Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Screen Covers

It’s summer in Johannesburg!  The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and… the bugs are hatching.

When I moved to my garden suite in the winter, I didn’t realize the garden (and my house) would become an ecosystem of huge creepy crawlies.  They come in through my open windows – which have to stay open because it’s so hot.

I can handle big bugs.  So what if that big beetle keeps me awake, it’s fluttering is so loud?  Was that moth that just flew into my light or a bat?  Omfg is that centipede?  It’s 10cm long!

Even though I don’t like them, however, they don’t freak me out.  I feel like we can coexist inside my place together.

But not the spiders.

I have an irrational fear of spiders.  I can’t even look at a picture of one without hyperventilating.

So when spiders started to move in, I realized I had to do something.  These spiders are big, red, and QUICK.  Too quick for me to approach them.

Not that I can kill spiders anyways.  I might be afraid of them, but I’m also a pacifist; I want them outside, not dead.

My proactive solution would be to install screens on my windows, but it doesn’t appear that anyone here (meaning in my office, which I admit is a small sample size) has heard of putting screens on doors and windows.

So instead, I did the South African thing and bought insecticide spray.  My colleagues told me to spray my curtains and the areas around my windows.  They also recommended which insecticide will kill bugs the fastest.  They told me that if I spray the spiders directly, I’ll see them shrivel and die in front of my eyes.

Wow.  Chemicals that strong are EXACTLY what I want to fumigate my house with!

Someone should start a screen business here.  You’d make millions.


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