Remember last year when we were all traumatized at the thought of giant murder hornets from Japan coming to kill us all? Well imagine that is your reality every single day except instead of foreign, grotesquely big ones, even the littlest flying local assassins can kill you.
And not just hornets, either.
Yellowjackets, wasps, bees, ants, pretty much any venomous hymenoptera can be fatal to many of us with mast cell disease so every day we are keenly aware that danger lurks around every corner. I’ve only been stung three times in my life, all within a relatively short time period just a few years ago, and each time produced a far worse reaction than the last. Most people will gain immunity but not me and that is what actually helped my doctors narrow down my mastocytosis diagnosis (thankfully!).
Being that I love gardening and am surrounded by flowers, I am basically building my own death trap here but I don’t care.
I just have to stay one step ahead of my potential killers. I carry two epipens with me at all times and have more available if I need them, my cellphone is always on hand and fully charged just in case and I am being proactive by building my own death traps for them.
And they are everywhere here. The love the little pond and flowers near the front steps in particular (of course!) so as soon as I open the door they are buzzing me. They love the chicken coop, too, and the antique cart I’m using for a flower potting station now. Almost every day they start a new nest in these places and almost every day the hubby knocks it down.
They also love to come inside in the fall and hide out until spring. One of the stings I received was from a queen hiding in my shoe in February! In the closet! Ugh.
We’ve used several methods for keeping the wasp population down but I came across this recipe for using boric acid and apple juice and thought I’d try it this year since it promises to not just kill the ones you see, but also the ones you don’t see. Supposedly they will carry it back to the nest and kill all of the hornets and wasps in a few mile radius if you do it right.
And it doesn’t kill the bees, which aren’t nearly as aggressive as these hornets are.
Here’s the video I found explaining it all and showing you how it’s done.
The recipe is in the video and also in the text beneath the title. Here’s what I used this morning (I adjusted for the size of my container).
- 1 part water
- 1 part apple juice
- 2 tsp boric acid
You can also use it on ants, but we don’t have an ant problem to speak of here.
I mixed it up really good and then filled the coke cans half way up and added a stick so they can get down in, get a drink, and get back out again like he suggests (he explains why this is important in the video).
Then we strategically placed them all around where the hornets like to congregate the most. Like near the chicken coop, next to the duck pen and of course, in the flower beds.
I tried tucking them out of the way of the wind so they won’t get knocked over. They love shredding the wood things to build their nests so I put a couple of them where I’ve noticed they like to go most for that.
Hopefully we’ll notice a reduction in their population soon. Next year we’ll do it sooner since apparently if you put this out early the queens will carry it back to the nest and wipe out the colony before it really gets going.
Either way, I pray this will work to keep me somewhat safe out there as I have enough things to worry about sending me into a mast cell meltdown and possible anaphylaxis.
Like the heat, pollen, smoke and my Medic Alert bracelet (of all things)…