Uninvited guests

No, it’s not the outlaw! Last week, we noticed a number of wasps on the terrace outside of the kitchen but they soon disappeared. Several days later, our building guardian advised that my neighbour on the 4th floor had been inundated with bees, did I have a similar problem? I said that there’d been a few wasps a couple of days ago, but they’d now gone. Actually, they hadn’t gone, they’d just gone to ground. More specifically, they’d built a nest under the full length tablecloth on the table outside our one and only guest room.

Initially, we thought they were wasps so we checked on the internet how best to evict our unwanted visitors. We decided to go for the low tech approach: sugar water in a bowl. The wasps have shown no interest in this whatsoever and on closer inspection, we think they’re bees. A large number of bees escaped recently from a hive which was being moved nearby. We  think some of them have moved in with us.  Bees pollinate, present no real problem or danger, and are generally felt to be good for the environment, so we’re going to wait and see what happens: honey anyone?

In a slightly warmer climate, one does have to take care not to attract unwanted guests, such as  ants, mosquitos and cafards. Living in an apartment block does pose its own problems. If one of you has an infestation, you all have one. As a consequence, we are regularly fumigated for all sorts of wee beasties. My own bete noir are the pigeons who tend to while away their days either roosting on the blinds or on the terrace balustrade. A number of neighbours have put fine wire the length of the balustrade but then the blighters sit on their garden furniture. Of course, it’s not the pigeons per se, more their droppings which pose a hazard. When the cat from next door prowled the length of our (very long) terrace, the pigeons took flight. However, after Mimosa (the cat) squandered a number of her nine lives falling from the 5th floor, our neighbours barricaded their terrace. I am loathe to acquire a cat merely to dissuade the pigeons.

During the summer months, we get lots of small lizards who enjoy sunning themselves on the wall but given that they feast on other creepy crawlers, they’re welcome to drop by. Rodents rarely make it up to the 5th floor although we do have a large population of squirrels on the Domaine. In my mind, squirrels = vermin with bushy tails. We also have a large population of magpies who regularly engage in running battles with the Domaine’s ducks: bigger, but not as fleet of foot. I’m sure there’s lots of other critters who, like us, enjoy living here but it’s largely a peaceful co-habitation.

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