I just came upon a story about a Florida man who found a hornet’s nest the size of a small CAR in his backyard.
I am not a fan of insects. Having moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island, I sometimes feel like I’m stuck in a bad episode of Wife Swap where a fast-paced city mom switches lives with some country bumpkin and never gets to go home again. In Brooklyn, we had our share of monstrous, ugly waterbugs and those gross, zillion-legged centipedes, but the sightings were mostly few and far between. You’d spot one, you’d scream like a total maniac until your dad/husband/brother/sister/mother/cousin/aunt/anyone with a pulse came to your rescue with a tissue and a big shoe (hopefully not yours). You were traumatized for a day or two, and then life went on.
In Staten Island, however, insects are unfortunately just a part of everyday life. For one thing, I see spiders everywhere, everyday, and in all different variations of shape, size, color, and grossness. In the summer you seriously can’t go outside without becoming some mosquito’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every meal in between. This year we are lucky enough to have these huge, red-eyed cicadas literally raining down from the trees. They are EVERYWHERE. I need full body armor and a broom in each hand just to leave my house. And don’t even get me started on the crazy carpenter ants that sneak in through the cracks under the door and crawl up to the ceiling, only to fall and land on my head while I’m sitting on the couch watching TV.
But still, I adapt. I can overcome my bug-hatred because I really have no choice, and because at least I know the nasty little pests are generally harmless. So I tiptoe over the cicada carcasses littering my front lawn, and in the hotter months, during mosquito season, I spray myself head to toe with Avon Skin So Soft Insect Repellent (you have to love the marketing genius implied by that name– skin stays soft while bugs drop dead!). I’ve even started catching spiders with a plastic cup so that I can throw them outside instead of killing them. Because spiders eat other bugs; spiders are our friends!
But I have my limits, and I draw the line at anything that stings. I don’t do bees, or wasps, or hornets, or whatever other miserable stinging buggy jerks they are related to. Being approached by one of these devilish, scary things usually has me running faster than a Justin Bieber fan in super stalk mode.
Let me tell you, I’m totally psychotic about leaving all screens and windows in my house closed at all times–you get three total seconds to quickly open and close a door. If you take longer than that I can’t be responsible for your concussion. Yet, despite that fact, last week two wasps still somehow found their way into my BEDROOM and were buzzing around my bed probably looking for a place to hide while they plotted their attack on me.
This is my husband sucking them up with the vacuum cleaner. We totally watched them spin round to a beautiful oblivion (90’s music reference!). Harsh, but can you think of a better way?
So basically if my house were within a five-mile radius of that gargantuan hornet’s nest, I’d put it up for sale and move across the country. End of story.