Prison Pete

Thursday, September 28, 2006
  Hazardous Duty for Exterminator Pete.
Despite the respite we had over the last couple weeks, the usual civilian staff member is back in the tool cage. He goes out of his way to make my life difficult. On Friday, he volunteered me to go spray the wasp’s nests that were being built in a couple of outdoor bus shelters that they use for transferring inmates.

There is no shortage of inmates sitting around doing nothing on Friday afternoon, but I am busy at work and still I get picked. I hear him telling one of the officers how he would never go out to spray a nest without two cans. Makes sense to me, but he only gives me one can.

There are two bus shelters and they have a typical roof structure for shed-type buildings. The roof is plywood on top of a 2x4 frame. The frame is exposed on the inside and the roofing nails are sticking through the plywood.

Well there have got to be ten or more nests actively being built in the first shed alone. Some are up in the edges or the roof area while a few of the more creative wasps are building their new homes right out in the middle of the ceiling using just the point of a roofing nail to anchor the hive.

I read the directions on the can before I started spraying and it said it kills the wasps "INSTANTLY." Unfortunately my definition of instantly and the wasps' definition are certainly not the same.

These cans shoot out a direct stream of chemicals, and it supposedly can be used up to twenty feet away. I was not that far away and I was certainly not going to be stingy with the spray.

I finished the first shed and the first can of spray at about the same time. I checked the second shed and there were another ten or so nests being built there. I say being built, because each of the nests had one or more wasps working away at home construction.

I had a little left in the can but thought it would not be a good idea to only be able to hit one or two of the nests and then what happens when the other wasps find out some damn human is executing his (or her?) family.

So I returned to the shop to get another can of spray and am questioned as to why I used up one whole can and only did the one shed. Great! First you stick me with a potentially dangerous job: wasp stings and exposure to dangerous chemicals; and then you decide I am using too much spray! My apologies to New York taxpayers; I do not purposely waste money, mine or others!

The end of the story is I did go back to the second shed with another full can and wiped out all the wasps. I did not get stung. I did explain to the wasps in shed two as I was spraying them that they were all supposed to die instantly, and they willing obliged.

I did feel a little regret, but the sheds are where my fellow inmates have to stand around sometimes for an hour or more waiting for their bus to come. They are all cuffed and shackled at this point so it would not be easy to run away from an attacking wasp.
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