Sunday, August 05, 2007

A wasp nest in my vegetable garden

It all began Friday evening, the raspberries are done for the season, the rhubarb leaves were huge and were showing signs of decay, they also had big holes to boot. I knew the big holes indicated some sort of insect was eating away at the plant, but at that point I didn't know what sort of insect.

I began hacking away at the rhubarb leaves. A wasp madder than a hornet, a yellow jacket, what's the difference between a wasps and a hornet? I don't know. Anyway, the enraged wasp stung me and it really hurt. I immediately put my garden tools away, came inside, washed my hands, the bite was on my left hand middle finger, and used some ice.

I went to the Internet to read up on the subject of wasp stings and apart from Tylenol and an antihistamine I'd done all the things the websites wrote about.

Since I regularly take an antihistamine and Tylenol those remedies were already in my system.

Saturday afternoon I began, once more, to hack away at the rhubarb. I had no idea that buried in the ground amongst the raspberry bushes and the rhubarb was . . . you guessed it. . . a wasp nest.

The wasps were swarming, I was screaming and I was stung once more. This time, on the wrist of my left hand, it didn't hurt as much as the firts sting, likely because I was madder than a. . .you guessed it, a hornet.

I threw down my machete like bread knife, went into the house, grabbed my car keys and made a . . you guessed it, beeline to my neighbourhood Sobey's store. Throughout this summer season the people at Sobey's have thoughtfully placed a display case of various, "The only good bug is a dead bug" Raid products. Front and centre they've recently replaced the specialized treatment for ants with the wasp container with it's specialized apparatus and poison.

The wasps are dead. But my finger and wrist are still suffering. A red rash is moving up my arm and the lymph nodes under my arm are swelling.

I called the Manitoba health line, after first accidentally calling the suicide prevention line and having a rather strange conversation with someone giving me all sorts of wrong advice.

The triage nurse on the health care line added information to my web info and my common sense. The wasps were likely flying around and eating garbage and along with the venom there's bacteria in my system.

I'm off to a walk-in clinic for antibiotics.

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