It’s been quite a while since I have had a new kind of intruder come into my house. I have had new intruders on my land recently, I think the last one was the beautiful green tree frog. But nothing actually in the house for some time.
First, a little background. Having had a perfectly stable childhood I have no “monkeys in the basement” to trouble me. That is to say I have no fears, phobias or irrational thoughts. Nothing freaks me out whatsoever, except……
I am the sort of okay with them until they start trying to sniff my chips, or drink my drink. That’s when the relaxing meal in the beer garden turns into a frenzy with my arms flailing around all over the place with the ZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZzzz sound surrounding me from all directions driving me nuts!
It’s all much undignified.
But yesterday, as I was working on my computer in my office, I heard a loud buzzing noise in the background which I thought was a fly. The buzzing stopped so I ignored it. But a few moments later I saw him.
I wasn’t quick enough to photograph him as you will see, but he definitely looked like this one, photograph courtesy of eeekaysphotography.
He wasn’t making that silly buzzing noise all the time, he was kind of hovering or floating in silence. He was quite a big wasp, with a droopy backend. He looked quite scary really.
I wouldn’t have wanted him to sting me, or anyone else in the house. So I had a cunning plan. I walked out of my office, shutting the door behind me. My office also backs on to the garage and has a connecting door. The garage, of course, leads out into the big wide open world.
You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?
I walked out of the front door of my house, went into the garage through the garage doors and propped open the connecting door between my office and the garage. All I had to do now is wait for the wasps to leave.
Have you ever tried that with a European wasp? You can open doors, you can open windows, you could remove the roof of the house with a tin opener, you can try to get it to leave by waving a rolled up newspaper at it. But would those wasps leave?
Not in my experience.
But this little cutie, still without buzzing, simply turned and slowly glided out of the door, through the garage, out of the garage doors and flew off into the distance.
What a nice wasp.
Turns out it’s called the Potter Wasp. We have quite a few of those around here in Brisbane. They very rarely sting and are described as a solitary wasp. I assume that means they don’t form gangs and terrorise picnickers like the wasp from Europe do.
Then it struck me. I have been here something like two years and three months, that’s the first wasp ever to enter our house. Sure, we’ve seen them in the garden quite often, but strangely, not in an irritating way. Australia is almost wasp free!
No it isn’t.
Having done a little research, it turns out that Australia has something like 12,000 species of wasp, some so small you can barely see them with the naked eye. Perhaps that explains it.
Worse still, Australia does have the European wasp. The first sighting was in Tasmania in 1959, and they have since been seen in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, south-eastern New South Wales and South Australia.
But not yet Queensland; that also explains it. And I hope they stay away from here too, I much prefer the Potter Wasp.
So, unfortunately, Australia does have wasps. I had been told Australian wasps were vicious, the sting was extremely painful and if I remember correctly, the paper wasp was the most aggressive.
But from what I have seen, wasps here are nowhere near as bad as back in England. One wasp in my house in over two years! That’s not bad is it? And the acid test, I’ve never seen one in the baker’s cream cake cabinet.
I rest my case.
Update: Here are a couple of pics of a big boy spotted by Maurice, see his comment below.