Outdoors

Latest buzz from the field: Yellowjackets still bugging campers

Bee traps fill up with yellow jackets Friday at Liberty Lake Campground. The wasp population has increased in late summer. (Kathy Plonka)
Bee traps fill up with yellow jackets Friday at Liberty Lake Campground. The wasp population has increased in late summer. (Kathy Plonka)

CRITTERS — Stinging insects haven’t eased their attack since the newspaper reported on the season of the wasp two weeks ago.

 “The bald-faced hornets and yellowjackets are as bad as I've seen in my life on the Coeur d’Alene River,” said fly fishing guide G.L. Britton. “I expect to be stung every day out!”

Pesky yellowjackets drove Steve and Carol Weinberger out of Sam Owen Campground to eat a peaceful meal at a Lake Pend Oreille restaurant. “A waiter at the Beyond Hope resort said it was so bad on the restaurant deck they called an exterminator,” Steve said.

“A road construction flagger said she had been stung five times last week.”

Chuck Dunning set a personal record this week near Fruitland, being stung nine times in a day: “My hand feels like someone hit it with a hammer!”

Britton has found at least one ally: “I’ve seen pics of hummingbirds tongue lassoing wasps ahead of the stingers and slicing off the danger.

“Last week, a rufous hummer took a paper wasp 3 feet from my face. After five seconds of squealing with action so fast I couldn't discern the strategy, the bird was swallowed the wasp.”




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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