These are the sort of experiences that when you move from one country to another, few people feel the need talk about. But in this case it was something that changed our domestic habits and we needed to keep watch for the unexpected.
Animal encounters. Black Scorpions. (10 cm long)
We had only been in our home a week when what should appear in our large workshop space was a big black scorpion. It was scuttling along without a care in the world, heading for the kitchen. I'm sorry nature lovers but my reaction was to kill it. I didn't want the chance that this very aggressive looking armoured insect, would ever get back in our house again.
(On research these large ones will only normally sting you if you tread on them. However Scorpion stings are painful but rarely life threatening. Young children and the very old are at risk of serious complications. When stung you will experience discomfort and fever for up to 10 days. Plus muscle ache and scaring to your skin.)
Since then 8 months later we have had three Scorpion visits inside the house from these unwelcome guests. Since closing up gaps under exterior doors no more have come in.
Harmless and magnificent Stag Beetles.
These guys are harmless but because they are so big they are quite alarming when they are buzzing about in the car port outside. They often knock themselves out by crashing into walls and lay on the floor whilst re-cooperating bless 'em. The house is next to a very large jungle waste ground area and since we cut it back a few feet unfortunately we don't see them anymore.
Most pesky visitors.....Mosquitos.
We are used to these little demons after living in the South of France for many years. I can't say they seem any worse here.
I have spent many hours in the jungle, always going prepared by wearing long trousers, long sleeved tops, a hat and of course walking boots. I rarely get bitten, and if I do, they just swell a little and become itchy.
At home it's a different story. We always keep they various ceiling and wall fans moving according to where we are in the house. We are constantly switching them on and off to keep the air circulating and it confuses the mosquitos! You can only sit outside if your near quite a fierce fan which will you be able to keep them at bay. These are just very annoying little beasts.
Non toxic mosquito repellent plants.
Geranium, Lantana Camara. Easier to find are : Marigold , Catnip, Lemon Grass, Basil, Garlic plant, and Mint.
My favorite visitor.
The Crow Pheasent or The Greater Coucal.
This beautiful bird is a pretty constant visitor to our house. He will hop along the fence or perch in over hanging branches very near the house. He has a regular home in bushes 50 metres or so away, and I often hear his distinctive call. I love to see him visit. It's a real thrill.
I was told by a kindly neighbour than he often visits the gardens and people put out scraps for him. They are in fact related to the cuckoo in features and grow to 50cm long. The bird, not the neighbour. It gives out a territorial low deep hooting call and on rare occasions they can makes a hissing sound when disturbed.
Sound link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdnTXGhMmto
My most unwelcome visitors are Cockroaches.
We have 3 in the house over 9 months so not too concerned.
I only have to see one scuttling across our floor and I instantly feel I have to kill it!
These creatures certainly are in a world of their own.
Facts.....they can live for a week without their heads! And....they can breath underwater for 40 minutes. Spooky huh!
If you encounter these demons in your home then read (10 interesting facts about Cockroaches you need to know!) Quite fascinating but still my urge to kill instantly is primeval and something I can't control.
Boiling water kills them instantly though to some that may seem excessive. Catnip is a plant they hate so maybe as a preventative this would suit others.