my nemesis

Bugs. Just bugs. In my house. Lots of them.

I win.

I'm from Texas. We have significant bugs in Texas. But we also have sealed houses. There is a/c everywhere, and we wouldn't want to let the "bought air" out. Having air-tight houses limits the amount of bugs that come inside (though someone from a less bug-infested environment might not believe that). We leave doors and windows closed (or we have screen doors and windows for fair weather, to keep out the bugs).

Living in Kenya is a different story. We keep the doors open during the day to create a breeze through the middle of the house. Our windows don't close completely. Some of the glass slats are actually missing. Our last house didn't have glass on the windows at all! Or ceilings in some rooms. It was almost like living outside.

Centipede: killed by the house treatment, disposed of by the
ants who aren't bothered by the treatment.

In this house, we work hard to keep the outside out. Where "outside" means rain, dirt, and bugs. And snakes (we did have a snake inside once). And mice.

The bugs weren't quite as bad (except for mosquitoes, ants, and cockroaches) at our house in Bamburi, a more urban setting. Here, the outskirts of Kilifi, is semi-rural. We have close neighbors, but we also have undeveloped land the same distance away. However, the mice were worse in Bamburi.

Screens on the windows keep mosquitoes out for the most part. We still sleep under mosquito nets because there are always a few inside the house, but I no longer have to spray the rooms down at dusk to keep them at bay. We just close the doors when it starts getting dark.

I didn't zoom in on this spider because he gives me the creeps.
The floor is wet because it was raining. This guy took shelter
right outside the back door, building the web between the door
and grill. Not in my house, buddy. 

Nothing keeps out the spiders, centipedes, millipedes, beetles, cockroaches, ants, and flying insects of all kinds. They come in during the day. They squeeze under the door at night. They find their way between the edge of the ceiling and the wall. The crawlers come through gaps in the screens (the flyers have trouble finding those). (That's how the snake got in, too.)

I try not to expose us to unnecessary toxic chemicals. I really do. But there are no non-toxic, safe, or edible treatments to keep these bugs out of my house. They just don't work on this magnitude of bugs.

I spotted this praying mantis on my bottle of bubbles solution
while on my way to bed last night. They eat other bugs, right?
I let him live.

So every 6 months we pay a guy to come spray our house down. We're not talking baseboards and window sills, we're talking the entire floor, walls, and ceiling. Ok, it's a lot of chemicals. We stay in a hotel for a night or two while it dries and then come home to a houseful of bug carcasses.

It keeps working for the 6 months between treatments, though it less effective towards the end. I keep other methods on hand for killing bugs that take too long to die or aren't bothered by the dried treatment (like super tiny ants).

But mostly, the house treatment takes care of them, and I joyfully sweep up dead bugs every morning.

linking up with Mommy Reality


  1. Oh my gosh my skin is itching! I live in the Southwest and I am a bonafide bug hater. We just can't co-exist peacefully, at least in my mind! That spider web was terrifying! What was in the cocoon sack or was that the spider!! I know all animals have a purpose, but...... This is indeed a worthy adversary my friend!

    1. That is the spider! It was under a very thick web which collapsed on it when I sprayed it. Ew. Ew. Ew.

  2. Omg.... I feel like such a baby whining about my ant problem! Ayeeeeee! That first photo with the centipede made me NOPE all over the place! Wow, this really put things in perspective for me. Thanks for sharing it!


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