This morning Mikayla came out of her room at about 6:45 a.m. to announce that she was just stung by a bee. A real bee. Not the cute little animated kind from the Bee Movie. This is real.
Apparantly there was (or had been) a bee in her room. For some reason it decided that she was not the type of flower it was looking for and decided to sting her on the upper arm. Mikayla is not allergic to bee stings. Well, she didn't used to be allergic to bee stings.
We doctored up her injury (no stinger to remove) and were ready to resume our usual get-ready chores when she threw a cough at us and said that her face felt all tingly.
If you are familiar with the medical history of this family you should know that these symptoms could indicate an allergic reaction could be in motion.
Dr. Tanya jumped into action to administer the Claritin and her Asthma inhaler as a precaution. Of course we had everything we needed on hand.
Tanya isn't really a Doctor. She just plays one in real life.
With that taken care of, Tanya decided to call an actual Doctor to find out what we should do (officially). The Doctor (on call) returned our call a short time later and said we should give her Clariton and use her inhaler. Groovy. She also suggested we keep her home as long as possible to monitor her for changes before taking her to school.
No further symptoms showed up... but we'll probably end up with an Epi-Pen for her to carry around. Pretty soon we'll just be buying these in Bulk from Costco.
Part 2: Afternoon Drama
While trying to diagnose some IT issues at work, wishing my tech-savy spouse was on-site, my cell phone rings. It's Tanya.
I hear frantic reports that we have bees in the house and the are coming out of the upstairs heating ducts.
My course of action is quickly assigned by the dipatcher (you all know who that is!): Coat the ducts with bug spray and erradicate any or all insects from the attic.
This is a priority. Right after soccer.... and after stopping to buy pasta sauce... and eating dinner... and cleaning up.
Part 3: Evening Drama
Once at home, I convinced the family that I would likely survive a trip into Mikayla's room to investigate how many bees were present and to finalize the erradication plans.
No bees were evident upon first inspection.
Mikayla peered into her room from the hallway.
The scenario played out a little bit like this:
Mikayla (M): Dad, the bee went up there (motions to the ceiling where the heating duct is).
Dad (D): The Bee?
D: The. Bee. ????
D: How many bees came out of the duct?
M: I saw one crawl in there!
D: One. Uh huh. (Peers in through the grate, sees nothing, hears nothing).
I head out to gas up Tanya's ride and to get Weapons of Mass Destruction for bees.
My purchases included all the essentials for a full assault:
- Raid Wasp & Hornet spray (shoots 25 feet!!!) for the nests that might be in far corners of the attic... or at least for the 10 nests that I know are under the eaves outside the house
- Raid Flying Insect Killer for Indoors (for close up assaults in proximity of living quarters
- Indoor Foggers (box of 3)
- A yellow fly swatter (for Alexia)
- A pink fly swatter (for Mikayla)
- A bag of spearmint candies (because I ran out at work)
- A bottle of Gatorade (because I'm hiking on Sunday)
Once back home I issued the fly swatting equipment to M & A. Hopefully my directions were clear:
- Only use these on bugs.
- Do not use these to touch your sister or you will lose your privledge of defending yourself against flying insects.
- If you squish it, you clean it.
- If an insect is on someone's body you must wait for it to move before using the fly swatter.
- If an insect is on something fragile you must wait for it to move before using the fly swatter.
- There are no second chances.
The kids were torn between the excitement of owning a fly swatter vs. the perception that the attic is filled to the brim with bees.
The Assault Begins
This is a 3 part plan.
- Phase 1: Heating Ducts
- Phase 2: The Attic
- Phase 3: Outdoor hives under the eaves.
Attack 1: Heating Ducts
The plan was to remove the upstairs heater vents, scout around them for evidence of bees, spray some of the 'indoor' bug spray into each vent and then cover each vent with plastic for a day or two.
I proceeded to remove the heating vents from the ceiling on the 2nd floor. I had quite an audience: they were ready and willing to help, but also ready to leave me in a heartbeat if anything went wrong.
Only 1 of the 8 vents had anything exciting. The vent in Mikayla's room did actually have one solitary, live (albiet inactive) yellow jacket. Chances are that this is the same one that stung her this morning. A quick blast of Raid and a fly-swatter gurney ride to the toilet sent him on his merry way.
Phase 1 is complete and considered a success.
Phase 2: The Attic
I had to drag the pool ladder upstairs to reach the attic access panel. We quickly located two small nests a few feet away. Unfortunately this implies there are probably quite a few more up there as well.
Mikayla had to have herself a look. Here she is, armed with a headlamp, fly swatter and curious determination.
We rigged up a plastic cover for the attic access and then sprayed the hives, knocking both of them off the roof. Yellow Jackets started to fly so we taped up the barrier and ran for safety.
Tomorrow we'll resume the attack on the attic, if time allows.
Tune in for more exciting adventures...