My front door is currently under attack.
There is a winged beast, the size of a small bird, that will descend upon anyone trying to come in or out of my house with such a fury, you’re certain that this insect could cause you serious harm. At the very least, based on its size alone, one might be concerned that it may attempt to pick you up and carry you back to its den to snack on later.
(Okay, the bird in comparison is a hummingbird, but still, a 2″ long stinging insect is nothing to take lightly)
Once you lay eyes upon this creature, you might think you were taken back in time….surely this beast roamed the Earth along side dinosaurs. Another theory I had was that scientists had genetically modified this insect to something resembling Tracker Jackers from The Hunger Games. Truth be told, I’m not as spry as I used to be, and I have little to no confidence I could out maneuver this attacker the way that Katniss did.
Monday morning was when the first attack was launched. As soon as I opened the front door it began diving and smacking itself against my screen door. It became instantly apparent that I could not use the entrance without risking
being stabbed a sting, so I closed it and began some reconnaissance from the safety of a small window adjacent to the door. Clearly, this creature was staking claim to its territory, but I was unable to get a visual on any sort of hive.
I watched as it dove and attacked other bees and wasps that came too close for comfort, and didn’t seem to discriminate against humans or dogs either. It hovered 99.9% of the time and I only witnessed a single, brief landing.
It was then that I remembered the Hornet and Wasp Spray in the garage…and that I’m a hell of a shot. All I needed was the Stinging Kamikaze to land for a split second and the liquid poison would take care of the rest. We had several nests last year and that same spray killed wasps and hornets on contact.
Like a ninja, I slowly opened the front door and cracked the screen door open just enough to allow my weapon to take aim at the only spot this Jurassic bug had landed.
Then I waited.
The sun’s rays were hot that morning, and I could feel my skin toasting behind the glass. I felt like an ant under a magnifying glass, and even thought about applying lotion, but quickly scolded myself for worrying about sun damage!
This was war time dammit! Get your head in the game, Susan!
Jake, now nearly five, had positioned himself up on the stairs to get a good view of the action. He called out the position of the creepy creature and what it was doing as I held my own under the scorching sun.
“He’s stabbing a bee with his butt, Mom!”
Perspiration quickly formed along my hairline and trickled down my face.
“I think it’s getting tired, Mom! He’s gonna land soon!”
Moisture adorned my Mom-stache, but I held my ground.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, it landed.
Without hesitation I unleashed a liquid stream of insect killer quickly hitting and covering my target in a white foam.
“See you in hell,” I thought.
I stood up, feeling victorious, until suddenly the beast rose from the ground, flying furiously around the glass.
I checked the date on the can, 2016.
What was I dealing with? I needed to find out what this was before I could learn how to destroy it….
Google to the rescue! My answer was a simple query away…allow me to introduce the Cicada Killer Wasp:
I quickly learned a few things about my enemy:
1. They can grow to about 2″ long, and they feed on cicadas, dragging the carcass to their underground dens of death.
2. Apparently the males don’t sting and the females can but rarely do unless you step on them or handle them roughly. (Okay who the hell is handling these things? Also, FYI, I’m not getting close enough to determine gender.)
3. They don’t venture far from their home, so if you have one attacking you, the nest is likely near by (and should be easy to spot with large piles of dirt from where they tunneled beneath the Earth).
What I have ascertained from my own personal experience is that they are blood thirsty, aggressive man-eaters and even my mail person and delivery guys aren’t taking any chances. (So it’s not just me)
Under the cover of dark after the second day of attacks, once the Cicada Killers retreated to their lair, I located about four holes. My plan was to cover three and spray a different, known-to-kill-the-ciacda-killer spray into the remaining open hole.
Jake, who was very interested in the insect that kept us from using the front door for three days, asked me details about the plan. Because I don’t want to pass along my fear of flying, stinging insects, I made light of the situation, hiding my fear, and made it appear to be more of a game.
Jake loved this… War! We were playing war!
So today, now on the third day of fire, I tried to venture out in the daylight hours to get a visual on all the holes nestled in the mulch to the left of my front door. Last thing I needed was an army of stinging bugs to attack me from behind. It took me just a few moments to realize that daylight was not the time for poking around in the killer’s marked area. It would have to wait until dark.
One thing that wouldn’t wait was my watering. The lack of rain and high temperatures forced me out front this afternoon to aid my droopy plants. As long as I stayed away from the front door I was fine, and so Jake ventured out with me as I watered my rose bushes. After a few minutes an acquaintance from school rounded the corner with her kids.
Jake excitedly interrupted our casual hellos, and he began telling the story of the war over the front door. He proudly explained how he kept watch while I tried to handle the problem with regular bee spray. Even prouder, he told the woman how “My Mommy found their hideouts! She went out this morning to get rid of them, and she even went commando in the front yard…”
All I could think was that “Mommy going commando in the front yard” was a nice continuation of the rumor my other son most likely started last week as he casually mentioned to a friend, “My Mom makes movies for the internet!”
As far as the Cicada Killers, we’ll be using the garage or back doors until further notice…