Angry Wasps Present a Problem at Stony Brook


Yellow jacket trap in front of Melville Library.

The weather lately appears to have been going through somewhat of an emotional breakdown. Everything on campus has exhibited an uninhibited bias toward the color gray, and the air still holds that annoying, climatically in-between sort of feel that daily makes us question the way we should dress before stepping out into, well…this time of year, you an never quite be sure.

The campus in the prelude to full-blown autumn is a little like a weather-themed game of Minesweeper. Long Island in general is really a giant meteorological question mark at this time of year-the calendar date tells us that our hands should not, in fact, be frozen fast to our umbrellas, but somehow, the bulky sweatshirt for which we paid a good $45 in the bookstore, seems permeable to all forms of wind, rain and not least, misery, provided that all three put together are unimaginably cold.

There is, however, some good news in all of this. When, for example, was the last time you were attacked by yellow jackets?

Apparently, these little irritants have managed to brutally annoy enough students and faculty members as to warrant legitimate coverage by the Statesman.

Like a bunch of you, (I assume) I’ve had my fair share of experiences with campus wasps, including one that ended in a sting.

Allow me to bore you with a flashback. Back in my Stony Brook cross country days, I was walking along with a half-empty bottle of Powerade tucked inside of a mesh logo bag, (a freebie from freshman orientation) when a lone wasp, which I’m sure was attracted to the bright orange sugar water I was practically dangling right in front of it, landed right on the place where the elbow joins the arm and stung me.

Ever since that day, I’ve been secretly wondering when the administration was going to step up and do something about it. I’m not talking about my case specifically, but  that of everyone (including a close friend of mine who will stop her car in the middle of traffic and let out a blood-curdling scream if an insect of any kind flies in through the window).

Maybe that was an extreme case, however-I’m sure that most of you have managed to escape without feeling the wrath of aggressive Stony Brook wasps. Maybe you’ve been attacked while stuffing a slice of S.A.C. pizza in your face. Maybe their invasive presence has cut a conversation short on the grassy steps in front of the Staller Center. Maybe they have messed with you for seemingly no reason at all as you made your way to your next class.

Whatever the nature of your grievance, it seems as though the administrators are actually making a valid attempt to take action.


Yellow jacket trap near the Student Activities Center.

I’m sure that by this point, many of my fellow Stony Brookers have already seen at least one of the yellow jacket traps dangling from trees in the academic mall. Perhaps you’ve mistaken them for birdfeeders, as I initially did, but next time you’re wandering around campus, take a closer look.

According to the article, the Environmental Health and Safety Office has recently installed 200 of them across campus. The report did not mention, however, exactly how many wasps the traps have killed since their installation or whether they have made a significant difference in controlling the problem.

Personally, I haven’t noticed a huge change this semester, but I’m actually pretty curious to know what you guys think. Does anyone have any legitimate horror stories involving wasp attacks? Would anyone say that the traps have actually solved anything?


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