An update before the lethargy from the oppressive heat and humidity sets in. Last couple of days we have virtually been housebound, venturing out only when absolutely necesary for supplies and throwing out rubbish in the communal bin. I am suffering from the sticky humidity and the Little One from the heat. We seem to be taking turns collapsing which is lucky in terms of cooking and chores.
The fight goes on with the mosquitoes and ants, though I seem to be gaining the upper hand. Keeping doors and windows tightly close appear to work. The downside is the lack of fresh air and so the fans are on 24/7, literally. The daily ritual begins, bedroom fan into lounge and from then it is a constant back and forth to the kitchen, finally reaching full circle at bedtime. Good job there isn’t a Nation Union of Fans demanding better working conditions and threatening strike action.
I could turn on the air con except I am conscious of the high consumption of electricity. More importantly, the dinosaur is on its last legs and the cold air it breathes out is barely adequate and can’t reach the kitchen at the other end. Apart from the two bedrooms the flat is open plan including the stairs up to the lounge and then two steps up to the kitchen and bathroom. Great for a feeling of space but hard work for the prehistoric appliance.
As for the latter pests, locals have advised me to buy some ant bait in the form of a black plastic little box with openings top and bottom. This I stuck on the outside wall where they hung out, with the helpful double sided tape provided. Except it wasn’t that useful as it fell off and was carried off by the roaming guard dogs, on the prowl for a titbit. I don’t think my bald topless neighbour/dog owner would be too impressed if they fell ill. And of course I am rather fond of them myself. Anyway if anything happened to them who would protect me, a lone helpless woman in a ‘foreign’ land?
The frustration was immense at the beginning as I kept checking if the bait had worked. They are supposed to climb into the hole, take the bait, come out and carry it off to their ant nest, thereby killing them all and the source in one fell swoop. Either the blighters were too smart or the unco-operativeheavens would open. The bloke at the pharmacy warned me it wouldn’t work wet which creates a slight logistical problem. The little darlings, die-hard fans of Tom Cruise, are crawling up the wall outside on a secret mission to enter enemy territory.
As there was one more bait left from the pack of four, I gave it one last shot. This time I resorted to plasters and leaned a long plank of wood against the wall, so the dogs couldn’t make off with it. I kept my fingers and everything else crossed but the heavens were yet again against me. Throwing my hands up in the moist air, I finally admitted defeat. I had tried bleach, insecticide, pouring hot water over them … Apologies to buddhists out there. I am a pacifist and don’t believe in killing life but a woman’s home is her castle.
Imagine my surprise when the very next day, the creepy black cluster had downsized; only solitary survivors making a final stand. An optical illusion, a desert mirage borne out of desperation? I rubbed my eyes, looked again but yes indeed I had won round one. I resolved to stock up on these baits as against the odds they did exactly what the packet said.
However, just when you think you are on the up, a new threat emerged in the shape of a massive vicious looking bug. I have no idea what it is but it is definitedly guest non-grata. Luckily it was trapped between the window pane and the mosquito screen. It must have flown in the window and trapped when the air con was turned on. Mother dearest was summoned with a loud shriek to persuade the trespasser to leave. This morning my baby informed me she was on super alert last night. Every slight movement, even the breeze from the fan startled her, thinking the bug had returned to squat.
Watch this space for an update of round two, the fight goes on …