12 Dec, 2016 @ 11:51
1 min read

A Bug’s Life: The insects are out to get me

wasps giles e

A FEW months ago I wrote about my distinct feeling that the animal population was out to get me.

This followed the sightings of an alleged big cat near Estepona, shark off the beaches of Fuengirola and the usual scurrying of boar close to the Casita.

Last week, however, it was the turn of the insect population to have a pop at me. Luckily, as the Casita sits on a reservoir where the water level rises and falls – and trust me, it has risen rapidly after the recent rains – I don’t have that much of a problem with mosquitoes as there’s no stagnant water for the little buggers to breed in.

I often pity those who buy frontline golf villas, imagining themselves enjoying tranquil summer evenings on the terrace overlooking the fairways, only to be driven inside after incessant mozzie attacks. The owners are forced to either beat a retreat or fight back with enough insect repellent to breach the Geneva Convention on Chemical Weapons, never mind putting a large hole in the ozone layer.

Honey bee
Honey bee

I also had a run-in with a rather large bee a few summers ago that decided, despite my ‘Save the Bee’ posts on social media, to commit apis harakiri and sting me on the soft flesh on the inside of my Big Toe.

The pain, dear reader, was something to experience. Worse than that was the advice of my French friend and adventure expert Sebastian, who was having a coffee with me at the time. ‘You need to find a blue Biro, not black, and draw all over the toe. The ink will bring the sting out.’

I duly obeyed orders and retired to bed. The next morning I woke up with a swollen, incredibly painful bright blue toe. I called my friend to complain that his method wasn’t working. ‘Oh my God!!! You actually did zis???’ he laughed…

Rather than bees, however, wasps have been my biggest problem. One famously flew into my hoodie on a morning run, causing me to rapidly and painfully slap myself in the face. With the onset of the cold weather, I put on my favourite leather jacket and grabbed a coffee on the coast. What I couldn’t work out was where all the mud was coming from around me and why I was getting strange looks from other people in the café.

It was only later in the day that I discovered a swarm of potter wasps had been building their nest on the right sleeve of my jacket.

I’ve always wanted animal attraction, but it seems that I’ll have to settle for insect attraction instead!

Giles Brown

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