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Be careful out there

Thursday week ago I helped an elderly client who uses us to look after her formal gardens. She has a rough paddock area and separate gardener who looks after that -he hasn't turned up for 2 weeks "would I cut that grass?".  Of course I would.

I arrive and within 10 metres I am mowing a wasp nest. I run, stung on the face, neck and upper body.  Ok a new strategy, start 100m +  away diagonally opposite the known nest - many of you will be ahead of me at this point - straight into another much much larger nest. 

I end up having passed out face down  on the drive for an hour or so, taken to hospital in the ambulance a passing dog walker had called, kept in hospital overnight a drip in each arm.... apparently the nurses gave up when they had counted 500 stings!

As many will know unless disturbed wasp nests are difficult to see in longish rough grass, and if you do see them, you have probably disturbed them.

1What would have happened if that dog walked hadn't seen me passed out on the drive.

Oh, i've also learnt something else scary too. The client had been told by the gardener that does that bit of the garden that he wouldn't be back for a month or so because of the number of wasps nests there! But she's a very old lady....and without doubt had not heard the reason, or had completely forgotten it.

As I say, be careful out there!





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  • Glad you're ok!


    BUT, it's very decent of you to assume the client had no idea. Don't rule out the possibility she did know, and wanted the grass cut somehow so got someone else to do it. Perhaps she didn't believe the other guy, or thought it should be no problem. Just because people are old doesn't mean they're innocent!

  • PRO

    I hope they gave you an epipen, my brother got stung 20 times. He was okay when the antihisamines kicked in. 2 months later he got stung just the once and had a massive reaction that caused his face tonge,lips and throat to swell up so much it affected his breathing and like you he had to be hospitalised and now has to carry an epipen everywhere he goes in case he is stung again.

    • PRO

      I'm going to the doctor's next Monday to see if that is what should happen Dave

  • PRO

    Glad you are recovered sounds horrific. I second the epi pen my brother needs one after multiple wasp stings one day. My own version of customers who try to kill you is this

    I am doing a bit of gardening around a customers beds and she has a cat on a leash. The phone goes she picks up the cat hands it to me and runs off. Cat goes mental scratching and biting my hands. 24 hours later my fingers on one hand start swelling and going red. Get seen at A&E where the doctor immediately says I have admit you and give you intravenous antibiotics but must warn you many people loose a finger because of this cats mouths are dirtier than rats!!! People keep these things in thier houses!!!

    I still have all my digits but hate cats

  • PRO

    JASPERS I hate the stripey little so and so,s.   Ivy ,long grass,hedges,wheel barrow handles.There every where.

  • PRO

    Glad you're okay.


    Admittidly I didnt strim through them. But I did come across a wasp nest earlier this week in a hedge and they were very very placid and let me cut above them (with loppers and a silky) with no issue.

    • PRO

      I think you were incredibly lucky that dog walker came along Adam the consequences of anaphylatic shock from just one sting can prove fatal to some people .  

      I have noticed quite a large number of wasps this month mostly flying in and out of air brick vents in customers homes , Beware if up a ladder trimming climbers this time of year too as they  like to build nests in roof spaces . 

      Hape you are fully recovered now (-:


    • PRO

      Sounds like tree wasps. Larger and more docile and there are much fewer of them per nest like 50 to 100. I hedge cut inches from a nest of these awhile ago and got away without a sting. Beautiful nest too.


  • PRO

    Thank you all for your posts... I suppose once I was out of hospital I was better though itching everywhere... thanks to a homeopathic pill the itching went within 48 hours (the NHS creams and pills didnt touch it).

    Certainly round here (WIltshire) there seem to be loads more wasps this year than in previous ones.... and I dont want anyone else to go through what I went through


    • PRO

      Sounds frightening Adam.  I was given a probate job to revamp a neglected garden by a local solicitor a few weeks ago and the rear lawn was up to my waist.  I strimmed it down a couple of times before mowing but didn't think about wasp nests.  Glad you're on the mend though - certainly makes you think.

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