Doing battle in the tropics

People think living in the tropics sounds like bliss. Especially people who come from cold parts of the world, like the United Kingdom, the north, mid west and north west of the US of A, people from Ukraine, Siberia,  or… Melbourne. For example.

Well, it ain’t all eternally hot and humid fun and games. (I grew up in the sub-tropics (hello Brisbane) and after travelling quite a bit around different parts of the work, I think climate heaven exists somewhere on the south east coast of Australia, between say, Brissie and Sydney).

That aside. This morning I battled with the downside of the tropics.

Unlike some of my tropical counterparts, who have had to do battle with such nasties as festering mould in every corner and orifice (of the house), I managed to escape the spore-ing side effects of the month-long monsoon that hung over this here town, thanks in part to the upper level elevated status of my apartment.

However. We’ve got the bugs. In a major way.

When we got back from our Christmas sojourn down south, we discovered an apartment overrun with spiderwebs. They were just everywhere – under tables, chairs, countertops, on the ceiling, under the bed, behind the TV, under the couch – everwhere. Thick as ropes and full of dust.

And then there’s the cockroaches, and their eggs. Often living in the spider webs. Also in clothes, towels, curtains and BOOKS! They LOVE the books. And with cockroaches comes the cockroach poo, but that’s OK, I just tell myself it’s poppy seeds.

Last but not least, we have the ants. We’ve never previously had a problem with ants, but the wet ground must have pushed them up a few levels, because they’re everywhere. Tiny little microscopic things that I don’t even notice until they’re crawling all over me – or all over the iron, as did happen.

(I forgot one more scourge – weevils in the flour, pasta, rice etc etc…. But they weren’t the target of my wrath today).

In preparations for the descent of Mama Moi on the place of Darwin later this week, we decided to clean the flat rather comprehensively (well, our version of it). This involved using a LOT of Mortein. However, it soon became evident that this is only a band-aid soltuion; that, in fact, I will need to call in the experts at some very soon time in the future to get rid of all these nasties once and for all. Or at least for a few months.

Not sure what do so about the weevils in the flour though – not sure Mortein flavoured scones are everyone’s cup of tea…


12 thoughts on “Doing battle in the tropics

  1. Cockroach bomb, my friend. Close windows and doors, set one up in each room and maybe two in your living area, and go to work for the day. Come home to carnage. Kills spideys and ants too!

  2. B all you have to do is to ring the Agent and tell them that the apartment is overdue for a de bugging!!! Let them organise to have someone come inand spray!! With the weevils, place all you an in the refrigerator – especially the flour

  3. Mother dear – the agents up here refuse to pay for spraying. The agents in sydney – more than happy to. Darwin real estate agents are pains in the a***, not to mention hopeless.

  4. You need ant rid (the small plastic packs you stick everywhere) stat … it’s unbelievable. I love the idea of the cockroaches reading your books!

  5. Good to find your blog again! Have you always been on wordpress or did you switch? I just switched..

    I don’t know if it’s legal anywhere other than Asia but the chalk with the chinese writing on the box works miracles. You can draw a magic line with it, and somehow they feel compelled to eat it and will proceed to crawl out and die belly-up everywhere. Ugh!

  6. Can’t help with cockies and ants as we have those too, but as far as weevils in the flour, the trick is to eat the flour before they hatch, so you don’t know they are there. Happy baking! 🙂

  7. Well – the weevils in the flour are just a little bit of extra protein. But the cockroaches? eek, ick, and bleck.

    Ants are a pain, of course I’ve never had them bad – but usually I use vinegar over their trails and they don’t return.

  8. My grandmother used her “sifter” to get rid of the weevils in the flour.
    It was the “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” generation.

  9. Ah, yes, we have those (all of the above) here in Florida too. Do you cockroaches fly as well?? We haven’t had weevils in a long time, but if you can keep the flour in either an airtight container or the fridge, it helps.

  10. Freeze and new packs of flour and similar for at Lear 48hours after purchase. Kills weevil eggs and prevents them hatching.
    We are moving up to Darwin in early may. May need to stock up on bug spray!

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