This is a picture from a couple years ago that shows a diferent wasp on a different window.

This is a picture from a couple years ago that shows a diferent wasp on a different window.

A couple weeks ago, I experienced the first wasp infiltration of the season. That is to say, a wasp got in my room. Considering the fact that my window doesn’t actually close, it was inevitable that such a thing would happen at some point, but it was annoying that it happened in the middle of the night. Supposedly, wasps are always diurnal. Actually, the internet has helpfully informed me that there are a few species of nocturnal wasps, but none of them are supposed to be native to this area. So it was quite odd when I was awoken at about one in the morning by the sound of wasp wings beating against the wall just above my head.

nerf gunAs it so happens, I am deathly afraid of wasps. In fact, I spent the following hour and fourteen minutes crouching behind my bed with a water gun in one hand and a nerf gun in the other hand. If that thing had come any closer to me, I would have shot first and asked questions later. (Actually, I would have shot first and never gotten around to asking any questions.) Although I have never successfully shot an insect with a nerf gun, I can tell you from personal experience that water guns don’t kill wasps, but a couple good shots can stun them. Then you can easily catch them in a glass jar and leave them in there to die a sad and lonely death. For the record, I am strongly opposed to cruelty to animals except where the animals in question are misquitoes, fleas, cockroaches, harmful single-celled organisms such as many types of bacteria, and, of course, wasps. Although I’m also somewhat scared of bees, I much prefer them to wasps. To explain this, I hereby list several reasons why wasps are worse than bees.

  1. waspBees are intelligent and wasps are stupid. I judge insect intellect based upon the insect’s ability to find its way out of a room that it has accidentally entered. Since the dorm rooms at my college don’t have screens, I have had many opportunities to observe the relative intelligence of insects based upon this standard. More often than not, a bee that flies into the room will simply turn around and fly right back out again. A wasp, on the other hand, is generally unable to find the window. If it isn’t killed or captured first, it could spend a good couple hours flying around and walking aimlessly around the glass surface of the window (often inches away from the exit) before it eventually figures out how to go away. For the record, the aforementioned wasp did eventually leave by way of the window, but it sure took a while to find it. As a side note, June bugs are really stupid. I have never seen one fly out the window. They will fly to the light and batter against it until they die. If you turn off the light, they’ll just batter against the ceiling instead. If you trap a June bug in a jar, stick the jar out of the window, and then open it again, the June bug will fly right back into the room and fly into the light and/or ceiling again. I’m not kidding; they’re that idiotic.
  2. Wasps are much more likely to sting. If you are close enough to get a good look at a wasp on a windowpane that wishes it was on the opposite side of the window, it will actually sting the windowpane in frustration. Bees don’t do that because they’d die if they did. I have actually never been stung by a wasp and have only been stung by a bee once, about ten years ago. But that was only because I accidentally stepped on that bee. Most species of bees are not aggressive at all. Bumblebees in particular are unlikely to sting you. There have been a couple incidents where a bumblebee has actually gotten caught in my hair and I have pulled it out with my hand (because I didn’t realize at first that it was a bee and not a piece of leaf or something) and it didn’t sting me, even though I was momentarily holding onto it with my bare fingers. In that situation, I can guarantee that a wasp would sting.
  3. Wasps are sneaky and insidious. If a bee gets in the room, you know it’s there because you can hear it buzzing. If a wasp gets in the room, you don’t hear it until it hits the wall or window. Unlike bees, they fly in ominous and sinister silence. While there’s a wasp in your room, you have to keep your eye on it constantly or else you lose track of its exact location.
  4. bumblebeeBees are technically actually kind of cute. Wasps are hideously ugly. They have little beady faces with sinisterly oblong faces, and long, snake-like bodies with an almost-microscopically small midsection and a thick, wriggling back-end. Worst of all are the red wasps with black wings, which are the most common ones around here. The aforementioned wasp was of this type.   Those critters are just so horribly ugly.
  5. Bees make honey. Honey is good. What good do wasps do for the world?
Spiders, although often creepy and sometimes even dangerous, are not to be greatly hated. In fact, when small and not too disturbing-looking, they are to be allowed to remain in the home and affectionately addressed as something along the lines of Sophie or Charlotte. These are always good names for spiders, although I cannot explain why Sophie is a good spider name. Charlotte, of course, is a reference to the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. This particular spider was my sister's friend and his name was Beowulf.

Spiders, although often creepy and sometimes even dangerous, are not to be greatly hated. In fact, when small and not too disturbing-looking, they are to be allowed to remain in the home and affectionately addressed as something along the lines of Sophie or Charlotte. These are always good names for spiders, although I cannot explain why Sophie is a good spider name. Charlotte, of course, is a reference to the children’s book Charlotte’s Web. This particular spider was my sister’s friend and his name was Beowulf.

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