He’s in my house, and he’s dying.
For the last two days, he’s been here, my uninvited guest about an inch long and shiny black. He’s slow, and he’s looking for a place to rest. Somehow, he got trapped inside, and I can’t get him to leave.
I dislike killing bugs. When possible, I let them out. Usually it works; sometimes not so much. When they’re in the baby’s room, for example, I kill them. It depends on how much damage they can do versus how likely I am to get them outside safely.
This guy, though, isn’t behaving right. It’s cold outside. It’s cold inside (no heat yet) and his life cycle is over. I think he knows.
I set up a “wasp trap,” the kind that normally doesn’t fail: I shut the blinds, made all the rooms dark, and opened the front door so he’d be attracted to the light through the storm door. After that, it’s easy: you open the door so he leaves, or else you shut the front door, walk around to the front, open the storm door, and he leaves.
I opened the porch door so he’d be attracted to the fresh air from the screen there, where I could let him out. I even tried opening the windows so he’d go for the fresh air. Less useful because then my only option is to shut the storm widow and leave there until he dies.
He won’t go. He’s not taking the bait, not acting the way a wasp should. He barely moves. We see him once or twice a day, bumbling around slowly, staying high near the ceilings, landing atop the tall bookcases and sitting for hours with me unable to get to him. He’s dying. It’s cold. He’s worn out.
I want him to leave. He doesn’t really want to stay or to go. I’m going to find a dead wasp atop my bookshelf in a few years.
It’s sad as I watch the world shutting down for the winter. The trees are going naked. The flowers are falling apart. The wasps are looking for places either to winter over or to die, and then there’s this guy, lost and alone and resisting my every attempt to put him back in the world where he belongs.