Monday, August 03, 2009

Spheksophobia

I've always had bug phobias. I try to coexist with the bugs these days, living in closer quarters helps with the fear... sometimes. I not want to kill critters just because I don't like them (should that be a death sentence?), it has to be because they present an immediate danger. Scorpions, fire ants, and mosquitoes (mosquitoes not painful but carry viruses) are killed. I'm an arachnaphobe, but spiders get to stay unless they are dangerous and too close. If they are small and harmless I'm OK with them... pretty much... and if large and harmless I cringe and ignore.

Wasps are another one that I'm phobic about, but I just avoid them if possible. We had a nest of wasps [EDIT: We have identified these as European Paper Wasps, Polistes dominulus, an invasive species which is more aggressive than native Paper Wasps) right by the front door on the porch light fixture. MrB took down the nest and sprayed them, but instead of the problem being solved, the rest of the colony waited there, and then later when he went out the front door, they ambushed, stinging him twice in the ear and once on the eyebrow. This was on Sunday afternoon.

We started reading up on them right away: a wasp can sting repeatedly without dying, and they do become aggressive after they've been attacked. They will chase you. If you are stung, they inject a pheremone that marks you as an enemy of the nest. One report warned "don't think that you can immerse yourself in water to escape, they WILL wait for you to surface." OK, I am 100% freaked out now, but I am charged with handling the spray now because MrB is "marked."

Monday when we got home, we see that a bunch of them have congregated on the peephole of the front double door, just a few inches from where the other door opens. Those bastards! What are they trying to do? Look inside at us? Here are some shots I took through the hole from the inside.


I had to go out there and spray them (through the garage, the front door is not to be used, and I have a warning sign on the sidewalk for visitors, solicitors, Girl Scouts and Jehovah's Witnesses). GAAAAAAHH! I am terrified! I did get the ones trying to live on the peephole, but the remainder are congregating way up high where it will require a ladder, and yes, they are right above where someone would be coming out the door. Chem-free will come out if there's a nest, so we have to live with them until a nest is constructed.

Man, I hate killing stuff. But these are too close, just too close, and there's too much hatin' on both sides of this war.

Spheksophobia: the fear of wasps

1 comment:

John Good said...

I have always hated wasps and have ZERO problems killing them.