Humans don’t have to win

Posted by & filed under my life.


There’s a nest of hornets under my deck. They come back every year. This year, they nested right near the water spigot that I use to water my back gardens.

I’ve been gingerly turning on the water, moving slowly so as not to alarm, as they go in and out of the lattice work that blocks off the ugly under-deck.

Until two days ago. This past weekend Andy was working on the deck and got stung. He kept working there, assembling the beginnings of our pergola, but he told me “don’t make any loud banging noises!”

The dogs also got stung by nosing around near the nest.

The next day, as I stepped in gingerly to turn on the water, a small army of hornet guards flew forcefully out. I stepped back. Then I tried again. The next round of guards flew out at me.

Okay, okay. I got the message. I asked Andy what he thought we should do. He thought we should wait until the end of the season then take down the nest. I need to admit, I was starting to think “exterminator.” But I quickly dismissed that thought because I don’t want chemicals sprayed at my house (could they take it down another way?) and I did some research and found out hornets are predators for a lot of harmful pests in my garden.

So I figured I’d run a hose from the front of the house, through the garage, to the back. It’s only for another month, really, that I’ll need to water. Only before I did that, I decided to try late night and very early morning watering. That has seemed to work. The hornets are either in for the night or lazily flying in and out of the latticework as they used to.

We’ll warn anybody who is visiting about the nest. But we won’t try to take it down. Humans can live with nature instead of destroying it. We can use our brains to be resourceful and figure out how to deal with a less-than-ideal-for-us natural occurrence.

The hornets love it under our deck. Sure, I wish they’d nest elsewhere. But if that’s not to be, I welcome them to our home.

2 Responses to “Humans don’t have to win”

  1. Dave Bronson

    Yellow Jackets? I can’t help but see them as infringing on my territory. When Henry was 5 and Nora was 2, they built a nest under my deck. I didn’t know they were there at the time. The kids were dumping water out of bubble containers and hit the nest through the cracks of the deck. Henry was stung 7 or 8 times and Nora was stung twice. They were panicked in a way that I haven’t really seen someone panicked. Out of control, kicking…. awful. If the bees weren’t so militant, I would be fine. But war is war.

  2. chris

    I get that, Dave. The very same thing happened to my two kids at about the same age, only it was a nest in the ground and Tracey had gone into the bushes to retrieve a ball. I don’t have little kids here right now and can work around them.