That stings

Thursday, while mowing the lawn, I got stung three times by some yellow-jackets, my first multi-sting event. There’s apparently a nest in my front lawn. I’ll need to get rid of that soon. I’m still feeling the stings, mostly just itchy now.

I was mowing the lawn on a sunny day. I had my pants rolled up a bit to keep my legs cool. I had gotten through most of the front lawn. There were a fair amount clover flowers on the remaining area. Bees were busy on them, so I’d slow down to let them get out of my way. I was noticing more bees than usual though.

All of a sudden, I felt a stinging pain in my leg, which I involuntarily slapped at. I looked down and saw what looked like a yellow-jacket that looked to be partly smashed on my leg. I knocked it off, but at the same time, I noticed a number of others swirling about and felt another sting on my leg and one on my finger. It happened very fast. I wondered if I had mowed over a nest and if there was a swarm, so I quickly jumped and ran several steps away. After a moment of gathering myself, I ran to my back yard, though none had seemed to follow me. I left my mower sitting there on the lawn.

I went inside and cleaned up the stings with soap and water. There didn’t seem to be a stinger in any of them, so that helped confirm my yellow-jacket theory. Reading online, I also tried some baking soda paste and then some aloe lotion. They sure hurt quite a bit, and there was some minor swelling on the one on my ankle, but nothing I was worried about.

I put on extra layers just in case they got sting-y again and went out and moved my mower to storage. I still haven’t finished mowing there, but luckily it’s not too noticeable unless you look closely at those spots. I stood a distance away and looked for the hole. I couldn’t see it directly, but I soon found the spot where they were flying in and out of, often a few right after each other, and in pretty much a bee line. I later looked closer and saw a one inch hole in among the grass.

I went to Ace and bought some wasp spray, Raid, after I ate lunch and the pain died down a little bit. I sprayed from afar at the general area. Normally I wouldn’t kill anything, but I make an exception when I’m attacked, and I need to mow the lawn at some point. The spray didn’t seem to phase them. I planned to do a closer spray at night.

But I looked up some “natural” options and am going to try them first. I sprayed it with a hose for a while to wet it down, because they apparently don’t like that much. I also sprinkled cinnamon and sprayed some vinegar over it, because they don’t seem to like the smell and the vinegar may cause injury. I will give it a week to see if I can convince them to move on, and if not, go back to the wasp spray. My lawn can wait that long and there’s nothing really to lose, and it might result in me putting less pesticide into my yard.

The stings hurt for the rest of the day. Having more than one sting just makes them worse harder to ignore. The next day, they got really itchy, and remain so. My ankle is a little bit swollen. I’ve tried various anti-itch creams plus my normal allergy meds. They can help for a little while, but the itch keeps coming back strong. I’m pretty much always a little itchy somewhere, but this is just a powerful, hard to ignore, hard to placate itch. Hopefully it doesn’t last much longer.