Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bug Thug

Tonight at dinner we were talking about various summertime pests--yellowjackets, wasps, scorpions, etc. Less than thirty minutes later, when I got the house and began to roll the garbage can into the garage, one of those aforementioned yellowjackets, a vicious little fellow who was apparently standing guard on the aforementioned garbage can, managed to sink his stinger deeply into the middle finger of my left hand, just below the knuckle. (So much for the myth that yellowjackets are not active at night! This fellow was obviously an insomniac...)

It's been almost five decades since I was last stung by a yellowjacket, and I had forgotten just how painful they can be. The injury swelled quickly, turning into a large white lump with a red dot in the center. (If there's anything to be thankful for, it's that a yellowjacket's stinger isn't barbed, so it doesn't break off in the wound.) The pain continued for several hours, and it still hurts a pretty good bit almost four hours after the fact, in spite of my tries with a variety of folk remedies--tea bags, baking soda, vinegar, crushed aspirin, etc. The only thing that seemed to help was an aloe-and-tea-tree-oil wipe, which reduced the intense pain to... well, to a slightly less intense pain.

Tomorrow I renew my efforts to eliminate the yellowjacket nest that's located somewhere under a shrub near the garage. This is a war I am determined to win...

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