Yellow Jackets, Winter, and Toothpaste

So, you may remember my last blog post about leaving your toothpaste at home the next time you go camping. Well, I was thinking about my trip and decided to share a story.

One of the other camp leaders is an excellent dutch oven cook. He made us some fried chicken on our last night there and a boy was enjoying a second serving the following morning.

Unfortunately, he didn’t remember the cardinal rule about camping and he left the chicken out. As you can imagine, in a hot Boise summer, the yellow jackets descended on the meat with a vengeance.

use toothpaste for bug stingsThere were easily 500-600 of them and they didn’t leave us alone all morning. Lucky for us, it was our last day so we didn’t have to endure them for long.

Unlucky for me, I had been in charge of the sausage patties at breakfast and they wouldn’t leave me alone no matter how much I washed my hands!

I realized that, had I been stung, using toothpaste to soothe the pain would have been nice. But, I still stand by my earlier reasons for leaving that stuff at home.

On a side note…it is commonly believed that the higher the yellow jacket nests are, the harsher the winter will be. They are high this year so we may be in for a good winter here in Boise, Idaho.

Good skiing in the winter leads to good boating in the summer. Let’s hope this farmer’s almanac tip is true!

~Dr. Wagner

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