The other day I was browsing the web and found an comment left in a forum with the title “Help! Termites Eating My Bamboo Bed!”  It struck me as very funny.  I replied and asked the guy not to hate me but that I was laughing at the title.

Yeah, we live in the tropics and bugs love the hot humid climate.  Many people are surprised about the lack of mosquitoes here.  Oh they are here but they will not swarm you here like they do in the Mississippi Delta.   Problem is, it only takes one dengue mosquito  to mess up weeks or even months of your life.

Other bugs include scorpions.  I’ve not seen one but something sure bit the heck out of my big toe.  I don’t know what did that but it was swollen for a couple of months and it looked like two puncture marks.  That area was very sore for months.  My guess was that it was a spider.  Though we did find a dead bug in the bed not long ago.  It had a nasty little spine coming out of its head.  Jessie discovered it when it stuck her as she moved her hand across the sheets to brush them off.   She had never seen one before.

centipede in the philippines

Philippines Centipede

Then there are centipedes.  Those things creep me out.  I hate them.  I’m afraid to sit down on the ground.  Each time I do, I think about those nasty little varmints that will pack a punch.   They are not deadly, so I’m told.  I don’t care to find out.

Freaking ants.  Tiny little red ants that leave my feet with craters.  I went outside the other night to join Jessie and her friend Sheila during their front porch drinking session.  When I tried to go to sleep, my foot was burning in one spot.  When I finally tended to it, there was a hole.  I probably rubbed it in there with my other foot.  I tend to react worse to such things than most people.  I mean what is a minor bite for some ends up flaring up like a localized allergic reaction.

There bite is nothing as alarming as a Mississippi fire ant.  Those hurt!  First time one of them bit me on the arm, I laughed and said pygmy ants don’t hurt.  But the one that got me on the foot hurt.  It is still sore.

Juliet, my Philippine monkey loves to eat ants.  George would only bother with them when we first got him.  He was very hungry then.  We kept him so fat that he wouldn’t bother with them.  Juliet might do it just because she’s so mean!

There are roaches of course.  Lots of them outside crawling around at night.  I don’t see that many inside but you will see ants inside if you don’t spray for them.  Long lines of ants.

Termites are a huge problem in the Philippines.  The home we rent has wood floors.  There are track marks of where the termites hit in the past.

We have a bamboo bench outside.  There’s often sawdust on it.  Jessie told me they just do that but I saw some people talking about that and it means termites are there.  I don’t see them.  I don’t know, Jessie is usually right about these things.  She says it is just what bamboo does.  That it is not termites.  I’ll go with what she says over a bunch of expats.  She tells me varnishing it will stop it.

I  think there are less bugs here than back home in Mississippi or Tennessee.  There is certainly fewer birds and other wildlife but we didn’t have any cobra’s back home.   No, I’ve never seen one of those.   Believe me, you would have read about it.  They are around though.  I don’t know any Filipino that has seen one.  They are more in Mindanao.  But they can be found in Cebu too, so I read.

I wouldn’t worry about bugs here too much.  Maybe there are more here than Canada but not more than what I’m use to living in the Southern USA.

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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