killer moths

every few weeks or so we get an attack of swarming insects come through town. makes me think of locusts only ours don’t kill crops. tonight it’s an odd-shaped moth with four long thin wings that likes to dive-bomb the floor then flop around trying to find which way is up. you know they’re here because it sounds like rain outside. that’s them banging against the glass of the windows over and over. despite my best efforts to keep them out, they’ve squeezed in through any crack they can find. i shoved a bit of mosquito netting under the door after i caught one creeping through and now there are four or five tangled up in the net. like energizer bunnies they plod through fold after fold. tomorrow morning i’ll have a graveyard of dead moths on my floor and i expect the back porch as well.

africa is full of monster insects. we have a family of hairy spiders co-habitating our house that i’ve finally come to terms with. the king-size bees nesting in the roof no longer scare me and our geckos are downright friendly. my favorite though is what another volunteer aptly called the ‘sausage fly’- a slow harmless thing about an inch long that drags around a long sausage-shaped back-end and likes to sneak up loose shirts. auntie beatrice, our neighbor, likes to pick them up and throw them hard against the floor, then peak down to see if she’s killed it.

for awhile we had something much larger than an insect living in the roof. seems it got closed in there during the renovation. at first i thought it might be a cat since i could hear it trying to claw it’s way out. all the thumping around sounded like a burglar and i made john, a neighbor who was visiting at the time, go round the house to scare him off. he came back with a laugh and ‘there’s an animal in your ceiling’. the next day we had the workers pull up one of the corrugated steel panels that make up our roof and out flew an enormous crow.

interestingly enough, despite what seems like the entire insect kingdom buzzing around, we haven’t got any mosquitos. the net i sleep with would have come in handier in hungary.

~ by aliciawolcott on April 17, 2007.

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