July 7, 2010
Because of the heavy rain we’ve had lately, there has been flooding in many areas. The picture above is the soccer field in Santa Elena…
Yesterday I wrote about all the insects that are proliferating in our humid summer environment… It wouldn’t be so bad if they would stay outside but I guess, invited or not, they want to come in where its dry.
What can we do to keep the “home invasions” to a minimum? I don’t hire fumigators and rarely use commercial sprays; I feel if they are lethal to the bugs, they can’t be very good for humans or pets either. If I’m going to be outside at night and there are a lot of mosquitoes, sometimes I give in, and spray a little repellent around my ankles but, I don’t let it get on my hands or near my face. A light application seems to be enough to keep the biting at bay. Believe it or not, putting a sheet of “Bounce” (yes, what you use in your clothes dryer!) seems to repel a lot of bugs. In the house, I lay them under furniture and in closets.
However, this seems to do no good when it comes to “public enemy number one” – for them, I buy “roach hotels”. These are little black plastic discs with small openings around the sides. There is some kind of toxic substance inside and the cockroaches carry it back into their lairs and then they die off. I place these strategically throughout the whole house. I have designed my storage space to be as open as possible. Roaches love closed-in, dark spaces; if everything is exposed to the light and air, they don’t nest there.
With ants, there is little to be done except to “wipe them out” with a wet cloth wherever they appear. I also watch for where their colonies are… you can see them marching one-behind-the-other into tiny holes they drill in the walls or between the tiles. When I find an opening I stop it up with a thick paste I make from powdered detergent and water… this works for a while but new entrances will be seen sooner or later – repeat the process. I am also careful to check my shoes and shake out my clothing before I put it on, because sometimes bugs will be in the folds or deep in the toes of footwear. Putting screens on the windows and making sure that doors close tightly helps to keep the bugs outside where they belong.
The bottom line is that in this climate, insects are a fact of life and we will never completely eradicate them… control is the best we can hope for. I have learned to tolerate insects up to a point and I am grateful for small mercies… at least most of them are not very BIG!
*Santa Elena photo by Beth Knepp; the others are from Google Images