14 November 2010


Here in Uganda, we've all learned to deal with some pretty intense situations when it comes to the insect life here. Cockroaches the size of your thumb are the norm. I've heard tales of a spider so big you can hear its footsteps while it walks across your room. You hear the sound of wings flapping outside your pit latrine at night and think it's a bat, only to find out it's actually a beetle the size of a baseball. You have a ten-day battle with a three-inch long wasp that lives in your house and chases you from one room to the other and back.

There's not a whole lot you can do. You ignore some of them and hope they go away and/or don't bite you and/or aren't poisonous or carrying disease. You kill others and hope that more don't come to take their place.

So the other night, I was lying in bed, reading with my headlamp on, when I get hit in the face by a praying mantis. I grab an issue of the Economist from spring of 2009, and swat it, sending it bouncing off the wall and under my bed. I roll over and shine the light under the bed to make sure it's dead.

I hadn't looked under my bed since I got it, two and a half weeks ago.

The praying mantis was dead.
And I found an entire colony of ants had built a series of dirt tunnels under my head while I slept.


So I rolled back over and spent a few minutes debating what to do. Get up and deal with it now or go to sleep and hope that it had taken them a while to build that much and that I wouldn't wake up covered in dirt tunnels and ants and deal with in the morning.

I went to sleep. And then I didn't get around to the ants for a few days.
I'm gross, I know.

When I went to take care of it today, the tunnels were still there, snaking from the corner over to the box from my stove. I didn't see any ants though. Until I sort of kicked at the box. A thousand ants swarmed out of the box, back into their tunnels, back through the crack they came in. I could hear them. Millions of tiny legs make a surprisingly loud and creepy noise.

Needless to say, I lost a lot of brain cells today from spraying a lot of BOP Insecticide (which, according to the can, has a New Approved Formula, so that's nice). And I'm going to try to stop being a disgusting human being.

(And the picture is sideways for some reason, but you get the point.)

1 comment:

  1. so glad you included the picture on this, it is definitely the most disturbing thing I have read so far. mainly pleased with the waiting a few days to deal with it part.