European hornets pretty much suck. They are huge, and they are mean as hell when disturbed, and their sting feels like sticking a flaming ice pick through your skin. Here is a pic I got off the internet. I chose the one with a pin through its body because I HATE them.
And we had a huge nest in the hollow of a huge old tree in the front yard.
I say had, because one wandered into our house on a cool night and decided that my Husband's pillow was a great place to chill. He stung the Husband in middle of the night, which necessitated a crazed visit to the ER, which involved waking up the Boy, which made me rage against the next one I found flying lazily around the bedroom the next day. I employed my best curse words and a lethal application of fly swatter.
And then I got on the internet and found a local exterminator. Two days later, two charming gentlemen arrived to employed a three-step plan to destroy the nest. Wham, bam, and suck it, hornets.
BUT. The thing that kinda sucked more than the actual wasps... is that a bunch of guys came to clean and paint the roofs of the house and corn crib. And they came the first day after the hornet nest had been powdered with poison. That means the hornets were pissed off right about then. And I was pretty sure that getting stung while clinging to the roof of an old farmhouse was NOT in the contract.
I warned the contractor, and even suggested they begin with the corn crib, which is a few hundred yards from the nest. He gave me a funny little smile and asked where the outdoor faucets were.
I spent three days waiting, just waiting for a howl of agony followed by a shudder on the roof preceding a big thud in the yard. Every time I heard voices, I paused to make sure that it was a request for more paint/rags/hose and not a "Oh ****, run!" Three days, when every rattle of the metal roof made me pause to identify the noise as a step and not a body dropping from lethal injections of hornet venom. Three days fearing for the lives of those swaggering roofers overhead. I even worried for the exterminator.
But, I am a worry-wort, really. My husband got all the bad luck, apparently. Everyone else was lucky, thank goodness, and had a happy ending. No one else got stung, the hornets are mostly dead, and the roofs are all shiny and green now.
I'm thinking that next time, maybe I outghta make sure to check ahead of time before scheduling a hornet nest's destruction, just to make sure that there WON'T be men dangling from the roof at the same time. But maybe that's just crazy talk.