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September 17, 2008

   So I'm in the backyard, kicking it in a chair soaking in a few rays. Not to tan, just to get a little color in my face. Only an occasional light breeze to stir anything.. I hear a brief rustle of leaves- then silence again. My eyes are closed, and I don't open them until I hear another burst of leaf rustle.. Now I have to look. We have a basement & so recessed steel curved window wells at each window, most of them are level w/the concrete, some sag on one side. First I look down at the concrete. I see only one crisp leaf w/no critters nearby.. one leaf wouldn't make that much noise. Must be in the window well. Then I remember that my hubby had seen a baby robin in the yard the day before. So much for sunbathing, I must see if it's this bird or a mouse. I strain my eyes in the bright sunshine & peer into the shaded window well. About a 2" layer of dried leaves, a cigarette butt & a candy wrapper....no bird. Must stay still...I still don't see anything big enough to make that much noise. Then I see it. One of those huge nuclear sized grasshoppers! Shit! My hubby is a big guy, but he absolutely hates grasshoppers. So I go into the kitchen & get the bug zapper.

   For those of you who have never used this wonderful device, picture this: A small plastic tennis racket w/steel wires instead of nylon connected to 2 "AA" sized batteries in the handle. ZAP! I bought one of them from a fav RV customer whom I brought freight to. My brother-in-law, who rents the basement was quite impressed w/this device. He likes the most technologically advanced items, & so w/pure GLEE in his eyes came home w/the Hummer version; this one took 2 "D" batteries!! Now you're playing with power! The old one would sometimes kill a yellow jacket when the batteries were new. It would at least stun them until you got 'em to the ground & smashed them. I just had to check out this beast! Out to the backyard, there's a yellow jacket! It's hanging around a sunflower "SNAP!" WOW! He never stood a chance. He's dead too! You see a visible spark w/this thing in broad daylight! I love it!

   So, armed with the Hummer zapper I go outside & after searching for a bit, find the grasshopper again. I lower it into the window well. Move it around a bit...ZAP! But he's not dead, just stunned. As long as you hold the red button in, the bug in question is glued to it- wings or not. These batteries are the same ones from last year, & so are a bit weaker. So I hold the button in, & bring him over to some concrete. I end his life w/a flat rock & put him on a wide wooden garden box border so I can be my hubby's hero when he sees it. A bird can feast on it there, as well. He was impressed! So then I notice that there's a mob of yellow jackets hanging around the sunflowers. The batteries are noticeably weaker, so I must stay attuned to each bastard I zap, they may retaliate if I don't get them to ground level fast enough & snuff their existence. Keep in mind that I used two entire cans of wasp killer on one of their nests they built in a crack in the concrete a about a month ago. That was a two day event! I also have one of those bait traps hanging w/about 30 drowned in it. Now I see at least a dozen, one dozen too many as far as I'm concerned. So one by one I scooped & swooped til I had one, brought it to the concrete- in bare feet no less. Smacked it w/a fly swatter & tossed it into some ground cover so nobody steps on a stinger. I only had one that was smart or lucky enough to land on the plastic part & fly away! 11 confirmed dead plus the huge grasshopper. Not too shabby!

   So to the ladies out there, I'm telling you the industrial strength bug zapper works best. If you hear a mosquito buzzing in your house at night, simply wave it through the air w/the button pushed in & walk slowly. You don't have to turn on a light...just wave it. ZAP! You'll see the spark at night even w/the light weight version..Got him! A spider can be trickier & you must be braver- you'll have to hold it flush on the wall & move w/it, but in a second or so they raise a leg to run & "ZAP". Walk it over to the trash & shake it out. If the spider is up where the wall meets the ceiling, better get the broom! RV & BBQ supply places usually sell them, call first. Or shop online, but they work great. Make sure they carry the one that takes two "D" batteries, don't settle for less! Off to get some more...12. 12 Yellow jackets!! Mwua...ah..ah..ah!! And counting...Tell us your wasp related incidents! Turnem's will give a free plane ride to the best story, won't you Turnems? C'ya!