I should have killed the yellow jackets in the nest at my dock faster. A few days ago when I went to the farm and when I got near the dock I would see the yellow jackets flying around their hole. I really didn’t think it was a problem and went out on the dock to fish.
I guess my dog Rip was attracted to the noise, or he just stepped in the wrong place. I heard him “yip” and when I looked at him his black coat was half yellow. He was furiously pawing at his face and scratching. When I yelled at him he finally came to me on the dock. Unfortunately, he brought the yellow jackets with him.
I grabbed Rip and threw him in the water, which helped him but left many of the swarm of mad yellow jackets with me. They started stinging me and I took my cell phone and wallet out of my pocket and got ready to jump in the pond myself.
I guess I knocked enough of them off me and killed them that they stopped. I noticed the bream were having a feast on the bugs in the water when I realized Rip had gone back to the bank, right at the nest, and was covered with them again.
Rip hates swimming and often will not come near me on the dock. I think he remembers past trips when I helped him into the water to cool off. Anyway, this time he came running to me, like he realize getting in the water helped. I threw him in again and, again got some stings before I could kill the ones around me.
When I looked for Rip he had swam to the bank and was sitting in the water up to his neck. He knew staying in the water protected him this time.
When I got him and eased around the nest I noticed something had been digging at it. The next day I went back with a drink of gasoline for the striped stingers but they were gone. There was a much bigger hole and parts of the nest were on the dock where something had dug it up and ate the larvae. The rest of the bugs went away.
Raccoons and skunks will dig up nest like that. I guess the meal is worth the pain, or their furry coats protect them. I wonder if armadillos will dig them up, too. The armor plating on a possum on the half shell should protect them from the stings.
No matter what dug them up, I am glad they are gone!