We do it without thinking - pop open the back door and let Fido out to play in the fenced back yard. We know Fido is safe out there - or is he really?
Last night I was out in the yard with my three rescued Miniature Schnauzers SueSue, Ladybug and Whizzer. It was a nice evening, cool with a nice breeze after a big rain. Being a gardener, I'm always looking around at my various flowers. I spied a zinnia plant over by the fence that had fallen over, probably from the rain and wind. I walked over to prop the plant up and noticed a lot of grass had grown up around it. I've been healing up an injury all summer so I haven't gotten out to weed like I normally would.
When I reached down and started pulling up grass, something started stinging me all over my hands and feet! Unfortunately I had sandals on. I was being attacked by a swarm of Yellow Jackets! I did my best to get them off of me but the more I swatted the more I was stung. I started backing away and walked over to the patio, the little stinging monsters following me there. I shook them off me until I was fairly sure they were gone, then dashed into the house and slammed the door. Since my dogs are always right by me, they dashed in as well.
I knew I was in a world of hurt and probably had a lot of stings. I ran in to grab medicine to put on the stings and tried to put the fire out. Once I had everything settled down to a roar, it occurred to me that Ladybug and Sue had to have been right by me when it happened. Did they get stung too? I checked them both over and they had no sign of bites and weren't in any apparent pain. Thank heavens!!
These yellow jackets weren't there just a few days ago. They were newcomers to my yard. My husband went out and sprayed the area, killing lots of them. Today I've mixed up some nice sugar water to put in my Yellow Jacket trap bottle. They will flock to it and drown. Normally I wouldn't go around killing creatures but these are a danger to me and my furry kids!
In one way I'm very sorry that I have to endure over 20 stings. In another way, I'm very glad that they came after me instead of the doggies.
I've learned a valuable lesson from this experience. From now on I'll be doing a walk-through of my yard every few days to check for unexpected dangers like these little flying creatures that could harm my dogs. Please learn from my experience and do this with your yard!