Giant mutant wasps!

I must draw these strange creatures or something. Tonight, Heidi turned off the grill outside, and on her way back in, a giant wasp came into the kitchen with her. It was about two inches long, and we did not want it in the house. So she ran and got the flyswatter, which she was frankly afraid to use, because it was this giant mutant wasp flying around, and we thought that if it stung someone, it was really, really going to hurt.

Me? I was standing outside the kitchen shouting things like, “Look out! He’s after you!” and “Don’t you have any bug spray?” and “Tink, get back! No, get out of the kitchen!” Which was better than Sorena, who was cowering behind me complaining about Giant Mutant Wasps attacking and getting ready to run. Finally, I told Heidi that any ammonia-based cleaner would work, as I have killed wasps with it at my apartment. So she got some Windex, waited for the perfect moment, and when the wasp landed on the light shade, she sprayed it. Got it really good, too. I was expecting to see the wasp fall to the ground.

It flew away. Up to the ceiling. Fast. That was when I advised Heidi to hide behind the glass doors with me and see if anything would happen besides the wasp buzzing around in angry circles. We pretty much gave up on it, closed the doors between the kitchen and the Great Room, and Sorena started her cello practice. But I kept watching the wasp, and saw that it was flying far more slowly and lower to the ground. So I went around to the other side of the kitchen and looked for it.

“Heidi,” I called, “does my chair have a black spot on its side?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

“I think I found the wasp.”

Heidi came over, saw it was indeed the Giant Mutant Wasp, and, armed with flyswatter and Windex, this time, conquered and destroyed the pest.

Well. At least we got the wasp before G. came into the kitchen for a snack. We forgot to warn him there was a Giant Mutant Wasp flying around the kitchen. It’s bad enough the poor guy had an abscessed tooth this week. A sting from a Giant Mutant Wasp would have been just too unfair.

This entry was posted in Bugs. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Giant mutant wasps!

  1. Dr. Weevil says:

    Was it mostly black, with a couple of cream-colored (not yellow) bars on the abdomen? If so, it’s a cicada killer, Sphecius speciosus, the largest North American species, an inoffensive beast that is unlikely to sting you without gross provocation (like trying to kill it). It only kills cicadas, so whether it is a good or bad wasp depends on what you think of cicadas.

  2. Dr. Weevil says:

    Correction and amplification: Despite it’s name, the cicada killer doesn’t kill cicadas, it paralyzes them, buries them, and lays its eggs on them, one per cicada. As it grows, the wasp grub nibbles off all the non-vital bits of the cicada first, before eating the rest. That way the cicada stays fresh without refrigeration. The makers of Aliens must have heard about this disgusting practice, because in the movie the mother alien keeps a bunch of live humans glued to the wall of her lair to feed her young with. So maybe you were right to kill the wasp.

  3. Elisson says:

    I remember seeing cicada-killers in Texas, and surely this is what you were dealing with. Supposedly they are non-aggressive (unlike the small but vicious yellowjacket), but they are Honkin’ Big Wasps, and, as such, scare the living bejeezus out of most people – including me.

  4. Dr. Weevil says:

    The deal with wasps and bees is that the social ones are aggressive, because they can afford to lose a worker or two protecting the queen and the nest. That includes paper wasps (brownish, with conical paper nests), yellowjackets, hornets, honeybees, and (I think) bumblebees. The solitary wasps like cicada-killers and mud-daubers (steel-blue with smoky wings and ‘organ-pipe’ nests on barn and basement walls) are very unaggressive. There are solitary bees, too, but only an entomologist would notice them. Of course, cicada killers look a lot like hornets, only bigger, so it’s not easy to take them calmly.

    One more pertinent fact: the pain of the sting has little to with the size of the wasp. I’ve been lucky enough to miss the experience, but everyone says that the wasp with the worst sting of all is the “velvet ant”, which (you’ll be glad to hear) can’t even fly. Velvet ants are not ants at all but wingless wasps, about an inch long, and covered with beautiful red and black fur. If you see one (usually at the beach), do not attempt to befriend it.

  5. Rahel says:

    Wait a sec — you’ve got a “Bugs” category, but not one for cats??

Comments are closed.