Yes, that's right. Summertime is slowly making its way around the latitudinal corner, and in our neck of the rainforest, that means: INSECT SEASON.
Gatinha is having a field day. When I came back from São Paulo on Sunday night, I was greeted with the successes of Gatinha's nightly hunting adventures strewn about the apartment: moth wings, big green grasshopper legs, and a giant, intact (and luckily dead) cicada. I'm not sure if they were presents ("welcome home, Mommy!") or punishments ("This is what happens when you leave me alone for two nights!").
So far (because it's only November 8th), I haven't had to face anything big and living yet. Most of what is coming into the apartment is annoying little beetles and these small green and transparent things. And so far, all of the moths have been small and manageable. I think these little moths are like, the scouts sent in by the big guys to scope out the perimeter. I'm hoping that the fact that so few of them make it back to base alive will discourage the evil mutant moths from seeking out refuge in our apartment. If that doesn't work, may the mutant moths lose their way while coming down from Mexico! I'm thinking about partnering up with Gatinha to make a commercial trying to convince them to go to Colombia instead (akin to those silly Colombian tourism commercials that play on CNN International all the time... "Colombia: the only risk is wanting to stay!").
But even if Gatinha doesn't feel like directing a video for the moths, she is still my partner in crime. When a moth comes into the apartment, she kindly alerts me by mewing and crying like a lunatic:
I then turn off the ceiling light of whatever room the moth (and Gatinha) are in, and turn on my little desk lamp. (If the desk lamp isn't in the correct room, I bring it there.) If necessary, I swat at the moth with the broom, and it invariably heads toward the desk lamp, unwittingly making itself accessible to Gatinha's deadly claws. Now that the moth is conveniently off of the ceiling and within reach, Gatinha happily attacks it (chasing it around the room if necessary) and, if I'm lucky, eats it right up. (In the cases that I'm not so lucky, she leaves all or part of the moth dead for me to clean up. But I guess beggars can't be choosers.)
So we have a pretty good system in place for when Alexandre is not home. When he IS home, I cry and whine as much as Gatinha does for him to get the moth off of the ceiling and out of the apartment.
A couple of months ago, one of my students gave me a flyer that he stumbled upon that was advertising custom-made screens. (He said he saw the flyer and remembered me and my moth stories, haha!) But when I called and asked for an estimate, they were kind of expensive. So we decided to wait to see if we'll actually end up living here past January (in which case the screens would be a sound investment).
I didn't always hate bugs with such fervor. I didn't always dread turning on the kitchen light in the middle of the night to get a glass of water. I think I was traumatized by all the big bugs from the last two seasons. I don't think I feared bugs as much when I was living in the US because I didn't know their potential. I thought bugs of such terrifying proportions were confined to bad sci-fi movies and like, the Cambodian jungle.
Here's hoping that we're out of Caipiriópolis before the big guys settle into town for the season!