2/22/2007

A Hornet's Nest...


This POST by Tenacious S reminded me of my own extermination story. Before you remind me, yes, this probably violates my pacifist ideals, but I was young(er) and not yet ready to refrain from insecticide.

At the house I grew up in outside Chicago, we had these planter boxes made from salvaged railroad ties in our backyard. I believe this happened after I had graduated college. I was outside, sitting on one of the ties, using a power drill for some reason. I had forgotten that hornets had taken to building nests in one of them - the one I happened to be sitting on. As soon as the drill fired up, I realized my mistake. Apparently hornets aren't too keen on loud noises close to their nests. You've probably seen cartoons where a swarm of bees attacks someone who fucks with them. They form a cloud to pursue the disruptor and sometimes form an arrow or spell out words. In no time, I was running down my driveway like a crazy-person, violently shaking my arms and legs trying to shoo them away. This just made them angrier. They were all over me - under my shirt, in my hair, and on my face. I even felt one on my eye. I got a bunch of stings - enough that I called the hospital to see if I was in any danger. Fortunately, I'd be OK.

Still, I was upset. Who did these fucking hornets think they were? This was MY house. I decided to ignore the instructions on the can of Raid that said to wait until evening when the hornets were asleep. This needed immediate action. So, I went and gathered up some protective gear. I put on long pants (it was about 90 degrees out) and a long-sleeve shirt. I put on work boots and tucked the pants into them. I got a pair of gloves and tucked the sleeves into them. Around my head was a problem. How could I close off any possible way for these buggers to get at exposed skin? My solution: I found a plastic bag and my ski goggles. I punched two eyeholes in the bag and a tiny mouth hole so I could breath. Then, I covered the eyeholes with the goggles. I looked like a complete idiot! With this protection, I felt emboldened to go right up to the nest's entry point and unload the can of Raid. Hornets came pouring out, writhing as they fell to the ground dead. The little neighbor kids laughed at me for taking such extreme measures, but fuck them. I felt vindicated.

7 comments:

Megan said...

My sister and our cousins and I were playing in the woods once by the creek. We crossed the creek by walking along an old tree trunk that had fallen across the creek and my sister jumped off the log RIGHT onto a hornet's nest. Those fuckers chased us out of the woods all the way back to the house, and my sister was swollen for days with the stings.

I don't think it occured to any of us to go back and kill them.

teri said...

"I found a plastic bag and my ski goggles. I punched two eyeholes in the bag and a tiny mouth hole so I could breath. Then, I covered the eyeholes with the goggles."

Oh, I so want a picture of this!!!

Bubs said...

Yeah, you showed those bugs who's boss! I dig your protective gear, too, and I think it's the height of responsibility that you used a can of insecticide to address the problem, not fireworks or gasoline or any combination thereof.

Amy said...

That is awesome.

What did they spell for you?

I had a friend who was gone for a few months and hornets decided to live in his truck. I, however, did follow the instructions on the can and waited until evening. I sprayed the stuff into little openings in the tail-door, so they all came out of that, writhing just like you said. It kinda made me sad, but they didn't belong there, and I don't think they were just going to leave on their own. Besides, I don't think they're endangered or anything...

No stinging occurred.

Amy said...

Not that not being endangered makes it totally ok to kill something... I'm just saying.

Flannery Alden said...

You are a man of steely nerves.

Tenacious S said...

I'm sorry. Some things have to die. Bubble, bubble, rat.