Back when I was a kid, with the exception of spelling bees, I thought bees were kind of cute, and sometimes even funny.
But earlier this spring, I started to notice what looked a bit like sputum concentrating on a window outside my breakfast nook. I thought perhaps a wayward bird, having seen the reflection of himself in the window and thinking itself quite attractive had unwittingly crashed into the window leaving some parts behind. I whipped out some Windex, climbed up on a chair, and cleaned the mess up. I thought no more about it until I noticed the gobs had returned a couple of days later. Upon closer inspection, I also noticed saw dust collecting on the patio outside the window. It seems my house is being eaten by carpenter bees.
While picking up a few man toys at my local Harbor Freight, I noticed they had this tennis racquet shaped bug swatter; so for about $4 plus a couple more for some batteries I loaded this puppy in my car an began to relish the wrath about to reign down on that nuisance bee. Basically, this gizmo creates a current that fries the bug when you swat it.
My new toy bug zapper is all well and good, when one actually hits the target. Contact is made. There is a little crackling pop of electricity. The bug is either fried to the racquet, dead on the ground. or at least stunned on the ground and ready for my shoe. The problem is actually knocking the bees out of the air. I realized one day, looking up from my efforts, the eight wide eyes of my neighbor’s four young kids peering at me from across the fence. What seemed like simple hunting to me, must have appeared to them more like a native American rain dance, or perhaps some tricked out Bob Fosse number.
I did manage to knock a couple of bees out of commission, but either those were not the ones eating my house, or I was dealing with an entire tribe, flock, colony or whatever it is a big mess of bees are called. The bee poop kept splashing my window, and as fast as I could sweep the patio, the sawdust returned.
One day, I noticed a hole about the size of a dime on the window facing side of the fascia board that holds up my gutters; so I went to my basement, found some wood putty and promptly filled the hole. Let the boogers try to eat through that!
But still the sawdust kept coming. I could actually hear those suckers eating my house.
Now more observant, I noticed that they were crawling up between the gutter and the fascia and happily boring a hole or probably holes into my house, out of my sight, but not out of my mind. Unfortunately, short of removing the gutters, the bees had me for the moment, because I could fit neither the wood putty or the bug zapper into the space.
Beaten, but not defeated, I thought to myself, “What would Bear Grylls do?” After all, he is the the expert on Man vs. Wild. A quick google of “Bear Grylls Bees” popped up this video.
Clearly, Bear is not coming to my house to eat the bees or their progeny and me doing it was a total non-starter.
I happened to mentioning my predicament to my mother. She advised me that she saw an ad on the TV for carpenter bee killer sold at Ingles Supermarket. Now that would have been all well and good, except there is not an Ingles within 100 miles of my house. So I did the next best thing. I headed for Home Depot.
Meanwhile, I am dreaming about bees in my sleep. They are taunting me. Buzzing all around me. Covering every inch of my house not fit to eat with poop. My house is literally going to poop.
Anyway, I get to Home Depot and go to the home pest control aisle. I can find no carpenter bee spray or much of anything to destroy flying insects for that matter. I pull out my trust phone, google “carpenter bee killer Home Depot,” and POOF, this picture pops up of this product that basically foams the vermin to death. Armed with this new info I make my way back toward customer service when there, at the end of the Aisle 1 rising from the ground is a tower…an alter…nay, a pyramid containing hundreds of cans of foaming carpenter bee destroyer.
I buy a can.
When I get home, I attach the straw to the nozzle, climb up on a chair, shove the straw into the crack between gutter and fascia then pull and hold the trigger.
The foam deploys.
First it heads up into the crack, then almost as fast spews back out of the crack covering my head, neck and shoulders. I quickly run to the spigot where turn it on and immediately begin to splash water on my face and neck. Fortunately for me there are no ill effects of foaming myself with bee spray.
And better yet, several hours later I find a couple of dead bees, and a number of rather large bee larvae laying on the patio. Apparently, the bee larvae were very attractive to giant carpenter ants which came out of somewhere to feast upon the bounty. And now I am wondering…how am I going to get rid of the ants?