Knit the Dog

[...because if I ever run out of yarn--- I can just knit the dogs.]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's Alive!

I don't know what voodoo is going on between our mailbox and the insect world, but it's such a popular place that I wish it was saleable real estate. First was the Wasp Saga--- one little mama wasp (I'm assuming it's the women of the wasp world who do all the work) built one or two paper cells of a nest just inside the mailbox door. Whenever I opened it, I flicked her out & pinched off the paper, hoping to gently discourage her & send her to a better homesite. Then the mail stopped coming. One day. Two days. I sealed the slit in the door with metal tape & weather stripping, permanently excluding Mama Wasp. Then a Monday with no mail-- that never happens in this junk mail universe. On Tuesday I intercepted the mailperson, an older woman this time.
"Them bees gone yet?"
"Yes, the single wasp is gone & I've sealed the box so she can't get back."
"Cause we cain't deliver no mail when they's a bees nest. He said they was a big bee's nest in there."
"No, there are no bugs at all in the box. It's perfectly safe."
"Well OK but if them bees come back we cain't deliver!"

So much for 'through hail, snow, and storm.' Apparently it doesn't apply to the animal kingdom.

A few days later I saw fine sawdust on the daylilies under the mailbox. Carpenter bees. Not in the box, but in the (treated!) wood post. Several neat, precise pencil-sized holes dotted the underside of the box support. I could hear the faint gnawing of at least one bee at work. Tough way to make a living. For now, they don't seem to be alarming the delivery folks. Of course the box may just plain fall off if they get energetic enough.

Today I opened the (carefully sealed) box to put a Netflix envelope in for pick-up. About two hundred tiny ants, each with a minute ivory egg, were zigging and zagging around in the box, piling eggs against the door. I was starting to feel just a little put-upon. It's not like any of them pay rent.

I left the door open, figuring the light would discourage them. I sprayed the post with environmentally safe insecticide (yeah, it's sort of an oxymoron.) I stuck several ant bait traps around the post. A few hours later they had moved all the eggs somewhere else, but were still trotting over the band of insecticide and waltzing in and out of the box. I left the door open overnight. I hope something crawls in and eats them.

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