Anorak News | Shooting Wasps

Shooting Wasps

by | 18th, January 2005

‘THE British toff is a resourceful creature and, no longer allowed to chase a fox around a field, he has wasted no time in finding a new creature to torment.

”Did I ever tell you about the time I was posted to Tashkent?”

And such is the bad public image of the wasp that we doubt anyone will raise a finger to stop it meeting a grisly fate at the hands of the Telegraph-reading classes.

Even the League Against Cruel Sports would probably raise a discreet cheer as another jasper was splatted by a well-aimed wasp gun.

For the past two weeks, the letters page at the Telegraph has been awash with suggestions on how best to deal with the little creatures.

Shooting at insects has a noble pedigree.

In the 17th Century, Queen Christina of Sweden hated fleas so much that she is said to have had a small cannon installed in her bedroom to fire shots at them.

And last century, Sir George Sitwell, father of poet Edith, apparently invented a gun with which he would sit in his garden and take potshots at passing wasps.

Paul Hargreaves, of West Grinstead, suggested a modern-day variant – using a Berloque Pistole loaded with a 78rpm record needle (a staple in every Telegraph reader’s armoury).

“This unique miniature pistol makes short work of wasps at distances of up to six feet,” he says.

Unfortunately, it also makes short work of its owner’s liberty – it is classified as a prohibited weapon for which the maximum penalty is five years in jail.

“Shooting wasps is for wimps,” boasts Peter Sweetman, of Madehurst, West Sussex. “I’ve been safely killing the little blighters with my bare hands for more than 40 years.

“A quick nip between forefinger and thumbnail and off with their heads.”

Other suggestions from Telegraph readers include snipping wasps sitting on a window pane with embroidery scissors (another staple in a reader’s armoury), a burst with a high-pressure hose or a swift clout with a newspaper.

One reader, Rita Greet, of Liss in Hampshire, recommended dipping your finger in an egg cup of gin and allowing the wasp to settle on it.

“Half a minute later,” she reports, “it took off in ever decreasing circles and flew into the herbaceous border to sleep it off.”

A reaction most Telegraph readers will know only too well…’

Posted: 18th, January 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink