Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wasps and hornets

I hate these bugs. They sting at the least provocation. I have been stung many times by these creatures.

The first time I recall being stung by at least one of these critters was when I was about 5 years old. There was a wasps' nest built in a corner of the roof overhang over the basement door. It had never been a problem. We all knew it was there, but it was the main door to the basement and we used that door more often than the back porch door to enter and leave the house.

One day, I went out of the house, and somehow one of those bugs got up my overalls' leg and began stinging me. I did nothing to that bug, except I guess it figured I had enter its space, when in reality it had entered mine.

Wasp nests were all over the place in that Runnemede house. Find a corner of anything, and one day there would be nothing there, the next day, a nest would be in the making. Where do all these bugs come from?

Every winter I recall my mom and dad removing the empty nests that had been built around the house and garage the previous summer. But each summer, they would build them up again. Spraying did not deter them at all.

Dad had one of those bug sprayers that had a handle with a plunger, and you put the DDT or whatever bug killer you were using in a tank at the front, and then the plunger was pushed down the shaft attached to the tank and you got a fine spray.

Well, the day I got stung, dad tied his pant legs, his shirt sleeves, and put a net over his head, also tied, and got out that bug sprayer and with all the vengeance he could muster up he sprayed that nest of wasps. He didn't stop until they started dropping like flies from that nest.

I mean, how dare they -- HOW DARE THEY -- hurt his precious little girl.


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