Monday, May 23, 2011

A day in the life: Haitian roommates

A few weeks ago I was introduced to some new roommates. Apparently they usually always stop by for a visit after a heavy rain. And since the past six months have been fairly dry, I hadn't yet met them. They're called "bedzells." And they're also known as flying termites.

Foul. Absolutely disgusting. I was told that after a heavy rain, "the queen flies." Then the termites hatch that night and fly toward the nearest light. And they're guaranteed to get anywhere there's light.

A few weeks ago I tried to fight them with bug spray. And after a while I won. But I used half a can of bug spray and had thousands of wings and carcasses strewn about. Again: absolutely disgusting.

Anyway, after that happened I mentioned it to my boss who gave me some advice. I took the advice when they returned last night.

I turned off the lights and went to bed.

Avoiding them is actually pretty simple. Though turning out the lights and crawling into my bednet isn't so bad at 10pm. I'd probably be a bit annoyed if they invade at 7pm some night. Oh well.

Here are some pictures of another roommate:There's a bunch of these at my place. Generally, I don't mind them. If they eat the other bugs, such as flying termites and malarial mosquitoes, I'm cool with the spiders. I do keep my distance though. I have no idea if they're poisonous.

This guy on the other hand is most likely poisonous. At least, if my guess is correct that he's a scorpion.Having lived most of my life in Cheshire, CT, I don't have much experience with scorpions. The extent of it is limited to three instances:

1) In Vietnam, a friend got bitten by a scorpion a few inches long. His ankle swelled to the size of a softball, but it was nowhere near deadly.

2) In Arizona, a friend bought a house. Before renovating it, he went on a nighttime scorpion expedition. Equipped with a black light, he killed about 20 scorpions in the hour we were talking on the phone. I'm not sure if his flatmates were deadly.

3) In Mexico, a friend and I were visiting some family on a ranch outside of Los Mochis. The rancher explained to me that the big scorpions aren't the really dangerous ones. He said it's the little ones. He proceeded to lift up a rock and show me a scorpion less than an inch long. He pinned it to the ground and pulled out its stinger. He said if he had gotten stung, he would've died.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of scorpions hanging out next to my toilet. Which, btw, I'm not sure why all these creepy crawlers like hanging out with my toilet bowl scrub.

My scorpion started to move. Not knowing anything about my particular bugger, I decided that cohabitating was unacceptable. But I didn't know just how fast these guys were... or if they could jump. So I didn't want to get close.

Lucky me. I had a nice, heavy, flat book nearby.

I offered him some bedtime reading. It was a real tear-jerker.

When he was done, he told me he felt the author's pain. He felt crushed.And perhaps not-so-surprisingly, I've got some furry friends. Not rats. Just mice. But I've also begun dealing with them. No thank you.

Tim White

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like some of our more foul politicians from Hartford followed you to Haiti!