Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Good Excuse

This week I have a good excuse for not blogging. A week ago we sprayed the house with Dursban, a powerful insecticide, and while we toughed it out and came in the house to check email, we didn’t spend a second in here that we didn’t have to.

This is one of the drawbacks of living in a wooden shack in the jungle. The termites, along with a variety of other creepy crawlies, will take over given the chance. We’re told that we should spray at least once a year, and we’ve been closer to a year and a half, so we weren’t doing too bad. We still haven’t seen any signs of termites, but we were definitely finding more of the other types of creepy crawlies in the house, from spiders to ants to roaches to scorpions to geckos. We were starting to talk about the creepy crawlies as though we were developing our own little ecosystem in here – don’t kill the geckos, they eat the scorpions; don’t kill the spiders, they eat the ants, and so on. Plus, we’ve been fighting fleas with Recona, so we figured a good dousing with Dursban will help with that problem.

The only problem is, it’s a major pain in the butt to spray. Tom only sprayed the outside and the crawl space, not our living space, but we still had to move and cover everything. Nothing is insulated, so what gets sprayed on the outside seeps through the walls, spraying underneath the house seeps through the floors, and spraying the crawl space seeps through the ceiling. And, this stuff is toxic. I get an almost immediate headache if I smell too much of it, and many people get sick to their stomachs. It also sticks around; we expect to find dead scorpions popping up here and there for at least the next month.

That means that even though we took everything off the wall shelves and the floor and covered everything, EVERYTHING still had to be washed before it could be put away. That means every serving utensil, eating utensil, cooking utensil, pots, pans, dishes, bottles, cans, mixing bowls…everything…must be washed. And, the walls, floors, and ceilings had to be washed on the inside before we could move back into the house. It was sort of like moving in here again, with all of our stuff spread out on the table and needing to be cleaned before it could be put where it belongs. And, it took a few days of airing the house out before I could even start to think about coming in to put things together, although it bothers Tom less than it bothers me, so he had a couple of days in before I would come back.

Fortunately, we have the guest cabin, so we just moved in there for the week. That worked pretty well, although we didn’t have a kitchen, and we didn’t want to take the dogs in there in case we get guests who are allergic. We did cave and take the Jack Russells, but the Ruckus Twins had to stay in the big cage behind the house and they weren’t very happy since they’re used to sleeping with us too – and they weren’t too discrete about expressing their unhappiness with all night barking.

But, as of this morning, almost everything is back where it belongs, we’re sleeping, cooking, and eating here again – and we’re catching up on all the correspondence we’ve neglected for the past week. The plan for the future is to spray around and under the cabin every three months or so and see if that keeps the creepy crawlies away without driving us out of the house. But, if that doesn’t work, we’ll be doing this again in another twelve to eighteen months.

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