Attacking Hornets At The Cottage



So Friday evening when we arrived at the cottage, I set to work mowing the lawn as I usually do Friday evenings at the cottage. I was mowing close to where we park our vehicles when I noticed a small hole in the lawn. I suppose it was about 2 inches in diameter.

“Hmm…?” says me, “What’s living in that?” in my usual Friday arriving at the cottage good humor.

Well my good humor didn’t last long because as I stood looking at it, a bunch of hornets emerged, buzzing around and obviously not to keen on my interest in their new home and the disturbance I was causing with my lawnmower.

I jumped back, dropping the lawnmower handle and running for the safety of the garage. The didn’t follow me, just stayed buzzing around the mouth of the hole.

I snuck back and grabbed the lawnmower, pulling it back to the safety of the garage.

I grabbed a aerosol can of Hornet/Wasp Killer from the shelf in the shed, and headed back to the field, only to discover as I pointed the can at the hole that the nozzle was plugged, the can useless.

Meanwhile, the little black and yellow buggers were sure I was after them now, and the came out in even more force until their were too many to count buzzing around.

So I took my next course of action…..

I took a piece of 1 inch pipe, and tied a rag to the end of it….you know where I am going with this don’t you….then I dug around for some kerosene, which I poured liberally over the rag.

I marched back to the hornet hole with my weapon at the ready, my torch burning brightly in the evening air. I lit it and stuck it in the hole…well….that….really worked them up!

I ran like Hell after that one, leaving the rag and pipe stuck in the nest. It burned for quite a few minutes, hopefully doing away with most of them.

As it when out, I geared up the garden hose, turning it on, spraying the mouth of the hole, knocking them down as they came out. I found out I am a pretty good shot with a garden hose. I might start using one for duck hunting…

I pulled out the pipe and burned rag, stuck the hose in the hole attempting to drown what was left of them….the hole took a lot of water before it finally flooded and overflowed, bringing with it lots of bits of hornet nest and little dead yellowjackets.

I have to admit, I am somewhat blood thirsty when it comes to hornets. Particularly these ones. It has been next to impossible to sit on our deck for about a month because of hornets. I had been looking for their nest for weeks. So, now that I think I found it, I wasn’t about to turn soft and live and let live….it was me against them.

I took the piece of pipe that was my torch and stuck it back in the hornets nesthole, twisting and turning, grinding up the nest, turning it into little pieces of…whatever hornet nests are made of….satisfied I was successful, I went inside.

Following the flooding of the nest, things seemed to quiet down. I checked the nest the next morning. There were a few buzzing around the entrance, but I figured they were latecomers who were wondering what happened to the village.

Now it was time for hand to hand combat. I dressed in a long sleeved shirt, hat and gloves, took the fly swatter and went at it, killing hornets as they flew around the entrance to the nest and at me.

That worked for a few of them, but seemed rather dangerous, as they are pretty quick and I am pretty slow….they are obviously more experienced at this kind of thing than I am. Not only that, there seemed to be an endless supply of hornets, like they were gearing up somewhere in the woods behind me and sending in small squads to take me on.

The more I swatted, the more their seemed to be. I don’t know if they got some neighboring nests to join the fight or what.

Then, like all 50 year old men playing soldier at the cottage, I got distracted when the Sarge called me for rations…umm….I mean Wendy called me for lunch.

Today, just before we left, I checked again…more of them, lots more….it was too late to launch another assault, so I got in the van, heading for home, vowing to return to get them next weekend, planning to get more wasp and hornet spray, maybe more kerosene. I even considered a trip to the war surplus store for hand grenades.

I am thinking routing out these insurgents might be a long, protracted engagement…something like Afghanistan.

Wendy asked me why I didn’t finish mowing the lawn…..?

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One thought on “Attacking Hornets At The Cottage”

  1. That was a funny read! Kept thinking of Laverne & Shirley or Lucy & Ethel as I read your various strategies for killing the buggers. Glad you didn't get stung!

    I was nailed by a ground-dwelling hornet when I was about 12. We were visiting my aunt's place in Montreal and my parents thought it would be nice if someone (i.e. me) mowed her lawn for her. I didn't see the hole/nest until after one of them laid into the back of my calf. Man that hurt. Didn't know where she kept the napalm and other implements of insect war, so I didn't get the satisfaction or wiping out their den like you did.

    In a similar vein, this summer I purchased one of those electric tennis-racket looking bug zappers… mu wa ha ha ha ha… nothing like the smell of burning bugs that were pi&^%$# you off just moments earlier.

    Saw your other post about the glorious weekend at the cottage on Labour Day… same for us in Muskoka. Unreal.

    Sunday was glorious!! Caught two nice bass, played 18 at a nice little course near Bracebridge (Muskoka Highlands…. shot 79), ate some beautiful steaks, had some good wine and beer… doesn't get much better than that. Will remember that day and weekend for a looooooong time.

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