Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pesky Critters

The spiders are back. 3 in this last week. Not the huge stripey legged ones we had 3 of in our bedroom a while ago (complete with egg sack and baby spiders running everywhere. See blog "Life's Wild in Colombo" March 20th) but these new ones have a bulbous body about 3 cm long, 1.5cm thick, legs 7 cm. They are dove grey and almost downy. You can even see their little fangs and eyes at the front. A bit like Charlotte in Charlotte's Web, but markedly less cute than even that uncuddly creature. We had one outside our bedroom on the wall, one on the trampoline cushions which our son had unwittingly carried outside. When they saw it later on the wall, they both screamed and had to be 'airlifted' off the trampoline and carried inside for 'safety'. So much for life in a tropical country hardening our children to such things. The third spider was another type again. Even longer thicker legs, black with a black and white marking on its body.

I must say though, the children take the 'rat exploits' with amazing nonchalance. We had the pest control here again today, as the rat poison we have in little trays in every room, doesn't seem to work. Tell tale chewed tea towels, plastic containers with teeth marks, scufflings etc suggested they were back. I just don't know how they are getting in, that's what bothers me. The gullies are all weighted down now.

Anyway I told the children. Not a flicker of concern, or even interest. They were interested in why I had put peanut butter in the mousetrap however......The pest guys pour some noxious, and no doubt highly toxic, substance down all our loos, all the 'gullies' in the bathroom floors (drains with hinged covers in the corner of each bathroom, which the rats use to pop in of an evening, or quiet moment, if you don't put a heavy weight on them) It smells awful. I dread to think what all the chemical waste is doing to the waterways here. They spray in all the drains and holes outside too. I imagine it just deters the rats, it can't kill them surely? I have refused to have the house fumigated to deter ants, geckos and cockroaches (even though lots of people do this) because I don't want poisonous fumes being inhaled by my children. It is supposed to last up to 6 months. If it kills all those things and lasts that long, what is it doing to us? I prefer to fight those battles in single combat.

A teacher at our son's school asked to see the list of chemicals the maintenance guys were spraying the school with everyday. He looked them up on the Internet and found at least 2 of them had been banned in the States for 20 yrs. So you can't be too careful. In fact it is pretty impossible to BE careful in this country. So many hazards. I try. One of the guys dug out a hole he found near our outside tap. He said he saw a huge black rat in there.

I prefer the low tech method of pest elimination. But then there's low tech and low tech........ For example the glue method (Our house-help highly recommends this method. The pest guys agree. Sounds a bit messy. You literally put glue stuff down, and the rat sticks to it. Alive. Then all you have to do is kill it. Sounds even more messy.....

Antd then there's another gecko story. Not content with falling into our kettle, drowning, and decomposing undetected in there, a fellow curious gecko crawled into the tiny steamhole in our rice cooker the other day. (A 1cm max hole) It was one night when M was home alone and cooking for himself. He swore it was empty when he filled the rice cooker with water, poured the rice in, and turned it on. However, when he came to turn it off, lifted the lid, and the steam cleared, there lying in a bed of fluffy basmati was a boiled gecko.

1 comment:

Wanderingbetweentwoworlds said...

Rats and Spiders are, ironically, almost as much of a problem in Oxford, England, at the moment. See my blog post http://wanderingbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.com/2007/10/hamelin-plagues-of-biblical-proportions.html
written before reading yours, which amused me.
Sounds like M. needs all the R and R he can get! My R. too!