Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Indoor Fauna" by Tammi; 12 Oct 2008

I am beginning to think of Raid as air freshener. As I sit here typing, I see there is a trail of tiny red ants coming from somewhere around the window and going to destinations unknown. Since I see them so frequently, I often wonder what these small annoyances do for a living. I’m not sure if they have a taste for sweets, mold, “meat”, moisture or if they simply just want to get into things-everything! Regardless of their career choice, I am plotting my next attack with my trusty “All Purpose Insect Killer” in the pretty purple can.

When we came to Ghana the first house-dwelling creature of that I observed was the very fast, often times large, flat, wall spider. While it looked creepy, we were told that spiders in Ghana don’t bite so we warmed up to them a little bit. In fact I named one of our larger wall spiders George. One day George seemingly disappeared. It was shortly thereafter (coincidentally?) that I noticed the gecko that had come to live with us. I felt it was only appropriate to name it George II.

The red ants march on, the occasional wasp makes its way in, gnats fling themselves at our light bulbs, an occasional termite drops by, and various other 6- and 8- legged creatures come and go. But I am happy to report the complete absence of cockroach sightings in our own home. We are careful to stow and secure our edibles in the “keep” in hopes that this will remain the status quo. As far as the little malaria-carrying-biting-bastard-mosquitoes, we have found that they are less prevalent here than in Iowa on a typical summer day. Rarely do we see one in the house.

Some of our fellow volunteers are not so fortunate. Home invasions of various degrees of have been reported. Their lists include scorpions, bats, mice, and snakes. So (happily) our indoor fauna is fairly boring.

Overall, bugs are not as problematic as I had anticipated. Regardless, I periodically engage in chemical warfare. While I make a point to avoid any geckos and I do not aim directly at the spiders, (they are on our side after all), I take responsibility for accidental casualties of war. I also understand that there may be possible human side effects if I use my weapon too often, too liberally, or too carelessly. Whatever-gotta go Raid the northeast border!

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