Summertime… Creepy Crawlies

Well, summer is here. And the only thing that I really don’t like about summer in Japan (other than the humidity) is the bugs.

Last week, Tak found a centipede in the house. Ugh. But it’s the first time a centipede has been found in the house by someone other than me. Last year, I managed to find all three of the little nasties. I’m hoping that’s the only one this year, but somehow I’m doubtful.

Last week, the first cockroach of the year was also spotted. It went running up and around the back of the toilet. When I called for Tak, of course he couldn’t find it. And he’s like go ahead and use the toilet, it’s fine. Whatever. He really thinks I can sit on a toilet when I know there’s a cockroach somewhere on it that could come running out while I’m peeing!?! No way. I went and used the Snoopy bathroom instead. (Mi-chan’s toilet has lots of Snoopy paraphernalia in it.) I saw another cockroach this morning. It was still on the small side, maybe an adolescent. It ran under the stove before I could get to it, so it will live on and grow up to be a big adult cockroach (unless, hopefully, it ate some of the Combat). It does seem that I have seen less cockroaches so far this year. I’m hoping I didn’t just jinx myself by writing that. I’m guessing it could be that all the Combat poison things are still out from last year.

But the worst creepy crawlie thing of the year happened yesterday and it wasn’t any of the usual suspects. Tsubaki took her bath before dinner yesterday. And she is “Miss Independent” and “Miss Picky” about her clothes and getting dressed. So after her bath, she saw her pair of striped pants on the clean laundry pile that Tak had just brought it and wanted to wear them. So I grabbed them and handed them to her. She was putting them on and had both feet fully in when she started screaming bloody murder. I looked over at her and realized something was buzzing and flying around in between her legs and the pants. It was a bee. I don’t think I will ever forget the sight and sound of that bee buzzing around her. (It’s a bit like Gaku’s Buzz Lightyear moment when he dove down the steps and time seemed to stop for a few seconds.) While yelling for Tak, I grabbed the pants and ripped them off her. Tak killed the bee while I tended to Tsubaki. She had a sting on the inside of her thigh and a couple more on the outside. Tak said that the bee wasn’t a ズズメバチ (according to translation it could be yellow jacket, hornet or wasp), and only that kind of bee stings more than once. But I swore there were three stings.

This was a little after 7:00 in the evening. The urgent care pediatric clinic opens for the evening at 7:30 so I rushed her there. As soon as I told the nurse she was stung by a bee, she told me they couldn’t handle that kind of thing and I needed to take her to one of the hospitals, either Idai or Kenchu. Great. So we rushed off to Chuo Hospital ER, which is always busy at that time of night, and waited for about an hour and half. I had the bee in a little plastic bag with a knot in the top. Tsubaki kept wanting to look at the bee. We realized it wasn’t completely 100% dead. Its butt and legs were moving weakly sometimes. Tsubaki was just fascinated by this and it made the waiting time go a bit faster. She kept saying things like, “Its butt is moving.” and, “It was in my pants.” By the time we saw the doctor, the swelling had already started to go down. But the doctor gave us some allergy medicine. He said if she suddenly started to get worse to bring her back right away. It wasn’t exactly a スズメバチ, but some kind of related bee. Apparently, that type of bee sting can be very serious and have pretty severe side effects. He also said to watch out because there is probably a nest nearby and there could be more of them.

So by the time we finished at the hospital it was a little after 10:00 at night (Tsubaki is normally in the futon by 8:30 and asleep by 9:00) and I realized Tsubaki had not eaten dinner. She drank some fruity milk drink on the way home, but didn’t want the jam bread she had picked out herself at the convenience store. I don’t think she fell asleep until close to 11:00 because she was a bit wound up, which meant she woke up grumpy this morning. But she seemed just fine, other than being super grouchy and difficult.

Tak is going to check around for bee hives today.

Great. So now I can add bees to my list of creepy crawlie things that I have issues with. The current list is: centipedes, cockroaches and bees.


The bee that stung Tsubaki

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