Bugs are a reality of my Peace Corps experience. When you live in a country that never even gets close to a freezing temperature, bugs reign. There are moths that fly around the lights, flies that will eat your food if you don’t scarf it down first, and a number of other flying insects I can’t name in English or Spanish. But the most prevalent bug is ants.
There are several types of ants, but thankfully the large ones (including the fire ants) are generally only outside. But the little ants are everywhere – including indoors. They live in the kitchen; they parade around the floors and walls. I could kill every single one I see, and there would still be little ants going about their business, so I just let them be. Plus, there is an upside to ants – they clean.
I’ve decided it’s most productive to think of little ants as my own personal miniature army of maids. I have a thick white paper napkin I saved from somewhere that I keep on the floor next to my bed to kill bugs I particularly don’t want in my room. Which isn’t many. Moths can do what they want, ants I let be, and only the really large spiders (and I mean large – bigger than anything I would see at home) are scary enough to bother with. And the amazing thing is, I’ve been able to use this handy high-quality napkin for many smashings because of my trusty army of maids helping me out. Every time I kill a bug, an hour later, ants will be helpfully cleaning off the dead bug for me, readying the napkin for the next hit job.
Yesterday, a spider the size of my palm was hanging out on my door, and once I smashed it (after a fierce round of high stakes hide and go seek in the door crack) I left the body parts on the floor, knowing the ants would dispose of the body. (They did.)
Today however, I got a little lazy and my cleaning crew got a little more involved than I wanted them to. I’d used a handkerchief the previous day, and pulled it out of my purse to put it in the laundry, but rather than put it inside my laundry basket, I laid it on top and headed out the door without thinking twice about it. Later, I arrived back to find hundreds of ants crawling in a working line to clean up none other than my handkerchief.
After a few minutes of internal debate, I brushed and blew the ants off my handkerchief and put it inside the bag. Then I blew the ants under and out the door. It was just a few too many maids working away and I wanted to do some cleaning myself.