July 6, 2010
It has been raining and plants aren’t the only things that thrive in the high humidity. The insects do too – At first, they just about drove me to insanity. I had so many “close encounters” and a lot of them involve d the ugliest critters on the face of the earth – cockroaches. Ugh!
The very worst time was when I was invited to the home of a fellow Canadian in Merida
We sat in her living room, drank tea and chatted for so long I eventually needed the bathroom.
I asked where it was and she indicated a door to the left. There I went, closed myself in and nearly passed out! There were hundreds of cockroaches, literally hundreds, maybe thousands! I ran out, slammed the door and my compatriot asked what was wrong? “There… are … ah-h-h-h… some bugs… in… the bathroom,” I stammered. She looked at me like I was truly a shrinking violet and opened the door to see for herself… “Oh my God!!!” she screamed and ran off looking for “the spray”… I was left alone, still desperately needing to find a toilet.
She could think of nothing else but the infestation of her home and rightly so. I wandered through her house until I found another bathroom and then I went back to wait in the living room… She eventually reappeared – visibly shaken! The next morning she called and explained that a plumber had been working in that bathroom and hadn’t properly sealed up when he was through. This was like opening The Pearly Gates for all the roaches down in the septic system. I went back to her house many times – there was never even a trace of the previous incident but nonetheless, I made sure not to drink anything… I was not going near that bathroom again!
Another woman told me her embarrassing roach tale. In the northern country she came from there were none and so she had no idea how to control the ones she found nesting in her kitchen cupboards. “I noticed they always come out at night and I was scared to go in the kitchen for fear I’d step on one. I left the light on so that wouldn’t happen and what a surprise, not nearly so many made nocturnal forays.”
She concluded that the roaches didn’t like light so when a friend from her former hometown came to visit she told her, “Don’t turn off the light if you go to the kitchen in the night because you wouldn’t want to trip…” About 3 am, a terrified scream was heard and my friend knew that the roaches had gotten used to the light burning all night!
Ants are not nearly as repulsive but they are certainly annoying. They come in all sizes and colors and their penchant for spilled sugar, a crumb of bread, a sliver of meat, or any other trace amounts of organic material is astounding. During the rainy season, it is all I can do to keep them out of sight. (I try not to think about the fact that they are still lurking in many nooks and crannies inside my house and out!) There are the ones with wings that crawl all over my white walls at night and on occasion, drop down on my head from the ceiling! Another nocturnal variety march in single file, straight from their nests to my prettiest plants and can clean off all the flowers and leaves in a single night. Ants bite – they bite hard and you sure don’t want them around you but sometimes, there’s not much to be done about them – they are just too numerous.
Mosquitoes are very plentiful as well, and they can be dangerous because certain strains transmit Dengue fever and other diseases. Fortunately, the city fumigates and the numbers are greatly reduced from what they used to be. The relief of having fewer mosquitoes does come at a price though; I’m really not at all sure how safe that spray is but… what can you do?
Tomorrow I’ll pass along a few strategies I’ve learned about over the years.
The picture of the desert rose is mine. All the others are from Google Images… I certainly wouldn’t take pictures of such creatures!