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Bugs at the Coast? We have some...

Rich and Nancy wrote up a little ditty about bugs in Cuenca, and we have had several requests to put together something about bugs here at the Coast.  Now, for sure, I am not remotely qualified to discuss the incredible abundance and diversity of little and big things that fly and crawl.  In fact, when I Googled a little in preparation for the few comments I made about our fabulous butterfly migration, I learned that there were over 4000 kinds of butterflies in Ecuador alone!

That said, I know what you all really want to know is "Just how big a problem will bugs be for me and my comfort level?"

When we moved here in October 2007, there were only a few mosquitoes in Manta, but in January, when we had moved into our house near Montanita, there were zillions of mosquitoes!  We made sure that we had on plenty of OFF by Johnson and Johnson.

But, in the last 16 months, we have not seen one mosquito!!!   And that covers two additional January-March periods...

Do we know why?  No, No, and No, but we don't care if it was the drought (long over), or El Nino, or some secret spraying,  or hungry bats---they aren't here, so we celebrate each evening all over again!

Now!,  Nancy and Rich mentioned that folks in Cuenca complained about getting bitten by something in their beds, well that can happen sometimes here, also.  We think that the culprits might be "sand fleas" or "NoSeeUms" (so famous in the Caribbean).   Everyone has spiders, but they are mostly harmless--we just take them outside...It could be that people have experienced a spider bite or two...

When Nancy mentioned some of the pests that we had in Oregon, she forgot Yellow Jackets, the scourge of every outdoor picnic, especially if it included chicken!  We don't have them in Ecuador!  We do have a couple of little bee-like critters, and very seldom, they might land on your glass, looking for water.  If you take a sip when they are sitting there, they might sting you.  I have been bitten on the lip, and it hurt like hell, swelled up, but was gone in about two hours...

That's about it.  We don't use DEET...it works great, but it is stronger that you need.  No use using a shotgun to kill a horse fly.  We use OFF when we take Coquita for a walk on the beach, or to a seaside restaurant, where we will be sitting close to sand.

I should remind everyone that when Gringos first arrive, their unique diet fascinates the bugs,and they tend to get bitten more...but it passes...just go along with it and use your OFF.

A reader asked about Rich and Nancy's blog:  http://richandnancy.blogspot.com/

Hope this helps...


Posted on Mon, May 17, 2010 at 01:48PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments5 Comments

Reader Comments (5)

Thanks Bob, great of you to take the time.Very helpful.


May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelagh

So that's it? Mosquitos sometimes and the bee-like insect on occasion? What about flies, wasps, hornets, scorpions? Also are we talking about gigantic spiders (that would be over the size of a fingernail)? How far do the jumping spiders jump? Thanks for responding.

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlene Stone

Hi Shelagh...As always, thanks for the thought provoking comments, we often overlook items that might be interesting to folks up North, 'cause we just take them for granted...
Bob & Rox

May 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

Hi Charlene...
To answer some of your questions about other types of insects, etc...
All countries have some kinds of wasps and hornets. Mostly they leave you alone if you don't antagonize them. Exceptions might be some kinds of dip or jams that you are eating outside that they might find attractive. If that happens, we just take the goodies inside.
Scorpions live in DARK, MOIST places...so don't pick up rained on lumber and stick your hand in blindly. All scorpions are more afraid of you than you are of them. Of course, they will try to attack you if you corner them, step on them, hit them with sticks, etc.
Don't confuse large garden spiders with "jumping spiders". The jumping spiders that I know about are about the size of a collar button, and they can jump about a foot. You can always find a picture of a large spider, but we have never seen one here. By large, I mean bigger than a tarantula, not just like a quarter. PS, we have never seen tarantulas, black widows, or banjo spiders, which we had in Oregon.
We take all insects outside. No Recluse spiders, either...
The most pesky bugs are sand fleas...they can jump, and they will bite you...OFF keeps them OFF...
Flies are around, but just like up north, they are more in abundance where there is a lot of garbage or other effluent.

May 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

Thank you so much for your response. I have read a lot about insects in Ecuador and what I read makes them so scary. You have put my mind somewhat at ease. With no screens on the windows, I just pictured all sorts of flying things coming to live with us. Thank you.

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlene Stone

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