Once again, massive May storms have enlivened every living thing—great for birds, flowers, grass; not so good for those allergic to the stringy muck dropped by oak trees. Pollen is everywhere; even my metallic blue car has a sickly tinge of chartreuse and my deck looks as if we’ve been invaded by aliens in the form of stringy muck and sticky green particles. My sinuses struggle not to plug up as I attempt to breathe crisp, clean Spring air. It’s a losing battle, of course, even when I squirt medicine up my nose and try to eliminate the pollen and tree scum from my surroundings.
Kitchen cleaning all morning, so I take Cafe out for a walk. It’s now so hot, despite rain’s onslaught last night, that we decide to sit on the deck. But I must stop those plans to clean all deck surfaces first. Brooming away for half an hour, wind blowing the tree scum back from whence I thought to remove it. Finally, I manage to use a stick to push the stringy messes under the deck rails and onto the lawn below. Clean off table and Adirondack, gather glasses, papers, and phone—and Cafe, of course. We sit for at least 3 minutes of relaxation before I notice that the bane of my existence last year has returned.
Hornets! Bah! I love most of God’s creatures, but not these villains. Hornets are the gangsters of the insect world. Bees have stingers, too, but only for self-defense; meanwhile, they and the butterflies pollinate every growing thing. Hornets, however, serve no purpose other than to instill fear and anaphylactic shock in innocent homeowners. When they get angry—I should say angrier, for they are always angry—there will be hell to pay. Last year, despite the wasp-and-hornet traps and bug zappers, some hornet gang members took over my deck by building a humongous nest under it. They proceeded to make my deck and yard uninhabitable. Even looking at the nest from yards away could incite them to riot. I had to call an expensive exterminator, who told me that those bad guys could build a hide-out within hours!
Naturally, I asked if there was something I could put up or spray on the deck or wherever to keep them from a return squatting expedition. Nothing
that lasts, I was told. I named different natural and unnatural items that successfully kill other nasty insects, but none would dissuade future nesters. To kill them, I had to get close enough to spray them directly with hornet killer. I had tried that before, which had two difficulties:
To get close enough to spray them, I was taking my life in my hands—close enough to spray also means close enough to sting. I am deathly allergic.
Even when I did successfully “hose” them down with the poison, most often, it just made them giddy and drunk, dancing a strange hornet hornpipe as I watched, aghast.
Nevertheless, I was hoping that they’d realize that “no hornets need apply” was meant to send them elsewhere to live. I guess I need a hornet translator to encourage them on their way to better hornet abodes. So, my mid-afternoon rest has jarringly ended. I glance above my head to the underside of the patio umbrella and discover a teeny, one-hornet, trailer-park, kind of home some buggy gangster thought to sneak under my radar. I’m not a catastrophizer, but it is clear to me that one hornet leads to a whole gang of them. So, I sent my Pom inside to safety and I knock down the pint-sized RV literally seconds before its erstwhile inhabitant returns to resume building. I spray him/her/it with the disinfecting cleaner. I hope he/she/it doesn’t have a hornet lawyer—they can really put the hurt on you!