About ten days ago, I was out in my little garden area fussing around when I noticed something relatively large hovering nearby. Like a miniature helicopter. My eyes followed the movement and came across a wasp.
I feel like I lived most of my childhood outdoors. My mother was especially dragging us to the nearby nature center, on hikes, or on camping trips. As such, I feel like I am a completely indoor-loving person with a vague knowledge of the outdoors. I have memories of getting stung, repeatedly, by bees, I have memories of running like crazy because my brother threw a rock at a wasp nest. There were wasp nests all over the place when I was growing up.
However, this was not America. This was Japan, home to the infamous “murder hornets.” While America freaked out a little bit ago about their invasion, Japan has been living with them forever. It’s just something you get to deal with here.
Still, my first reaction to seeing a rather large wasp hovering around my garden area was to panic. I don’t want to die in my garden, thank you very much. I rather ungracefully forced open the screen door to my home and slammed it shut.
I also researched. The internet, famous for publishing only facts (har har), told me wasps can travel up to one kilometer from their nests. This is also the prime season for queen wasps to find a nest spot.
The wasp has taken to visiting our little garden area every day, but naturally at random times so I’m always on my toes as I continue trying to keep my plants alive out there. I don’t let me kids play out in the garden anymore, much to my deep chagrin.
I also bought online a little incense thing that supposedly drives away wasps. It arrives tomorrow, and while not particularly hopeful it’ll work, in the words of one of my favorite authors, Stuart McLean, I have the “reckless faith of the hopeless” that maybe it will.
Meanwhile, we’ve contacted our city government to deal with things. There’s more reckless faith involved that they might actually do something productive about this.