid (It has to be clear. As long as they see daylight they will continue to use the hole. If the lid is not clear, they will simply dig another tunnel out). Unable to get out from under the lid, the whole colony starved to death within a couple weeks.

In most cases, however, you should call a professional exterminator to get the colony removed. Be aware and pay attention when you are outside. Warm weather brings the colony to life and they may be in the ground or in nests overhead.


How to Avoid and Survive a Bee Swarm

Bee

Summer is here! This, of course, means more outdoor activities which, in turn, means bugs and insects. Some of these are just annoying but others can be dangerous and even fatal in proper respect isn’t shown. Bees and wasps are in the second category.

Once you are stung, you are way more likely to be stung over and over again because in the sting a pheromone is released that signals other bees to attack as well. If there are a lot of bees around you will get stung multiple times. If you accidentally stumble into a swarm of bees your only hope is to get as much distance as you can between you and the swarm or to get in a closed space before you get stung too many times.

Here are some tips to help protect you from bees this summer:

  1. Listen to the buzzing. Bees, like rattlesnakes, are good at letting you know they are there and they would much rather avoid a confrontation so don’t ignore that buzzing sound, especially if it gets louder (meaning that there are more and more of them around).
  2. Don’t swat at them. Even though this is the first response for most of us, it stirs up the bees and makes them want to attack. They interpret those quick, jerky motions as a threat.
  3. Wear light colored clothing. Bees don’t see color just shades of grey; the darker the color the more you look like a natural predator like a bear or a badger to them.
  4. If the bees aren’t acting aggressively yet, walk away calmly. If, however, they start bumping into you or trying to sting you, run. Try to get as much distance as you can between you and the swarm. Generally it will take about a quarter of a mile before the bees give up and return to the hive.
  5. Do not jump in the water. Unlike what comic books and cartoons taught us, bees don’t go away just because you disappear underwater. They will just wait till you resurface and sting again.