Stirring Up a Hornet Nest

By Will E Sanders

August 8, 2014 4 min read

Here is a piece of life advice from me to you for free: Don't let a hornet sting you. There is no nice, comfortable or soothing way to get stung by a hornet.

There is of course that old idiom of being as mad as a hornet, because hornets are quite mad, you see. The only thing madder than a hornet is a hornet being sprayed with insecticide by a grown man in a ski mask and goggles on a Wednesday evening.

See not just any old insecticide will get the job done. Off-brand ant killer will not kill hornets. Aqua Net hair spray will not kill hornets. Wildly swinging a Wiffleball bat will not kill hornets.

You have to go out and buy the good stuff, specifically hornet killer.

Some noble people don't like insecticides because they don't like killing other creatures. That makes me laugh out loud. Once my mind is made up on mass genocide, there is very little that can persuade me away from that avenue of destruction.

Let's be honest, a choice between using insecticides and killing a bug in a humane fashion really comes down to whether or not a person enjoys repeatedly getting stung by an insect, like a hornet.

I (eventually) bought name-brand hornet killer that sprays all sorts of nasty chemicals up to 25 feet in a fine stream of insect death. Have you ever tried firing a poisonous mist at a moving target about the size of a hornet on a windy day? If you haven't, it would be my advice to keep your mouth closed if you do.

The task was next to impossible because hornets don't enjoy standing still for very long when someone who aims to kill them is out and about.

After two days of being unsuccessful, I ventured to the Internet to find out what kind of hornets they were. I wanted to learn their weaknesses in order to exploit them, like any evil mastermind villain would.

So I searched the various types of hornets that inhabit Ohio. I looked at dozens and dozens of various hornet pictures. Then I found it. Like an eyewitness to a murder picking out a suspect from a photo line-up, I was convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that what I was dealing with were five-banded hornets.

What is a five-banded hornet? The correct answer is, it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day getting stung by any hornet leaves a welt.

Suffice it to say these hornets do not nest, are incredibly aggressive and volatile, and in the evening grow quite lethargic.

That evening I prepared for war.

I put on a striped sweatshirt jacket to cover up my arms, plus I thought the stripes might fool the hornets, that they might leave me alone because I look like a big one of them.

When it comes to hornets, normal people would call an exterminator instead of dressing up like a large bee. That's because most people would rather pay someone else to get stung, but not me.

When a person is engaged in hornet-killing, suddenly every flying insect out of the corner of their eye becomes a hornet. In reality the hornets were the size of two digits on my pinky finger, but in my peripheral vision they were the size of my muscular forearms.

I could hear them buzzing nearby and I could see them flying behind me. In the back of my mind the theme song from "Jaws" was playing on a loop.

On the third day I killed most of them within an hour. By that time I was on my third can of Raid and was wielding it like a Wild West gunslinger.

While I vanquished them all, that still provides little relief.

After all, there is no nice, comfortable or soothing way to get stung by a hornet.

To contact Will E Sanders email him at [email protected] His e-book "Exceptionally Curious Tales of a Particularly Eccentric Individual" is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and iTunes. To learn more about Will E Sanders, to read past columns or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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