A Bug’s Life

A few months ago I wrote about the fact that I had the 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 due to the fact that 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 is no stagnant water for the little buggers to breed. I often pity those who buy front line golf villas who imagine themselves enjoying tranquil summer evenings on the terrace overlooking the fairways, only to be driven inside after incessant attacks from the mossies. The owners are forced to either beat a retreat or fight back with enough insect repellent to breach the Geneva Convention on Chemical Weapons as well as put rather a large hole in the ozone layer.

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 Bee Hari-Kari and sting me on the soft flesh on the inside of my Big Toe. The pain, dear reader, was something to behold. 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 Sebastian’s 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???” Seb 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 nests on the right sleeve of my jacket. You can see them on the photo above.

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

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