Zombies Are Easier to Deal with than Wasps

September 3, 2014


Left: I call this page "Zombie Ink Spill." (It's in the Leuchtturm 1917 Sketchbook that I was testing with the large 9 x 11 or larger pages.) Direct brush sketching with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and various other markers (acrylic inks). It started out as a sketch of someone I'd seen on TV, but I squeezed the barrel of the Pentel ColorBrush (fine point with pigment ink) too hard and it blopped all over the sketch (right at the beginning) so I kept going and then threw on the markers.

I'm dealing with wasps right now. Have been for the past week. They are coming into the house through some pathway we've yet to locate. We did locate a nest on the wrong side of the house (the experts said it was the wrong side for where they were appearing). I kill 18 or so a day. After being stung last Wednesday at 5 a.m. (I get up at 5:45, so that's just rude!) I've moved out of the bedroom into the TV room to sleep on the futon sofa (thank goodness we bought that!). There have been no wasps in there. (Dick can sleep through anything and continues to sleep in the bedroom.) 

The wasps of course are mostly coming into the two rooms that I use as my studio! This means that if I try to work, by 10 a.m. on a sunny day they are active and dive bombing me. The stress is incredible. An exterminator came Tuesday because Dick's efforts haven't been successful. "Give it three days," the kid said—he was very nice, very thorough.

Three days. I think I'll pretend I'm at a slumber party and stay up continuously for 3 days—wait I can't do that. I have too many appointments to take CR to (he's recovering from another hospital stay), and of course work that must be done.

So I am typing this very quickly to share with you the profound observation I made today: Zombies are easier to deal with than wasps. I have spent my whole life researching Zombies. I know exactly how to avoid Zombies, kill Zombies, track Zombies, and keep Zombies OUT.

Wasps, not so much.

I've been able to scan some of my Minnesota State Fair journal and hope to make a little headway tomorrow too. In the meantime send me a little positive energy for battling wasps. 

And do not even suggest that I sketch the wasps.

Really DON'T.

I stomp them and stack them on a sheet of paper near the trash. At the end of the day I count them. If I had white tennis shoes believe me I would put "kill marks" on the sides of my shoes like a WWII aviator would put on his fuselage.

I do not like wasps.

Zombies are easier to deal with.

    • Donna
    • September 3, 2014

    Well at least you have not lost your sense of humor. Hopefully, your wasps stay dead:)

    • jacki long
    • September 3, 2014

    Love this post Roz, go get ’em! ;o)
    “Indomitable spirit!”

  1. Reply

    oh my. we dealt with yellow jackets a couple years back. not fun. did manage to locate cracks in the foundation to patch after the exterminator sprayed them. we could actually see them flying in and out though…I think they didn’t go away completely until frost. but at least in our case they were getting into the basement, not the house! I cannot imagine your frustration! maybe you could bribe a teenager from the neighborhood to watch your house & see where they are going in? or get one of those lovely mosquito nets to cover your bed! you could draw an image of a can of wasp spray….Good Luck!

  2. Reply

    Ack Donna, I didn’t even go there: Zombie Wasps!!!! NOOOOOOO. I’m making a contingency plan right now.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Jacki—5 down today (one in the upstairs shower which is only the 3rd one upstairs, so that’s troubling, but manageable). Fingers crossed. It’s also rainy today so they aren’t very active.

  4. Reply

    Dianne, Dick found the entrance they were using it’s just that it’s on the opposite side of the house and everyone (expert) said that couldn’t be the problem. The kid who came yesterday however said that after looking EVERYWHERE (and it was sunny and lovely and they should have been active) that it was the only one he could see and that they were in there and the nest was in the house between walls or something else like that. And somehow this is the path they have to get out.

    We’ll see. 5 today so far, which is a decrease.

    My hearing is very good and acutely tuned to the sound of a wasp pinging into walls and light fixtures…speaking of which, I gotta go. There’s one now.

  5. Reply

    You crack me up as I am a huge zombie lover! We have a terrible fly infestation this year that we can’t figure out either…flies don’t sting at 5am but they are SO disgusting that I think I kill as many or more flies a day than you kill wasps!I wish you much luck with your insect issue!!!

    • KerowynA
    • September 3, 2014

    Roz – I had an influx of wasps several years ago when an airhead house guest left a window open next to the neighbors’ wasp nest.

