Friday, July 17, 2009

Bugs are not my friends

I know that bugs are essential to the well-being of the planet, and are good for the garden, and all that jazz. But this week they definitely are NOT my friends!

Let's start with a spider bite. On my face. Ok, so that happened a few weeks ago, but there is still a mark.

Then the other day, I was digging in a flower bed, doing a clean-out job for someone. Suddenly I come across a ground bee nest. I beat the honeycomb with the larvae in it and move away quickly because the Queen Mama isn't happy. The lady of the house nicely sprays the area, where there were only a few bees actually buzzing around. I count my blessings, as I've never been stung before, and keep on working.

Karma catches up the following day.

I'm working at the job where I am pulling out a ginormous amount of pachysandra. Suddenly I feel something pinch my leg. I look down, and there is one damn ground bee. No other ones are around, which tells me that I hadn't actually disturbed a next. I feel nothing for a little while, but then when dirt gets into the sting, it starts to hurt. A lot.

By the time I am home a half hour later, the area surrounding the sting is bright red, and about 2.5 inches in diameter, and is black and blue on the top edge. I clean it out, remove the stinger, ice it, and apply benadryl cream and antibacterial ointment.

A couple of days later, it is hot and bright red, but now is doing somewhat better. I can't believe it took me almost 32 years to finally get stung by a bee.

Then I'm at home walking around looking at my lilies. These damned orange beetles are absolutely DECIMATING my beautiful flowers! I hurry and run around with my Neem #12 spray that was given to me from the greenhouse, but to no avail. It holds off the little bastards for about a day or two. I finally had to pick up the heavy-duty stuff that is bad for kids and animals. But I've invested way too much in those lilies to let them be massacred.

That brings me to today's fun. I'm working at another clean-out job for a family who is getting ready to move. Toward the end of the shift, I sit down because I am tired, and I am on a hill, so I want to maintain my balance. I feel something bite me, and I figure it's another darn mosquito flying down the back of my jeans. The lady comes out to talk to me, and I realize that I have been sitting on top of an ant hill.

When I was a kid in Ohio, I used to have those little black ants crawling all over me, and had no problem. But these bastards in NY are nasty! They bite! So here I am, literally with a bunch of ants in my pants.

The lady was kind enough to let me come in, shake out my clothing, and wash up. I literally shook out two dozen ants, that I wiped up with a tissue and flushed down the toilet. It brings about new meaning to gardening being a pain in the a$$.

And because my darling psychotic Siamese ripped holes in my screens, and I refuse to use AC, I have flies in the house and can't get rid of them.

At least it's not poison ivy like I had the last two years! (Click here for that horrific tale.)

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