Saturday, July 26, 2008


The other afternoon, I was in my office, looked outside the patio door leading to my deck, and found that the cover to my grill had blown off during one of the thunderstorms we had during the week. It was full of water, so I shook out the excess and laid it carefully on the balcony to dry.

And then I noticed something else--a little insect crawling through the hole that you use to light the grill with a match.

It was a wasp.

I knew it wasn't good if there was a wasp going into my grill. And then another crawled in. And another.

Today I finally took a peek under the lid to see how bad it was. There were two small nests there, and the wasps were not at all thrilled at my presence. I dropped the lid and got back inside the house as soon as I could.

There was no question that I had to get rid of these wasps ASAP. I quickly went online and did some research. I learned that it's actually very common for wasps to build nests in gas grills. However, that didn't make me feel better at all. There were wasps living in my grill, and wasps STING! The question was, "How do I get rid of 'em?" I wanted to use something natural and organic so I could keep cooking with my grill, and something that left behind little residue so I wouldn't burn down my condo complex next time I grilled. (Keep in mind that a lot of insecticides are tres flammable.)

I called the natural food store in town. They didn't sell any wasp killers. I then called Home Depot, which is down the street. The guy I spoke with was very helpful. Since the nest was in the grill, he told me to take a long handle, like a broom, knock the nests out of the grill, then spray with the wasp killer once they were knocked down.

Easier said than done. With my luck, I'd be at Middlesex Hospital recovering from full-body stings.

After I got off the phone, I decided to try and suffocate the bastards by putting the cover back on the grill, albeit very, very carefully. Almost as soon as I put it back on, a wasp flew by, attempting to get inside the grill. Then another came around, and I went back inside as soon as I could. By the time I shut the door there were three wasps circulating the grill, trying to find a way to get inside.

Fast forward to midnight. I had just gotten home from a party, armed with a can of Walgreen's Wasp and Hornet Killer. I turned the patio light on. I learned that the best time to kill wasps is either in the early morning or early evening, since the colonies are sleeping then. However, most of my neighbors were sleeping, and I didn't want to possibly awaken them with bloodcurdling screams on the chance that a dozen wasps decided to sting me. That, and I had to take the grill cover off.

I plan to get up early in the morning and attempt to rid these unwanted guests from my grill. Wish me luck; I'll let you know what happens.

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