29 October 2013

Arrivederci vespe!

After sweeping four chimneys in one day. our poor chimney sweep let out a small exhausted sigh when I pointed to our bedroom window and asked "Vespe?". He cupped his ear and confirmed that he could hear them. I told him we didn't know if they were calabrone, wasps or bees. He said "Api...dobbiamo salvare". Bees we must save. I invited him up to my bedroom (!) where we looked at the contraption that we had built to cover the hole in the plaster where the nest was and keep whatever they were from stinging us to death in our sleep. He watched the insects fly in and out of the nest outside the window, before confirming that they were wasps. He then removed our contraption ever so slowly and observed the hole and the activity therein. I was devastated to see that they had eaten half an inch into the foam cover that we had devised (what dastardly creature eats foam!?). He then went to his car and proceeded to dress up like a bee keeper. I noted with consternation that he even wrapped the area between his cuffs and gloves with masking tape. Then he told us to stay inside. Grabbing a pump and three cartridges of poison, he returned to the bedroom alone, closing the door behind him. We waited. After a few minutes, he came back downstairs instructing us to air out the room before we sleep tonight. Then he explained that he had resealed the hole with silicon but that we should open the hole and the entire area up in a week or so, clean out the nest and reseal inside and outside the window with hard cement. While this means that we have another job to add to our list, it also means that we can remove the "eradicate biting things" job off the list. It also means that we can sleep easier knowing that we will not be awakened by events akin to those filmed in Alfred Hitchcock's "Birds" or H G Wells' "Empire of the Ants"...

Above: The upstairs bedroom window where the wasp nest was

Above: Our chimney sweep preparing to eradicate the wasps


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