    I found the vacuum cleaner to be very effective, but then, I wasn’t blood-thirsty. I just wanted them out of the house.

    So I wielded the hose with half of the floor attachment like a light saber and then raced the bag out to the backyard so that any who survived being sucked up could fly off.

    It was memorable. Not that I’d care to repeat it.

    You have my sympathy. Today I’m less tolerant — I’d just crush the little buggers.

    • Julana
    • September 3, 2014

    I am sorry you are dealing with this. i am very afraid of wasps. I once stayed with my grandmother after her foot surgery. A wasp got in, and flew round the window. I wouldn’t go close. She hobbled over with a scissors and cut it in half when it paused for a second! Hope this is over soon.

    • Tony
    • September 3, 2014

    Thank you Roz. I really needed to laugh today.
    You continue to inspire me in so many countless ways.
    Tony from your klass2 in SBS

  6. Reply

    Kathryn, yeah flies present a different sort of problem. But I have no problem dealing with flies. Wasps, I want to stay away from, but have to get close to deal with. Perhaps it is a metaphor for much of what is happening in my life recently.

  7. Reply

    Kerowyn, sadly these just aren’t invaders through a window. There is a nest built into the structure of the house. This will be an epic battle. I’m taking no prisoners—not when I’m trying to work without getting stung.

    If my shoulders weren’t both out of commission I think I’d try that “light saber” action!


  8. Reply

    Julana your grandmother rocks! I love this story.

  9. Reply

    Thank you Tony, I take my role as a role model very seriously as you can tell! I hope you are still sketching!

  10. Reply

    OMG – We had them this year, too! Both at the Grand Haven office and at home in Muskegon, a 20 minute drive north. The ones at home we doused with the freeze stuff you get from the home improvement store, but it didn’t phase them. The exterminator pumped in a gallon of some kind of powder which did (after three days) take them out. At the office, the story was eerily similar to yours – they were congregating en masse in a front office in our (luckily) empty suite. At one point there were probably 30 or 40 dead wasps strewn about the suite. The nest turned out to be around the corner and toward the back of the building – how or why they were entering the front suite, we have no idea. Another gallon of powder (and $125) later and they are gone and the remains have been vacuumed unceremoniously to their grave among the other carpet debris. So … yeah. Buh-bye!

  11. Reply

    Chris, you know exactly what I’m writing about! EEEEE. We’ve had the powder treatment (only $113) and Friday is our 3rd day. Still sleeping in the TV room doing guerrilla typing in the studio during lulls in the divebombing. Hoping this takes care of it but doubtful at this point. Not as many coming in but still lots of activity at the entrance. Fingers crossed! I’ll call the guy tomorrow early if they are still coming in. My left forearm is still red and swollen and mighty itchy (which I ignore!) from the Wednesday sting last week!

  12. Reply

    I try to avoid killing anything BUT, when it’s a nest inside the walls of your house, there are few other options available. I remember many years ago having a swarm of bees start to build a hive/nest inside the walls of our house….they entered through the air gaps left in the external brickwork of our house. I was working in my garage studio and the humming drone was tremendous. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I investigated and saw a swarm of bees going and coming from the external wall…not a common sight in suburbia. My Dad brought over some pesticide and, after one warning spray, the huge swarm moved on very quickly. It was scary being that we did have children in the family with bee allergies.

    • Tony
    • September 4, 2014

    Yes Roz, still sketching! My first sketchbook almost filled. Just finishing up Koosje’s “Just Draw It” class. Getting ready to do a watercolor pencil class, then SBS “Seeing” semester. I go to sleep thinking about sketching and wake up thinking of sketching too. I got it BAD!
    You are a seriously cool role model seriously!!!! Zombies et al.
    AND I thank you all for it immensely 😀

  13. Reply

    Great to hear this Tony. Get another sketchbook ready and waiting so you can move seamlessly and effortlessly into it! Glad you’re having fun with all your classes. Keep going.

  14. Reply

    I’d love to be all “forgiving” etc. but in my home I need to be free of the fear of stinging and other dangers as you obviously can sympathize. The bee situation sounds incredible.

    I warned our neighbors about the wasps because they have a young child AND the exterminator and I spotted a nest in their “eaves.”

    • Dana
    • September 6, 2014

    I’m laughing so hard tears are streaming!!! Saved by your gran! You made my day!

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