Tuesday, February 12, 2008


We share our house with quite a few other lifeforms. Last night we had to remove a spider that was about as big as a person's hand, and we have found several more that were the same size. The most challenging thing about them is trying to trap them in a cup to put them outside, because killing them would be wrong, and really messy.
Also, there are these strange little cocoon-like things that we find all over the walls everyday. They wouldn't be that bad, except that they start to wiggle around and a little thing that looks like a worm starts to come out. We dedicate at least a few minutes of each day to getting these things off the walls with toilet paper and flushing them down the toilet.
There is a PVC pipe that comes out of the floor near our kitchen, that we did not pay much attention to until a rat started poking its head out and looking around. We capped it off with a plastic cup, and we have not seen any rats since.
The ants also make their presence known. There are all different sizes, from ones that are smaller than a flea, to ones that are as large as a bee. If you leave any food or crumbs out, the tiny ants will immediately appear from out of nowhere and swarm all over their snack. The good thing about this is that we cannot be too lazy about letting dishes pile up, or else we will have company.
Then there are the medium and big ants. They seem to find really interesting places to live. For example, they love electronics, especially printers. Apparently this is a pretty common problem down here, and the Tech Department at CDS has to take apart quite a few printers to get the ants out. They like the heat and the chemicals or something.
The ants that we see the most regularly are the ones who live in the bathroom door (yes, IN the door). Fortunately it's not the bathroom by our bedroom. They are not that bad because they only come out at night, through a whole in the bottom of the door probably. Usually there are only a couple of them, but there have been times when we have found at least 15 big old ants crawling around in there. It's not that big of a deal since we are going to Guanacaste next year. We try to just avoid using that bathroom after 8 PM or so.
Then there are the mosquitoes, who are not too bad lately. We notice them a lot more when we go to the beach, but there are still times when we wake up in the night with a bunch of bites.
The creature that we fear the most is the cockroach. Something about the way that they move around so quickly, and how big they are, makes us squirm pretty easily. The worst is when they start flying around. We have probably only seen about 15 cockroaches in our house since we moved in. Cockroaches are never spared unless they get away somehow, but usually they end up splattered under a shoe or rolled up magazine.
We used to think that we had a mouse problem in our loft because of all of the droppings that we would find. We avoided that area, but soon we learned that there was no reason to be scared, because it actually came from geckos. The geckos are the best. They eat bugs nonstop, and they are pretty cute too. They make the strangest, loudest noise, that is hard to describe, but is somewhere in between a shriek and a click. Sometimes geckos spook us a little because we think that they are cockroaches at first, but when we realize that it is just one of our little insect-devouring reptile buddies we are very relieved.
We have also had some issues with big centipedes and moths in our house, as well as some cats that would come in through the open skylight and spray our things. This is the part of Costa Rica that you don't always hear about when people mention gorgeous the beaches, volcanoes, and rain forests.

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