Year of the ” “

It seems like each summer we have SOMETHING descending on us.

One year we had ladybugs. We had our home on the market because my husband had lost his job.  We had a gazillion ladybugs – plus or minus one or two – mainly in our utility room and on the back porch. Since we had to be ready for the house to be shown at a moment’s notice, we literally had to VACUUM the ladybugs up right before the people arrived. We had SO many we almost couldn’t handle the problem.

Another was the year of the flies. We bought the flycatcher thingies where you mixed up some stuff in a plastic bottle to draw the flies. We had SO many we were emptying out the containers and mixing more stuff every day – and we had SEVERAL of the traps! We had to sit on the deck, each of us armed with a flyswatter, in order to be able to cook out. UGH.

One really scary year was the year of the scorpion. Living on top of a ridge line outside the city limits, you have to expect to deal with a certain number of ‘critters’ that give you the willies; such as centipedes, tarantulas, spiders, etc. We usually have several scorpions, mainly in the garage or the door to the shop. We just keep our eyes open and kill them when we see them. I spray like a thing possessed so that we see as few of these things as possible in our home or the shop. Each time we see one, I spray everything again. My husband goes into a whole song and dance about how over-the-top I am, but I don’t care.

This year is the year of the red wasp.

The Man of Science

I can’t tell you how much I hate wasps. My husband tells me that wasps are ‘good,’ probably eating or killing something else we don’t like, but I don’t care. I was fine when I lived under the illusion that they would die if they stung you. I guess that’s bees. Anyhow, when I discovered that wasn’t true, my fear redoubled.

This year I’m spraying

  • the metal flower we built that is tied to the telephone pole in our back yard. If we can finally kill all of them that have built a nest under the 3-D center of the flower, we’ll bring it in, refurbish the paint, caulk around the center so the wasps can’t get in there, and I’ll figure something else out on decorating the center, rather than the flat glass stones that keep falling off.
  • the electrical box beside the shop door – we took the front of the box off and found a big nest inside. We’ve now sprayed that, removed the nest, sprayed again, and closed the box. We haven’t seen any more there.
  • the ‘vested popadoo’ bird we built from a small propane can and scrap metal parts. For some reason, the wasps like his NECK. Every time we pass the bird, there are 5 or 6 wasps on her neck. I’ve sprayed that several times, too.
  • the door of the well house – my husband goes to the well house door armed with a can of wasp and hornet spray. I don’t know why this is such an attractive place to them.
  • under a hydrangea leaf – I started to pull out a weed tree that had the audacity to plant itself in the middle of a nice hydrangea plant in a planter at the front of the house. When I got close, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, finding a small nest and 3 red wasps under one of the leaves. I sprayed it heavily, and will make sure they’re no longer there before I get the weed tree out.

You get the idea that they’re everywhere with a vengeance this year. I don’t know what caused so MANY of them to descend on our home and surrounding area this year, but I’m hopeful it won’t be repeated any time soon…

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