Oh the joys of living in an old apartment. It seems to me that certain pests are a lot easier to find in Japan than other places. Sure, you can find roaches in just about any country, developed or not, but it seems like in Japan you run a decent chance of running into them no matter what kind of place you're living in. I've had a few run-ins with them in this place.
Most recently, though, I have a new "neighbor" trying to move in. On my balcony there is a washing machine. Behind the washer is this wooden column that looks like it was once part of some kind of structure. I don't know why it's there, but I have nowhere to move it to; so there it remains. Looks like someone took a liking to it.
When I got home a few days ago, I was startled to see this bee hanging out there, doing...something with the wood. It didn't make that hole, by the way - there were already a few holes in the column. It was by its lonesome (there doesn't appear to be any hive nearby) and it didn't seem aggressive, even when I got fairly close, leading me to believe it's a carpenter bee. They don't seem that bad from online descriptions, and it didn't seem ill-tempered. Nonetheless, I would rather not risk having a nest right next to my washing machine. I feel bad trying to kill it - after all, it's not really doing anything to bother me...but I can't set the precedent of letting bugs move in on my turf. So I scared it away for a few minutes by shooting it from behind my screen door (I guess I'm a coward like that) with some water. When it was gone, I powdered the hole with my favorite insecticide - boric acid.
Unfortunatelty as I'm in America at the moment, I'm not sure if the acid worked or not. I guess I'll find out soon enough.