Land of the Giant Wasps

I’m not terribly keen on stinging beasties. Partly due to a ‘traumatic’ experience as an adolescent where unbeknownst to me a wasp crept up my trouser leg.

It stung me a number of times. I was anxious about the sudden mystery burning pains moving up my leg. My ever-practical mother took charge, pinned me down and whipped off my trousers. Then upon spotting the wasp started smacking and swatting at it and therefore also smacking and swatting my leg.

By this point as I was sitting at the foot of a tree in my undies and raincoat crying, more from embarrassment because a group of teenagers were hiking past than because of the wasp welts on my leg. In the intervening years I’ve explored a number of wasp deterrents.

I’ve tried those hideous Citronella candles. (Don’t like the smell. Not totally effective.) I wasted money on a Waspinator to hang in our garden. It’s basically drawstring bag made of camouflage material. You stuff it with newspaper and it’s supposed to mimic a wasp’s nest, tricking any wasps in your garden, discouraging them to trespass.

Despite Mr Incredible mocking me I hung it up for a while, but the wasps still came. It’s probably in a box somewhere in the garage having come from the UK via Turkey all the way to SA.

I’m quite nifty at imprisoning wasps in upturned glasses, but now that the weather is turning colder here, those little blighters have shaken off their summer lethargy and are far harder to catch. Again, it’s a bit stinky, but the latest solution I have learned is burning coffee. It works.  At the moment this is my favoured solution.  Unless they were actually small bees rather than  normal sized wasps?

As with just about all the wildlife here in South Africa, there are some bigger, brighter and more terrifying wasps than the home-grown versions. Check back over the next three days to meet three oversized stingers.

Wasp Coffee

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