Living with life

Our landlord Rodney came over this morning, bringing with him a bottle of poison for the large ants trying to take over our bathroom. They were building a nest at the bottom of the wooden sink cabinet and for the last three mornings I've swept up little piles of debris they had scavenged overnight. The ants were no problem, but the sweeping was getting old. Rodney sprayed, wiped it down, and went home, but the ants, once limited to the bathroom, now scurry in ones and twos over the the main room floor, escaping from the poison no doubt. We leave the door open so they can find their way out.

While Rodney was here he also sprayed around the kitchen window to keep the fire ants at bay. They are the smallest ants we've ever seen, light brown in color and so tiny they can easily be overlooked. They bite though, and leave a powerful stinging behind that lasts a good 30 minutes. We've no compunction about killing them.

Yesterday, in the drawer where we keep the wires and chargers that modern travel demands, I found a large brown beetle, a good inch long, not counting his feelers. He was dead so we didn't have to chase him down to carry him out, which is a good thing. I felt bad though—I like beetles.

There are other insects, of course; mosquitos have shown their ugly little snouts now that the rains are passing, and moths and other winged insects occasionally pass through (our rear windows have no screens). And of course, like every tropical household we have a gecko; he's small and doesn't get in our way, but it's a little disconcerting sometimes to reach for a package or can and see him dodging away across the kitchen counter.

Fortunately neither of us is especially squeamish about insects or creepy crawlers, and living surrounded by jungle I guess that's a good thing. Still, I much prefer the monkeys; they look more like us.