Tuesday, March 28, 2006

How many bugs have made themselves a home in our attic?

I wish I could even come close to calculating. Let's just say there are a lot. We've got wasps, ladybugs (the smelly kind), bottle flies, and who knows what else up there. The scary thing is that the wasps (and all the others, but the wasps seem to be the most aggressive) have been making their way into the house. Not cool.

Last night I went into the attic armed with a respirator, head-to-toe skin coverage, and two cans of super-strength wasp/hornet killer. The instructions said to have one point of light--located away from me since any stinging types would be attracted to the light--and to spray from a distance of at least 7-10 feet from the nest. So here I am, in dim (at best) light, spraying nests. Imagine my horror when I suddenly hear loud angry buzzing coming right toward me. Ack! I sat very, very still on my board-across-joist perch, and hoped they would in fact go toward the light (pun intended). No luck. Some did, but a few landed ON ME. And they were not happy, not happy at all. It totally freaked me out. I wiggled back through our cubbyhole and down into the bathroom and proceeded to have a major case of the willies.

The worst part about all of this is that I have to go back up in two days to scrape down and dispose of the nests so they don't come back and set up housekeeping again. I'm sure that'll be great. Just great.

The attic is going to be a project in itself. We need to get up there with a whisk broom and dustpan and clear out all the dust, spiderwebs, old nests--bird, bug, and otherwise, nut hulls left by trespassing squirrels, and all that other stuff. Then we need to insulate it; only problem is we don't know how we'll get insulation into the attic. The cubbyhole is 22 inches wide and about 16 inches deep. Just enough for a human . . . probably not enough for a human and/or a large roll or pack of insulation. Looks like putting in attic stairs might jump over some things on the priority list.

If you don't hear from me soon, it's because I lost my mind upon trip #2 into the attic to vanquish all things stingy and mean. I may be in a corner somewhere, curled into the fetal position and weeping ever so quietly.

Wish me luck.


katielady said...

EW!!! Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. I HATE wasps and stingy bugs of all kinds. I would not have been able to do it, and would have sent Joel up there. I feel for you, man. Yeesh. Good luck with the next round.

BTW, have you seen that spray-on insulation stuff? I saw it on This Old House once, it is in liquid form (which would be ideal for your tight quarters), and is sprayed in place, similar to fire-proofing. It then expands as it dries and fills all cubbies and corners completely! Great for tight places. Not sure how much it costs, and I'm betting you'd have to have someone come install it for you, but it would probably not require building stairs to get up there, as you can just bring the hose up! I'd say definitely worth looking in to. It'd probably kill all remaining bugs and their eggs, too, which would be bonus!

Maria said...

Hi G!

I had to browse through your archives because I couldn't remember visiting before, but soon discovered that you're one of my favorite journals on Houseblogs.net. Probably because we have similar houses. Yours, however, is much more ornate (thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not covet...). Great woodwork, windows over the doorways, etc. I believe mine has always been a "farm" house.

Anyway, we also have similar circumstances with pests. What about blown-in insulation. I understand it can be pretty messy, but it will get in the places you need it and you won't need much room for access. It's a do-it-yourselfer kind of job and you already have the outfit (complete with respirator!).

Good luck...post more pics!!