Tuesday, 29 July 2014


I've been feeling rather sorry for myself.
I think I got bitten by a horsefly. There are gazillions of them around this summer, so that's what probably homed in on my ankle. Whatever it was, it's been so swollen and red and hot and sore that I have been laid up, foot propped up on 25 cushions, for a couple of days.
Well, it felt like 25 cushions.  In fact it felt as it my foot was strung up to the ceiling.
I've stopped now - the resultant backache was threatening to be worse than the ankle!

Miserable creatures. And poor horses, if that's what they generally bite.

There are gazillions of wasps too, this year.
A few years ago I bought a 'waspinator', and very pleased I was with myself, too.
I'd never heard of one before.


We 'inflated' it with a few plastic bags and hung it in the courtyard.
Result: no wasps.
Not a single one bothered us that summer. Or the next, or even the one after that, which was last year.

But right now, we are wasp-central.
What is that all about? And, I bought a new waspinator this year, as the camouflage-y markings on the old one had washed away (wasped away), so I splashed out. It is identical to the old one, except for the presence of camouflage-y markings, of course.
I didn't throw the old one away, they are both hanging out there.
Maybe that's my mistake. Instead of frightening the allegedly territorial wasps away, two nests in fairly close proximity are sending out a different message: 'Wasp Commune, All Welcome!'

It's either that or the bees. Perhaps our new high rise bees have ousted the wasps from their usual nesting sites.

High-rise bees

Whatever it is, I'd like it to stop. I loathe and detest wasps, especially when they hold massive get-togethers in my kitchen and around the table where we eat outside.
The In-Charge got stung on the inside of his arm while he was mending the gutters.
And he's been bitten by a horsefly too, on his shin.

The poor cats are in misery as well.
It's that time of the year when the mites in the grass spring to life, sharpen their gnashers and turn into little piranhas.
Hobbes is OK. Nothing seems to disturb his equilibrium, but poor Pushy and Pixie can''t stop scratching and tearing at themselves. They have great, raw patches all over them.
I keep them in as much as I possibly can, but I don't know if it makes any difference.
My sister's cat was prescribed anti-histamines, which made all the difference to her, but when I tried the same pills on Pushy, she reacted strangely to them, so I stopped giving them to her. And trying to get a pill down Pixie's throat twice a day is a purgatory worse, quite frankly, than the initial itch, so I have given that up as a bad job.

So much for summer.
Not such fun when it's all pests!

Pretty little Pushy, in happier times - ie, not summer


  1. I've been terrified of horseflies ever since I read about them in my I-Spy book of Insects at an impressionable age. "BOOM! That's a horsefly. You never hear it till it goes past your ear," said Big Chief I-Spy, and went on to rave about its strong proboscis piercing my skin. That man gave me nightmares, I tell you. Still, being terrified seems to have worked so far. I don't like wasps either, but at least you know where you are with them. And they don't go BOOM at you.

  2. HeeHee! That made me laugh. I didn't hear a BOOM, so maybe it wasn't a horsefly! I do remember just about everything I read at that impressionable age - and being totally terrified by my brother and his friend who used to lock the three of us into next door's car and tell ghoulish ghost stories. Quite horrible.

  3. I do hate clags - I remembered being tormented by them as a horse-riding teenager although there doesn't seem to be as many of them about now as years ago. Less cattle here too so maybe that's something to do with it.

  4. I escaped the clags, but there was evidently a wasp's nest near Cousin's kitchen. She set up jam laced traps, luring them to their deaths.
    What eats wasps? Apart from the Jack Russell, I mean.
    I am hoping and believing that you leg is baxk to normal now, and the pillows have resumed their usual duties.

  5. I think the problem is that nothing eats wasps, Isobel. Why would anything want to eat a wasp. Apart from the ModelDogs who constantly snap at them, much to my horror - and the Jack Russell of course. I wish something did. We have a grisly wasp-trap too. It is working very well indeed, and we hunt them down in the house.
    Thank you, my leg is completely recovered. It was a real pain!

  6. I loathe clegs - or clags - too Mairead. The turn in the weather seems to have seen them off a bit, but it's a stiff price to pay! Perhaps our problem is that we have cattle pretty close to us here.

  7. That Waspinator appears to be really effective, and could last for a couple of years. It’s a good thing you have one. Though It was too bad that the cats were bitten too. I hope you guys have recovered quickly. Thank you for sharing this information with us, Lorely. Take care!

    Alta Peng @ Liberty Pest Management INC


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