Of Wasps and Chinese Lanterns

“A swarm of mosquitoes can sound like thunder.” -Chinese proverb

My story’s not about mosquitoes. It involves a different pesky insect. With spring coming, birds are chirping and flowers are bursting into color. But there may also be the arrival of paper wasps in our area. Similar to yellow jackets in looks, the paper wasp is a bit longer and more slender. Yellow jackets love meat and are pretty aggressive, while paper wasps are docile.

Nevertheless, their striped danger markings scare me. (This is probably because I was stung by a bee as a child and ended up missing the Charlotte’s Web movie at school. So sad.) Yellow jackets prefer underground homes, while paper wasps’ hives are exposed, comb-like structures.

One year, I found these insects trying to enter our house. Why? Chinese lanterns. I had hung some up as festive decorations, but the wasps mistook them for their natural homes.

Chinese lantern

Lantern

Yikes!

Have you had any funny incidents with bugs, pests, or other creatures? Please share!

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Comments

  1. Oh dear, I can see how that happens. Actually, there is a rumour out there that if you hang paper lanterns or even paper bags on the patio, wasps, who are supposed to be territorial, stay clear believing it’s a rival wasp nest. Obviously that’s not the case…lol. For the past two years I’ve had to call an exterminator to remove a football sized hornet’s nest from the rhodo in my front garden. Those giants scare me!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says:

      I’d like to stay away from hornets, too.

      My husband’s family tried to take down a nest by themselves when he was younger, and they received some stings for their efforts. :(

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