by Joe Dabes on FLT email list
Yesterday there were two separate instances of hikers being stung by ground wasps (perhaps yellow jackets) along the Finger Lakes Trail. These are common in the late summer and fall, especially after the dry weather we’ve had.
1) Jackson Thomas, with a group of seven hikers, had four of them stung at least 20 times yesterday. The location was on map M18 about 10 minutes north (heading east) of the Kimmie Lean-to near a “top half cut-out log” shown at the bottom. They had Benadryl (an oral anti-histamine) along and used it to treat the three hikers with multiple stings.
2) My son was stung once in the ankle by one yesterday as five of us hiked M19 at the upper junction of the new Lithuanian Loop.
If you think you might be allergic carry Benadryl and if very allergic carry an epipen. Another thing, foot steps rile these hornets up, so the larger the group the more likely they are to be encountered. Walk softly if you think you are in the vicinity of a nest.
I’ve tried to locate nests of these hornets a day or two after folks were stung and finding their tiny den can be difficult or impossible. In one case I went back the day after a friend was stung and some critter (probably a skunk) had dug up their nest during the night and eaten them.