Which brings up the whole subject of creepy-crawly things.
I took a children’s literature class once. I read this poem. It was written by a five-year-old girl…
This child was onto something.
Our house is old, and we live with our share of creatures inside which are actually the sorts of creatures that belong outside. And for the most part I can deal with it. I tend to let them live, but I evict them. I throw them out to struggle on their own in the great outdoor world– (sort of like I eventually did with the children).
I make exception for wasps.
I always kill wasps in my house because I’ve learned that if I don’t kill them they sting me. It is really just that simple. Survival of the swatter.
Speaking of wasps, I currently have this little wasp problem.
In my neighborhood we have a wasp called yellow jackets, and they live in holes in the ground. They are cantankerous beasts, most especially at this time of year when their happy homes are crowded with thousands of occupants, all hungry, and every one of them apparently grumpy. Could be they’re not getting enough sleep or maybe someone else ate the last piece of dead squirrel or they can’t find the remote, who knows? But they are meanie-bugs.
Once a wasp stung him inside his mouth and I thought he was dying until I finally figured out what was making him jump around like that. Now if he detects a yellow jacket getting too close he runs indoors and hides in the bathroom.
So this week I was out in my wild woods garden, which I have somewhat neglected this year, and I was being so good, cutting back dead perennials, and watering, and working hard. Suddenly there were rather more wasps in the air than I found to be entirely comfortable.
That’s when I noticed the funnel of them coming and going from a rather large hole in the ground.
At that moment I decided, very quickly, that the woods garden didn’t need my attention just then. My wheelbarrow and clippers and Max and I made for the house. A near miss. But no! OW! A sting on my leg! Little beastie crawled up my pant leg somehow. #!*%$@!!
This is when it is well to have grown onions. You slice off a chunk of fresh onion and hold it against the sting and it makes the pain go away almost immediately. Just so you know.
But the larger problem is the 15,000 or so wasps in the ground outside.
I did some reading. The wasp nests grow like plants all summer, and by now they are enormous, so that it is actually dangerous to try to spray them. (I hate pesticides anyway.) Their house can be in layers, feet deep into the earth, and at this time of year they are frantically foraging and will take no crap from anybody about anything. Most bug people say to just wait until the freezing temperatures kill them off because right now it’s very difficult and can go quite badly for guess who.
But next year, in early spring, we can set traps to eliminate the new queens, who will have spent a cozy winter under our roof shingles or someplace and will be out with bug real-estate agents in maybe April looking for new expandable underground housing. When the queen and her agent stop for lunch in the trap that will be that. (The traps are baited specifically for wasps, so our nice bees will not be tempted.)
In the meantime, they are Out There, like vampires, or zombies, marauding around, mad. No more alfresco dinners! Even sitting in the lawn swing is taking your life in your hands.
But rain is coming today, and cooler air, and soon frost, and freezing rain, and snow and maybe record low temperatures… (Great big burly winter is on my side!)