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For the Love of Bugs!

April 10, 2012

At last count, I had 14 or 15 mosquito bites, one spider bite, one black fly bite, and one unknown bite…awesome.  If you’ve never seen one of my mosquito bites, then you should know that mosquitoes LOVE me and if I scratch them, even just once, they turn into horrible, inflamed, irritated Bites of Doom, an inch or two across.  You should also know that Matthew has just a couple of bites and, most importantly, neither kid has any bites!  Yay!  Go kids!

One of my (Lisa’s) biggest personal fears in coming here was the bugs.  Okay, IS the bugs.  I’m not a fan of anything creepy and crawly.  I’ve developed enough self-control that I don’t scream or react “poorly” unless they startle me (and then there could be some screaming).  So, I knew there were cockroaches here, and I lived in trepidation, wondering how my first encounter would go.

Our first morning here, it was about 3am and we were up because that’s what time you get up when you’re suffering from jet lag.  I was milling through our bins in the living room, looking for something, when I saw one scramble across the floor.  It stopped and I stared at it, wondering where my fear was.  I was amused, but not fearful.  So far, the ones we’ve seen range from one inch, to nearly two inches long.  I showed it to Matthew, just before it skittered under the piano.  It didn’t even occur to me to try and kill it until later.  It did show up again and Matthew took care of it.

The next morning, I found two in the shower and dealt with them myself (see picture in previous post).  That was followed by a cockroach free day (the only one so far) and then the fear and terror struck.

I was laying in bed, sleeping, until it was 3am and I awakened.  On the top of the mosquito net I saw an outline of something that didn’t belong.  Levi had not been sleeping well, so Matthew was in bed with him, and Amelia with me.  I laid there, staring, wondering what to do.  My first decision involved going over Amelia to the other side of the bed, so at least my feet weren’t under it.  I still didn’t know what it was, or whether it was inside or outside.  I was optimistic: it was a moth on the outside of the net.  Yep.  Now, sleep.  Yeah, right.  I laid there for an hour, trying to be optimistic.  Sadly, I was crammed into a corner of the bed and couldn’t get comfortable.  So, I decided to put my big girl panties on and go back over to the other side.  After an hour of not moving, that moth was obviously very comfortable, right?  So, I got comfy back on my side and closed my eyes.  Five-ish minutes later I reopened them.  Gone.  It was gone.  I finally began to get nervous…  Where did it go?  What was it?  Was it inside or outside?  I was trapped, either way, inside the net.  Okay, back to being optimistic, it went away.  It had a meeting, or friends to see, or it got hungry and went elsewhere.  I closed my eyes again.  They popped back open and I saw it…on the other side of the top of the net, skittering a la a cockroach.  Panic.  Fear.  I still didn’t know whether it was inside or outside, but I did know that I wanted out…so, I played a game of dodge the cockroach’s dropping space, just in case he was inside (I was optimistic he was not), crawling from one side of Amelia to the other.  1-This is a king size bed.  2-Amelia stayed asleep throughout the whole ordeal.  Finally, I found a moment of escape and took it…sliding out from under the net and into Levi’s room.  Levi stayed asleep, too, as I told Matthew I needed some assistance in our room.  He grabbed a flashlight (something I had been unwilling to do) and some bug spray.  The cockroach had been INSIDE the net.  INSIDE, I tell you!  I worried about bug spraying Amelia, but Matthew used the flash light to get elsewhere and sprayed it.  We ended up chasing it around until it finally died.  Scooping up my theoretical big girl panties, I actually crawled back into bed and laid there for another hour…but, no, I did not sleep.

One more story for you for today.  Two days ago Matthew and I were chatting next to the kitchen sink.  I noticed two hair blowing in the breeze of the fan, poking out from beneath the corner of the sink, about six inches from my hand.  Nope, not hairs.  Cockroach antennae.  BAH!  Matthew got that one, too.  It was big.  Ick.  Icky ick.

So, you can pray a prayer of praise that I have handled my bug encounters with grace and you can pray that the cockroaches will stay out of my way if they value their lives.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlene Davis permalink
    April 10, 2012 0829

    Lisa, you are such a good writer I hope you will save your stories and write a book about your experiences in DRC. Your Mom sent the “60 Mintes ” TV story on the Kinshasta Symphony & some of the shots of the city remined me of the pictures Ben had taken when he was in Haiti. I now have a better idea of where you & Matthew are doing your missionary work. Yes I will pray for you & the bugs. I to do not like them but they like me & I swell up when I get bite.
    Charlene

  2. Tally permalink
    April 10, 2012 0829

    I did purchase some roach powder that will kill off all the bugs. I didn’t put it down as I wanted you to be able to use it fresh, and know where it was (so as to keep babies and kitty out of it). If you look into the pantry, it is on the top, right shelf…..pour it into lids (mayonnaise type) and place under fridges or where kids and animals can’t get to it. It should curb the bugs. Also, I have roach chalk up on that same shelf, along with bug spray….help yourself…and welcome to Congo, baby! :)) Tally

  3. Mike permalink
    April 10, 2012 0829

    Lisa,

    Sorry, the cockroach battle never ends, but there is limited victory if you wish to engage. They do love to come in through the drains, especially the small shower, as you’ve already found out. This is because their “base” is down in the main drain, which is located out under the avocado tree, next to the 3 colored water barrels. When you do dishes or use the washer, you can hear the water draining down into this septic.

    If you take a flashlight, you get look down that pipe, and the hole is about 6-10 feet deep. Cockroaches are constantly coming out that pipe, but what they do is they come into the house through the drain underground. If you want to bombard them with bug spray, you can remove the drain cover in the small shower and just blast it. Also, in the generator room there are 2 concrete drain covers with round bar handles. (BTW, you’ll probably need WD-40 to lubricate the handles in order to pull them up.) One is located in the corner underneath where my generator sat, the other is just a couple feet away underneath whre I keep all our bidons (plastic gas cans).

    If you remove these covers, be prepared to see a small army of cockroaches. Also, if you bombard the shower drain and these outside drains, it will also cause a mass panic and exodus of the army. Be on guard with fly swatters to kill them by the dozens!

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