Subterranean hornets! They nearly got me again

in #landscapinglast year (edited)

This post is a followup to this post, where I was making the case that injuries sustained while landscaping are somewhat deserved.
You'll have to zoom in to see one of the casualties:


Yesterday a few dozen of these things let me know who's territory I was invading. I mistakenly accused paper wasps, a familiar adversary at this location. When I went back today to resume the interrupted work, my first activity was to return to the scene with a can of murder and a camera. I didn't get a good look yesterday because I left my glasses on the ground in the vicinity of the chainsaw. I thought I'd find a sizable paper nest in the branches I had cut or been about to cut, but as I stepped within their boundary they started swarming up from holes in the ground. I only got one sting today - totally manageable. What a cloud, though. There are still large numbers of them after exhausting two cans where I thought the entrances were. I'll look into a proper solution before returning. I did run in to some paper nest builders on the other side of the property - a small nest with only a few active participants.


A few hours and many beekeeper videos later I have learned a few things about hornets in the ground. It may be that my solution is a few gallons of soapy water applied at night. Good ole' internet was full of suggestions: poison powder, poison gas, gasoline fire, molten metal, foamy spray cans (many), and (my favorite) the bug zapping electric tennis racket thing with a clamp to hold the button down. Soapy water is what I have the most of.