Wasp-y behavior?


Here’s the thing—Man-Wonder and I were sitting in our chairs out back, enjoying the evening and admiring the three garden beds busting with plants and humming with bees and small wasps when a neighbor comes around the corner of his mobile holding a yellow glass container high and almost prancing with glee.

“Look at this.” He holds out his wasp catching jar. It’s heaped with dead bodies. “Killing ’em like crazy.” He says. “Never seen them so bad.”

Man-Wonder and I looked at each other in surprise. We’ve seen yellow jackets in the flowers but they’d left us alone. And visa-versa. But, here’s this nice guy, living twenty feet away, telling us there’s a problem.

The very next day we hauled out our seldom used glass wasp-catching bottles.


Suddenly there was a zinging, buzzing party of wasps fighting each other to get inside the jars hung off the back-end of the sun porch. And these weren’t the little garden variety either. These were big honking black wasps. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see them arrive on Harleys!

For two days we snuck out before dawn to clean away the dead and rebottle for the live and firmly shut the porch’s back door since they were prone to zip inside, buzzing loud enough to give us nightmares, and getting in our faces with their, ‘This is a holdup, where’s the sugar?’ attitudes.

Escaping to our wee piece of heaven out back was no longer an option either. It seemed like we’d pissed off their little cousins—by feeding the big bullies. This led to more annoyed wasps in our faces. So, we retreated inside. And there we sat, fans to sweaty faces, while we watched the horror show outside the window.

By the third day the wasps had figured out how to escape from the inescapable trap and like idiots we rushed off to the hardware store for something better.

The new one lasted one day before they were whistling in and staggering out, OD’d to the gills.  So we tried adding a drop of oil to the sugar-water. Worked like magic.

They disappeared!

Not another single black wasp has shown up since. Not only that—out back the yellow jackets have stopped annoying us and gone back to the garden beds. We’re back to splitting our time between the sun porch and the back gardens, lesson learned.

Only . . . while, I haven’t said anything—I’m not entirely sure what the lesson was.

  • Leave nature alone?
  • Don’t muck with the big black wasps because it annoys their little striped cousins?
  • Just because the neighbor does something—doesn’t mean we have to.
  • Sugar kills?


  1. That’s hilarious even though it’s kinda sad. I have wasps in the Arbor Vita along side my house but we knocked down all the nests on the deck and house itself. I know they serve a purpose other than to annoy us. I think they eat flies and aphids and such. Funny how what you focus on intensifies.
    I make it a point to leave them alone and they leave me alone. You have such a fun way of writing this. Loved it.


    • Too right! Now if I could only stop focusing on those winners of life’s most irritating award — the mosquitoes. . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I eat so much pickled garlic they just don’t come near me. :)))


      • All RIght! On my way to the deli right now. . . 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I buy quart jars by the case. It’s hard to find it made with good flavor but I have a source.:))) I don’t get sick often either. Germs hate pickled garlic too. 🙂 And no, I don’t reek of garlic.


{ RSS feed for comments on this post} · { TrackBack URI }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: