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September 17, 2012 / Andee Frizzell

The Buzz Around Home

Last summer I experienced a wasp infestation of biblical proportions. It started one night in July. I came home from work at 4am, I was bartending in a nightclub, that’s not a typo, ( 4am ), to find a wasp buzzing around the bathroom light.

As a humanitarian, and someone who totally fears getting stung, I trapped the wasp in a glass, slid a piece of newspaper over the rim and released the little guy back into the wild by flinging him off the balcony. Catch and release. That’s my policy.

The next night I came home and there were three wasps buzzing around. A little perplexed but too tired to care why, I trapped them and sent them on their marry way, via the balcony.

The following night I came home to at least fifteen wasps. Now I was starting to get annoyed. As it was summer I had been leaving the windows open while I was out so I decided that I should close the windows and put a stop to this late night ritual of chasing wasps.

I closed all the windows and headed out to work. When I got home that night the house was full of wasps. As soon as I stepped off the elevator I could hear a droning hum coming from my apartment. I spent at least an hour gathering all my unwanted guests and tossing them off the balcony.

That night, using half a roll of silver duct tape which I had been saving for the end of the world as we know it, I taped the windows shut and closed any heating vents.

Same as the pervious nights, I came home to a wasp bonanza.

The next morning I knocked on my neighbor’s door to ask if she too was having a wasp issue.

“No, but I imagine you’re having some problems.” She said smiling. “I’ve been watching them build the most fantastic nest outside your kitchen window. Come look.”

I stepped into her breakfast nook which had a small rectangular window that showcased the outside wall of my kitchen. I saw immediately that hanging from the vent that led to the range cover above my stove was a HUGE wasp nest, a Mecca for wasps. They had been getting into the apartment via the vent. Flying back around to the homestead after being launched off the balcony.

My neighbor had sat by for a week watching them build this death star and never thought to let me know!

I went back into my apartment and called the exterminator. A note here for anyone wanting to open an extermination shop, name it anything that starts with the letter A. When it comes to needing an exterminator no one looks past the first listed, guaranteed.

The exterminator showed up within an hour. He stood at about 5’1 and was wearing what could only be described as a hazmat suite. He was decked out in space goggles, thick rubber gloves that went all the way to his armpits and a breathing apparatus that gave him a wheezy sound.

I showed him my wasp hotel and he shook his head in awe.

“That is one ENORMOUS nest.” Thank you for your professional observation. Now get rid of it I thought!

He wheeled in a tank of toxic gas that had a spray hose and nozzle attached.

I asked him when I should come back.

“You don’t have to leave.” I looked down at my flip flops, spaghetti strapped tank top and cut off jean shorts.

“I think I’m a little under dressed to be sitting around inhaling death fumes.” I said as I left….for three days.

When I returned home I met my neighbor in the hallway. She told me the sad tale of how the little wasp village fell, literally, 10 stories to its demise and how a few wasps  buzzed around the fallen carcass looking for other survivors.

I made a mental note that if I smelled smoke late one night that this would be last door I knocked on.


One Comment

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  1. Chris / Sep 19 2012 5:35 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that. Wasps can be such a pain, and people too if they don’t give you a heads up!
    That reminds me of when I lived in apartment, this was when I was a teenager and still living with my father. We had a patio outside and the wasps had built a nest in between the wooden boards of the apartment. Since it was summer we often kept the door open. When I was home one day and left it open there was literally a wasp invasion all coming through that door. I grabbed a fly swatter and drove them out, but not before one of them stung me right in the neck!
    lol that was the last time I ever opened that door for that summer.

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