Monday, November 15, 2010


Usually if you observed that your neighbors were WASPs, it would mean that you thought they were white, Anglo Saxon Protestants. In our situation, the word refers to real insects.

For a while it was a novelty to watch the wasps working on their geometrically constructed nest on the other side of the glass in our living room window. Back and forth they'd fly between the nest and a drain on the overhang. Activity seemed more concentrated in the afternoons, probably when the sun had peaked to the other side of our high-rise. Often it was more entertaining to watch than what was on TV.

Twice during the last few days, a wasp managed to squeeze between the screen and the window frame. As I watched with pounding heart, Mr. Bob managed to get it back out by loosening the screen. Possibly I'm being paranoid, but it seemed to me that the colony had decided it was imperative to gain entrance to the inside of the building through our living quarters.

I had a friend once who, when she'd experienced the last straw would say, "Well, THAT rips the rag off the bush!!!" which is exactly how we felt when Mr. Bob found a wasp crawling on the carpet between our two rooms. He stepped on it (forgive him, God and Albert Schweitzer) but wasps don't die easily. A battle ensued before Mr. Bob won. At my insistence, maintenance was called. Mr. Bob, in his excitement, managed to drop a large window screen down four stories without injuring a resident below and there followed a blurred scene involving a ladder, two men, a spray can of hornet poison and Mr. Bob quivering with the exhilaration that all males in our family experience at times of crisis. I fled to the end of the hall until the exterminators carrying their ladder rang for the elevator. Only then did I return.

I'm not sure the proper procedure was followed. There is still some wasp activity today.

"When you are in politics you are in a wasp's nest with a short shirt-tail, as the saying is."
                                                                                        ~Mark Twain


  1. How exciting! Wasps have that extra element of danger that you don't find with spiders.

  2. My encounters with wasps were never so entertaining.

  3. did you know that wasps emit a chemical when injured that brings reinforcements? or so I've don't mess with 'em outdoors.

    personally have extreme reactions to wasp stings -- happened twice so far, requires antibiotic & cortisone therapy -- and the insult on top of injury is the wasp flies off after the encounter!

  4. When I was staying at Sheila and Harvey's they had quite a battle with a wasp's nest outside the kitchen and bathroom window! Harvey went to war against them and the battle took several days, but Harvey won in the end.