About a month ago, my father and I expanded deck that comes off of my kitchen into my back yard. All the important stuff is done (except for replacing the steps, which will break soon), but when I asked about staining it, my father told me to wait a year.
Apparently, treated wood needs to “wash out” it’s treatment (which is really just a bath of waterproofer and some other chemicals to prevent rot while on a Home Depot shelf). If stained before the wood is washed out, the treatment will bleed through the stain and ruin it. We don’t want that.
So my unstained, 85% completed deck is where I spend most of my weekend, and weekdays I decide I need to work from home. I bring my coffee, beer, cigarettes, and laptop out and do what I got to do. Since I’ve poisoned all of the soil and plants in my yard, there are few if any bugs (minus the gnats hanging out around the festering compost heap) to annoy me while I vibe out into the deep dark night. Except one.
Because of my unstained deck, a carpenter bee has decided to make it his literal life’s work to burrow a hole in the railing directly next to me cafe table and chair. He’s been at it for 3 weeks, and shows little signs of stopping. I’ve done everything I could without killing it, and it keeps coming back to the exact same hole and chews and chews and chews. It’s obnoxious.
Today I made my final attempt before I make the decision to murder it.
While in it’s hole I chased the bee away with a swift punch to the wood. The vibrations rattled it out of it’s potential nest and buzzing in a circle around my head. he then vanished into the cover of the trees. I figured I had bought myself some time, and I ran inside to get the leftover RAID I had from when I was playing Border Patrol in my old apartment with what seemed like an endless horde of roaches. I filled the now vacant hole with the poison in hopes it would at best deter the bee, at worst confuse it enough to find another spot to dig.
As I put the can down I saw the bee at the other end of the deck, upset about what I just did. I took my sandal off and swung it at the bee, hoping to knock it away from my deck. I missed and he charged back, right into another whip of my heavy rubber and leather paddle. The thud was sickening yet satisfying. I had won the battle.
As I type this now, the bee has returned. I’m watching from the air conditioned comfort of my kitchen, as it searches for it’s hole. It hasn’t found it yet. If it does, I’ll kill it.
BTW: Have you ever seen a carpenter bee? They are huge.