Enemy in the Grilles

The wasps continue to test me and search out my weakness.

This time they sent a spy into the enemy camp: my sewing room. They deployed one of their ninjas to wait in the dormer window grilles. He was so stealthy that I didn’t see him until I sat down and took a bite of my Frosted Mini Wheats.

This was the location of the wasp--in immediate proximity to my face.

There was a delay, during which I gulped down some of the chunks of chewed up mini wheats. It was a loud and slow “Glnnpp” sound. Then, I jumped up, shrieking and dropping little bits of wheaty goodness along the way. I figured I was leaving a tasty trail for the crafty bugger to chase me all the way down the stairs and into the kitchen.

As I was running away screaming he was probably thinking, our plan of intimidation is working. Though, the smidgen of rational thought left in me imagined that he probably just thought, was it something I buzzed? (Even my rational self has its issues.)

My husband heard me screech and eliminated it for me.

Once I stopped shaking and hyperventilating, I inched up the stairs walking like a ballerina in Pointe slippers.

I had plans to make little draft dodgers to keep the heat from coming under the gaps in the attic spaces upstairs. While I know that this is probably not the way that the enemy entered, this event prompted me to start making some of the “hot air hinderers” that I’ve been planning. I’ll add a separate post about those immediately following this anecdote.

Once the adrenaline from the wasp encounter had dissipated, so did my desire to finish more of these draft dodgers. I finished one, cut out the material for several others, and put them aside.

My fervor was reawakened by the appearance of yet another wasp in my dormer window today. At first I thought it was a large flying ant, but upon closer inspection I could see that it was one of my adversaries. It had a smaller stature, but by no means did it have a smaller weapon. It had, at least, a ¼ inch stinger protruding from its rear. I know this because after I sprayed it, I had to look at it as I was attempting to pick it up with a paper towel. I couldn’t get the wretched thing in the paper towel and I kept thinking it was still moving. After a short struggle and a lot of squealing I managed to get the blasted intruder in the trash.

In an effort to diminish my fear, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about wasps. Knowledge should lead to less fear, right? I believe it has helped a bit already.

I determined that the types that I’ve seen indoors so far have either been paper wasps or solitary wasps.

They have long thin bodies,  small waists, and are dark brown and orange. The wasps that fit this description are supposedly the least aggressive and some of the more beneficial (when not around the house or in the house, obviously). The ones that I got stung by were yellow jacket wasps. Many people mistakenly refer to yellow jackets as bees, but they’re actually wasps. They like to build nests under wood, dead plant matter and underground. We have a few yellow jacket nests around our backyard that we’re working on getting rid of.


As my husband has tried to get me to acknowledge, this fear shouldn’t be something that rules my life. After the encounter today, I think there may yet be hope for me. I’m determined to tackle this fear.

My husband watched Batman Begins the other day—one of his many viewings per year. It made me think that maybe I should take a cue from Batman and use my fear to my advantage, in order to overcome it. No, I don’t mean that I’m going to call myself Wasp Woman and go around fighting baddies (Why didn’t a super hero or villain like this ever make it into the Marvel comics collection? Is there one? Correct me if I’m wrong here, I’m not a comic nerd).

Apparently there was a movie by that title in 1960. It looks, erm, well...interesting. Photo from http://www.amazon.com/Wasp-Woman-Phillip-Barry/dp/B00006L90S

I am, however, going to use wasps as inspiration for a sewing project. Hmm…More on that later.


  1. Tutorial: Hot Air “Hinderers” | Creative Notions

    July 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    […] Life & Writing ← Enemy in the grilles […]

  2. GA

    July 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    You are too funny!!!! What a great story.

    1. Becca

      July 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      Haha! Thanks.

  3. Cindy

    July 19, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Hahah oh gosh, those wasps…I really hope you figure out how they’re getting into your house! I’m so afraid of bees and things that can sting too! 🙁

    I hope you can overcome your fear of wasps, Becca. I finally got stung by a bee for the first time in my life 2 years ago…i was traumatized yet better by the experience lol

    1. Becca

      July 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      I hope we can figure it out too, but it may just be a matter of living in the house for a while. It was vacant for so long, and the wasps are used to building nests all over it. So, we’ll just have to continue spraying and check the attic spaces, etc. This may sound pretty pathetic, but I definitely don’t think I’ll defeat the fear without a little heavenly help. 😉

  4. Cindy

    July 19, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Oh! And I’m slowly getting back to blogging! : ) thank you for your kind comment on my post from last week! I miss keeping up with your projects, house stuff, and wasp stories!

    1. Becca

      July 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks for letting me know that things are looking up for you. I’m glad to hear it. I missed having your presence around the blog. 🙂

  5. Korey

    July 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    All your wasp stories are so evocative and cleverly written, they are great to read (if not to experience!) Growing up in a rural area, I had a fair amount of wasp exposure growing up, and was stung a few times, though I never developed an unnaturally strong aversion to them. Spiders on the other hand, drive me insane and fill me with horrible fear even though one has never harmed me in any way. Since I grew up in a buggy house out in the country they were a regular occurence in my house and they always repulsed and scared me. I might recommend my mother make some of those door stoppers you mentioned in another post (she has started sewing again after a long hiatus after I showed her Etsy).

    1. Becca

      July 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks so much, Korey!

      I have a spider issue too. I can completely understand. In fact, I’m thinking I’ll have to post a story about one particular spider encounter when I lived up in Idaho.

      That’s awesome that your mother is getting back into sewing. I’m excited for her! Let me know if she makes any of the draft dodgers, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

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