It’s time for my seemingly annual post about wasps. This year they took up residence inside our shed. Not on the outside so as to be accessible for homeowners wielding wasp killer, but inside to make it impossible to retrieve the bird food, the lawnmower and most importantly, the kids rocket launcher.

For a while in order to try and retrieve the lawnmower my other half advanced into the shed, spray in hand, hoping to kill a few wasps while grabbing the garden equipment with the other hand and shutting the door afterwards with his foot. On completion, if he was brave, he opened the door fast, sprayed wildly towards the back of the shed and threw the lawnmower in from three feet away. So much for my storage system. We got to a point where quite a number of items remained outside the shed rather than inside. Thank goodness for a long hot summer.

We rang the council again. You may remember last year when we had a bees nest and rang them to sort it out. They took so long the bees had moved on (which I was relieved about really). We got a refund. The year before we had wasps in the roof space that they couldn’t reach to deal with. We got a refund then too.

This year had to be our year. I paid the £58 (seriously) and arranged the visit for a day when we were both at work because funnily enough exterminators only work 9-5. We left the gate open and the shed unlocked but fully expected the exterminator to leave the nest untouched saying he couldn’t get to it in a safe way due to the shed floor being strewn with lawnmowers and sunflower seeds. A health and safety nightmare.

While waiting the two long weeks for the council to arrive we felt things were getting a bit out of hand and so invested in an electronic insect killer shaped like a tennis racket. It’s called “The Executioner”. I kid you not. The power immediately went to my husband’s head.

Essentially to use this macabre item you depress the button and swing the racket wildly towards the fly or, our main target, the wasp. Most of the time you miss entirely. If you make contact the insect bounces off the wires with a flash and you do a little victory dance while feeling all kinds of wrong for killing something in such a brutal fashion. Then you turn away and the insect gets up off the floor and starts flying about. We’ve learnt that twice usually finishes it off, but stepping on it quickly works even better.

We had a brief situation where child number one started to feel sorry for the wasps. It didn’t last long when we were driven back indoors with our dinner for the eleventh time.

After two weeks the council exterminator eventually came. He rang me at work and said he’d taken the nest away, but to keep away from the shed for a while as there were a few wasps left in there that were “really angry and looking for someone to sting”. We closed all the windows and accepted our lot. It’ll start snowing soon anyway.

A couple of days later we have been sitting in the garden, sipping white wine, listening to the birds and the faint buzz of insects, the Executioner between us on the bench. Pure romance.

Isaac Newton’s apple tree, which was attended by lots of wasps. I didn’t have the Executioner with me unfortunately.

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