What’s the Buzz?

It is going to get very hot in the house this summer.

                        We don’t have air conditioning. That’s pretty much standard here. The electricity is too expensive. Same reason it seems only ex-pats have clothes dryers. (Our house, which was just built, doesn’t even have an outlet for a dryer by the washer… just in case they decide one day that it’s a good idea after all.)

                        You cool your house by not opening the shutters when the sun will beam through the windows. And you cool your house by opening the windows when the shutters are open. Here’s the thing: they don’t use window screens. Open a window and whatever feels like it can just wander (or fly) right into the house. I don’t partake in many outdoor activities because, well, they’re outdoors. Where bugs are.

                           Since coming home Sunday, there have been 7 stinging insects in the house. Eight if you include the dead one waiting for us in the bathtub that evening. Only two have appeared to be ordinary bees. The others are much, much more menacing. They are the variety that has stripes and flies with their legs hanging down and eew they are so creepy. And they all show up while Bill isn’t here.

                        When I see them, I’m too scared to kill them. What if I miss? Then I have a pissed off stinging insect trapped in the house with me. That’s no good. So I wait until I see them get near a door or window, then I open the portal to the outside and chant words of encouragement. “Go on. Go outside. There it is. So close.” The chanting doesn’t seem to make a difference. Maybe I need to try it in French.

                        Yesterday I got home from taking Kaitlyn to school to face the thing that flew in when she opened the door to the garage to get into the car. (as best I can tell) He went over by the door, I opened it and stepped back and told him to go on. Instead, he flew down into the plastic lid of a Play Doh barrel of fun. And then he apparently couldn’t get out. I stared at him for 30 minutes. You cannot just leave one of these things near the open door. You have to diligently make sure no others come in. And you have to make sure your unwelcome guest leaves, otherwise he could be anywhere. So after 30 minutes of watching him, tossing shoes at the lid to make it move to try to get him to move, and calling him stubborn and stupid (who was really the stubborn and stupid one?) I got up the nerve to grab the lid and toss it out the door. (The lid, by the way, is still just outside the door because it landed on him. Now I’m too afraid to go pick it back up.) Before that, I took a close look at him, so that I could identify him on the internet. Which I did.

                        Our fine friends appear to be the European Paper Wasp. Commonly mistaken for a yellow jacket because of the black and yellow stripes. But it’s the only species with red antennae. This guy definitely had red antennae!

                        I think they’ve set up a home somewhere in the eaves that gives them access to our garage. Because each time I’ve gone through the garage door this week, I’ve found one in the house. And the door is usually open long enough for one to get by undetected. Now Bill has to figure out how to get to them and get rid of them.

                        They’re finding other ways in, though.

                        Two mornings in a row, we’ve awakened to find someone buzzing around the house. We’ve been going to sleep with the upstairs shutters opened just enough for a few cracks to let in fresh, cool night air. The cracks don’t look big enough for anything but a mosquito to fit through. Doesn’t matter. No crack in the shutters tonight. Tonight, we suffer because I need a control night. After I sealed the house today and we simply baked, we were bug free.

                        Still, I constantly think I’m hearing a buzzing sound and am looking around, paranoid. I keep thinking I’m feeling one crawling in my hair, which really REALLY creeps me out. We didn’t leave the house today, because I was so afraid of one coming in when we opened the door. I finally had to go out this evening to take out the trash (can’t let that pile up, then another unwanted pest comes along… the dreaded ant!) and I hope my neighbors didn’t see me. I kept jumping away from nothing and turning my head like a crazy person. Because, apparently, I am.

                        Kaitlyn is handling this in a mixed way. Yesterday she told me to kill the bug. I told her I’m too scared to. So she told me “I have an idea. Open the door and let him out.” Today when one kept buzzing around before he found the window (he seemed to be an especially dumb one), she hid behind me. But when she saw a spider in the house, she grabbed her shoe and went over and pounded the thing into oblivion.

One Response to “What’s the Buzz?”

  1. Todd Hollst says:

    How hot IS it in June? Is that pool next to your house? If so, that’s we’re I’ll sleep. What am I getting myself into? 🙂

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