We will be heading back into our bush location in a week or two, so I’ve been trying to prepare myself mentally for what will be waiting for us when we get there. We’ve been on Home Assignment in the States for a little over 9 months, and our jungle home hasn’t been lived in the whole time we’ve been gone. Well, it hasn’t been lived in by PEOPLE, anyway. It’s anybody’s guess what other species have been doing in our absence.
Actually, as I think back to the behavior of some of the other local species while we were living there with them, and the reckless abandon with which they conducted themselves, I am more than a little fearful of what we might find.
Spiders, centipedes, ants, and termites are not wholesome creatures. They are what is known in the entomologist realm as “bad apples.” Or, to get more technical, “really bad eggs.” They are pretty much the embodiment of any phrase that contains the word “bad” in it.
But when it comes to raucous carousing and infestation, those creatures are really only second tier offenders. They are not the worst. No, that place is held firmly in the disgusting mandibles of cockroaches. Cockroaches are the dregs of the insect world. Dung beetles look at cockroaches and feel good about themselves.
For instance, when other insects invade our home, they at least have the courtesy to restrict their wanderings to typical insect spaces: corners, cracks, windowsills. But not cockroaches! It’s as though they entertain Star Trek-sized aspirations of “boldly going where no cockroach has gone before.”
We find them in our pots and pans, in our printer, in our toy bins, in our laundry. I have even found them in the empty battery compartment of a portable fan THAT DIDN’T HAVE ANY OPENINGS.
And they have no social boundaries, whatsoever. They lay eggs in our curtains. They eat through the wrappers of our non-perishables. They defecate on our silverware. They EAT OUR SPATULAS. Spatulas are not even FOOD, for crying out loud!
And that was when we were living with them, trying to enforce a level of law and order. Can you imagine what they’ve been doing in our absence? I don’t even want to THINK about the number of all-night insect orgies our kitchen has been host to. They’ve probably littered the floor with tiny red Dixie cups, clogged the toilet, and left gross stains on all of our furniture.
I’ve bought a heavy-duty can of insecticide to bring in with me, and I’ll be picking up some industrial strength stuff to spray the outside of the house with. I may be entering into an unwinnable fight, but I plan on taking as many roaches down with me as I can.