Comments from the Canyons: Handling wasps a delicate affair

Lynn Moncus

As those of you who have been out and about know, this is the time of year during which the wasps swarm and tend to cause the nerves to shatter. Aggie and I seem to be among them wherever we stop to take our walks. She is the one who needs to avoid getting excited because she is apt to get both of us into trouble as she snaps at the flying creatures.

Although the wasps aren’t searching for a fight, they should be left alone at all times so no pain is inflicted. Should you wander into a swarm, just remain calm and figure a way to move out of the swarm without upsetting the rhythm. Most of them will avoid landing on you and will even move aside during this swarming season, but they really don’t want to be bothered.

On our last outing, Aggie and I were sitting in the car after our walk and were enjoying the scenery. Of course, I had the windows down and was visiting with a friend on the cell phone when a yellow jacket entered the car to do some inspecting. Because I didn’t want Aggie to see the little fellow, I tried to move quietly and to keep my voice steady as I told my friend what was happening. I thought I heard a chuckle but couldn’t really comment at the moment.

I held out my hand to let the wasp land on it and then tried to keep from making any hasty move while aiming hand and arm toward the window. As I moved ever so slowly, my friend was telling me to blow the wasp off my hand once I got him out the window. At that point, I wasn’t even sure I had enough breath to perform that activity. Fortunately, Aggie was still looking in the opposite direction so I could concentrate on trying to finish the task without further notice. By the time I had my hand out the window, the fellow had crawled up my arm so we could look each other in the eye.

I did find enough breath to puff at him, and he flew away very gracefully without even thinking anymore about stinging the hand that was trying to keep him alive. By then, I was a little tense but had enough energy to roll up the windows at once in order to avoid a repeat performance. As the windows went up, Aggie looked around to see what was going on. My friend was still chuckling a bit but said she was pleased that no one was stung.

In many instances in which we become involved, we need to try to remember to remain calm. If we get too excited, we may have to endure pain. The best thing to do at this time of year is to stay away from the swarms and to let them have their space. If we will leave them alone, they aren’t apt to bother us. If your dog is with you, just try to keep it as calm as you because a wasp tangled in that fur becomes painful for all involved!