Lullaby, and goodnight, bzz, bzz, bzz.

'Lullaby, and goodnight, bzz, bzz, bzz.'

All winter long, our log house is plagued with wasps.  We haven’t located the nest that must, somewhere, be surviving the cold. Log houses are bad enough in the summer.  To illustrate, I was writing in my office one day in the summer and was stung on the back of the neck.  Few things will adversely affect your flow of ideas like jumping up, screaming and trying to reach the unseen demon that just stabbed you in the spine.

I have also been stung in bed with my wife, and so has she.  Nothing will ruin your romantic mood like being attacked under the covers by a sneaky, puritanical wasp.  Talk about your birth control!

But those were summer-time incidents.  The worst is the winter attack; it’s entirely unexpected!  I can only assume these little guys are like ‘The Heroes of Telemark,’ wasp warriors dispatched to attack the enemy at home, unsuspecting.

A few weeks ago I was drying off in the shower, when I felt a searing pain in my left hand.  I thought there was a splinter, or piece of a needle in the towel.  Imagine my surprise when, standing naked in the shower with a throbbing hand, I saw a wasp wiggling on the floor of said shower.  Imagine my relief, standing naked in the shower, that it was only my hand.

Fast forward.  A few weeks later my dear son Seth, my stoic, awesome boy ran into our room in the wee hours of the night with two, count ’em TWO, stings on his leg.  Both stings were sustained under the covers while he was asleep.  We check the blankets now.

So, as you might expect, I have spent years devising the best ways to dispatch them. I am the house insect assassin.  I have, of course, gone around the outside of the house spraying them with pesticide.  Mostly, I have appropriately accounted for wind direction, sometimes I have wondered what the LD50 for humans was, after spitting it out of my mouth.

Inside the house, though, there are unique problems.  Inside, wasps are nefarious.  They buzz my head to frighten me.  They hide in towels and robes (just like our local scorpions).  They perch precariously on strange locations like track lighting or my wife’s cosmetics, precluding the standard ‘smash with a shoe’ technique.

Recently, I have developed a new system.  I will elucidate.  If you are the proud possessor of an air rifle (something that you pump and charge with air, like a Crossman pellet rifle or similar brand), you can charge the weapon (making sure there is no projectile in the chamber and no person behind the target) and hold the muzzle in front of the curious wasp.

Subsequent discharge of the weapon will either 1) stun and knock the wasp down or 2) partially dismantle the wasp by one wing or a couple of legs.  Then you can crush the wasp in whatever way seems best to you.

More fun that bug spray

More fun that bug spray

Yes, this is not your standard method.  But frankly, I’m angry and feeling a little aggressive.  The exterminator is supposed to come back and try to figure it out.  Until then, my family and I have been assaulted…and someone is going to pay.

Please understand, I have handled firearms for as long as I can remember.  I feel very comfortable with this odd technique.  For sticklers, I realize this is not actually good for the weapon; but it isn’t an everyday affair.

And it’s better than the spider story; in which I actually used an .177 caliber, RWS Air Rifle to shoot a ginormous spider from high above our bed (where my wife refused to sleep until something was done).  I was, however, proud of the marksmanship that shot two of it’s eight legs off from some 15 feet.  But that’s a tale for another blog.

I have the wooden stock version

RWS Model 34, .177 cal.

So, when you snuggle into bed tonight, sleep well.  And if you wake up with the searing pain of a wasp sting, reach for the air gun.  It’s an entertaining, cathartic way to handle an uncomfortable pest problem.

With regards for a bug free night,


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