Last night, around 6pm, Arp and I were just getting ready to make some quesadillas when the invasion occurred. Walking across the kitchen floor, I spotted what I initially thought were a few of our regular brown ants. I was thinking how it seemed a little early in the evening for them to be coming out, and when I tried to step on one, it flew. I mentioned to Arp how weird that was. Then, as I walked into the living room, I spotted a few more. And more. And more. And as I finally glanced all the way across the white tile of the living room, I saw what seemed to be a thousand-strong army of them descending towards me across the tile. That’s when I seriously freaked out.
I instructed Arp to barricade the kids in the office (which seemed relatively free of the insects) while I ran from the house to the detached bedroom. I told Arp that, while I was sorry to have to tell him this, it was his job to kill every single one of them, no matter how long it took. I’m happy to say that while I hid in the bedroom, Arp took his job seriously. From what I can tell, he sprayed some with ant killer spray, ran around the house swatting them wildly with a flyswatter, and followed it all up with spraying some potential vector areas with special ant killer powder that we brought from the States. Arp came to tell me at one point that he’d swatted one with the flyswatter right on his own chest. I have a very dedicated husband. Then Arp had to sweep the entire main part of the house, followed by mopping to remove any of the spray pesticide he’d used. We are now thinking that the presumed ants were actually termites, but we’re not sure. Some of them seemed more ant-like to me, while others seemed more termite-like. Who knows. But at least they are gone.
You know how I’ve been hoping to go into labor for the last week or two? Well, last night was the first night I was actually dearly hoping that I would not go into labor. Can you imagine if this suddenly happened while I was laboring in the birth tub on our kitchen floor? I have no doubt that a hoard of flying insects would have the ability to completely stall labor. No doubt at all about that!
A little later, while I was in the bedroom with the kids, I was mulling over going back into the main house to get a bite to eat. I was starving, as our dinner has been completely interrupted. But Arp just happened to come out to give me an update at that time. Just as I reached for the doorknob, he warms me to not open the door because the largest spider he has even seen was right outside of it! After the kids grabbed the dog’s leash, I tentatively opened the door to look. Nestled in the corner of the door frame, sitting on the cement of our patio, was our first Costa Rican tarantula sighting. Uck. You know, I’ve been on the lookout for a tarantula since we arrived, but nothing really prepares you for what one actually looks like face to face. This was no museum exhibit, with a spider behind glass, that’s for sure. When I stepped out the door, carefully skirting the bugger, it actually climbed the door frame. It only went up about 6 inches, but I’m wondering if they tend to climb very high normally. I mean, do I have to look up when leaving a room to make sure one isn’t dangling over my head?! I’m guessing not, but I’ll have to research it to make sure.
I’ve been telling relatives that I’m a lot more afraid of scorpions than tarantulas. We’ve actually had a few scorpions in our house, and they can really sting you. Ever since a friend of ours found one under her child’s pillow, I check under my pillow and blankets every night just in case. So even though I knew I’d eventually see a tarantula, I figured it would be no big deal compared to scorpions. I have now revised my opinion on that matter. Even though I know that a tarantula is not a real danger to me, the shear size of the creature, coupled with the long hairy legs, is enough to bring on a case of arachnophobia, good sense be damned.