Katie McCarthy: A long, hot, buggy summer

April 11, 2013 

I might be the only person not ecstatic about the recent surge in temperature.

I've never been one to long for hot summer days. I prefer mild climates -- anything above 75 degrees, really, and I'm starting to wonder when winter's coming.

Needless to say, I live in the wrong part of the country to feel this way.

My time living in Alabama has only reinforced my love of autumn (the whole two weeks or so we get each year), though I have become a bit more acclimated to the 90-plus-degree, 150-percent-humidity days of the five-month-long Southern summer.

But one thing I will never get used to is the bugs.

I am also living in the wrong part of the country to be squeamish about bugs.

It really hit me the other night when I got home from work. It was dark out and my thoughtful husband left the carport lights on for me.

I wish he hadn't.

There were so many moths and other flying insects swarming above my car that I sat for several minutes, gauging the best time to make a run for it.

I had to plot the time it would take me to unlock the door and how quickly I could get inside, lest a stray and curious insect try to stow away in, say, my hair and invade my home.

Though I'm probably giving bugs too much credit.

It's highly unlikely that they target me, but it sure feels like it.

The only thing worse than a flying insect is a flying insect that stings.

And there are plenty of those around here, too. Including in the office, where I've encountered three such beasts in little more than a week.

Luckily, I have colleagues much braver than I who protect me from the wrath of the wasp, but nonetheless I'm jumpy and paranoid for at least a couple hours after I see one.

Around the homestead, these wasps -- or hornets or whatever they are -- tend to build nests in various corners of our carport and front patio.

One year, they even tried colonizing the door frame.

I try to enlist the help of my husband in dislodging the unwelcome guests, but he reasons that they're doing no harm to the house (I disagree).

But I'm also too chicken to spray them myself, holding onto the irrational belief that should I miss them, they'll know my murderous intent and come after me.

Yes, I fully believe in the vengeful insect.

But now that we've got a baby who will be hanging around outside the house this summer, I might be able to convince the husband that flying, stinging insects don't have a right to establish a residence on ours.

Meanwhile, it's time to break out the "regular" insect spray and soak the outside foundation of the house.

If the past few days are any indication, I have a feeling we're in for a very long, very hot and very buggy summer.

Katie McCarthy, kmccarthy@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8515.

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