By Sue Murphy
I was standing in the driveway last week when 22 wasps flew out of my stove exhaust vent. My daughter and I hurried my grandchildren inside and successfully fended the wasps off with synchronized cans of bug spray, but let me tell you, it was a harrowing experience.
It could have been worse, though. If the wasps had instead decided to fly straight into my kitchen during breakfast, I would have filed it under Amityville Horrors and permanently vacated the premises.
I know I’ve defended wasps in the past. They’re spindly-legged little creatures who are just trying to live their lives and raise families like the rest of us, but I cannot have them doing it inside my stove vent or even in my driveway if they insist on hovering over my grandchildren as they ride their Big Wheels.
I might have let the incident go, but it wasn’t just the wasps that week. Ants continued their march up my sidewalk. Mosquitoes had taken to sneaking inside and nipping at us in our sleep. There was only one thing left to do: I picked up the phone and called an exterminator.
I would have preferred to solve the problems in a more natural way, but it would take an army of frogs and bats as well as a mating pair of anteaters to do the job and, God love them, they would bring problems of their own. I tried some sonic outlet plugs that are supposed to ward off a wide variety of loathsome creatures, but they didn’t work. Somewhere, a cockroach or mouse may be holding his ears and running, but the wasps and mosquitoes just laughed, so, sorry guys, I had to call in the big guns.
It’s weird to think about, isn’t it? We human beings are bigger and stronger and have reasoning skills at our disposal and yet we still find ourselves at the mercy of something no bigger than a computer chip. Wouldn’t it be great if our houses and yards could be protected like our computers? In effect, our houses are being hacked. (You don’t think the Russians…? Nah…)
Along with anti-virus protection, we need anti-venom protection, something that would establish a gated community of sorts around our homes. There could be a running list of approved animal guests and a strict policy against admittance to anything else. Obvious threats – ants, wasps, mosquitoes – would simply be denied access. Butterflies and Luna Moths would be allowed in, and helpful honey bees only if they agreed to simply do their pollination and move on.
Each family would be in charge of the rest of their list. For me, it would be songbirds, yes. Gastro-challenged pigeons? No. Chipmunks and squirrels? Sure, as long as they don’t wreck the birdfeeders. Snakes? Never, never, never.
I don’t know what kind of technology it would require, but I’m picturing some kind of invisible shield that could be raised and lowered around your property. Shields down for summer sunshine, shields up for seasonal pollen, and when storms rolled in, the wind and hail would just bounce right off.
A biodome. I guess that’s what I’m talking about, but one that’s only open to certain types of bio. The concept is years away, if ever, I’m sure. Still, a girl can dream. The poor exterminator came and sprayed diligently, but the next day I saw two wasps flying into the ventilation window in my attic and I had to call him back. Insecta non grata. They just don’t get it. It really bugs me.