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Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1

 

Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1
Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1
Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1
Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1
Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1
Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1
Peculiarities of local climate: living creatures inside the houses, Part 1

Living in a tropical climate, almost in full unity with nature provides a number of benefits that can be seen even by  regular tourists and a number of disadvantages faced only by those who has lived here for a while. This is neither good nor bad. Just the way tropics are (I'm talking here about ordinary houses, in whose suburbs all the living creatures are not being eradicated like in 5 star hotels and not about the apartments and studios which are located relatively high above the ground).
In this article I will tell you what kind of tropical wildlife we have already encountered while renting (a decent, built especially for the needs of a farang) house on the island of Koh Samui . There were not that many living creatures around, but I will try to describe here all that we have seen during  three long years so that you will not get scared, if suddenly IT will get under the same roof with you.

The first guests you will find in the house will most likely be ants.
What to do with them?
Good question.
If answering philosophically, so to speak, "in general", it would be "nothing just let them be."
But if you go into the details, then this question needs clarification: "What kind of ants are you talking about here?". Because inside the house (and I think that all the other houses on the island are not significantly different from each other) there can be found five species. And every type needs a separate approach.

So, in our limited experience in conventional houses you can come across with:
Small ants.
Length - about 2-2.5 mm, Thickness - about as human hair, can be the Asian type, ie thicker.
They look like this:


Could not take a photo because they are constantly moving. And even on the super macro mode the picture was blurred.
We could not find their nest since they like all the other ants are moving from one place to another. All the time.
So, back to the smallest of their representatives.

They are rarely found inside the house just for no cause. However, as soon as you drop something sweet and leave it for some time or leave a glass w / out drink containing sugar ... - They will be there in no time. Scouts are working just fine!
As you can see in the video, they are constantly on the move and combing the area carefully enough.
As soon as there is something of interest to them in a couple of minutes to this place you will see a busy trail.

In addition to sweet they are much interested in, I'm sorry, feces of home geckos called Tin-Tok (of which I will tell you guys later in another article on geckos).
They also actively appear around "fresh corpses" of big bugs,  crawling and flying insects, including cockroaches, those that of a size of 5-7 cm (I am also going to show them to you later.)

They also love the cooling paste in laptops (and food crumbs that fall on the laptop), so they can even settle inside so that you wont see them. However as soon as you load the laptop harder (games or many tasks at the same time) and it starts overheating ants would start to crawl out. Most laptop are overheating when it is on your knees. In this case you can use a special cooling pad for notebooks, especially if the cooling paste has long been gone).

Such pads are sold in any store in Thailand:

And yet they are very curious.
Well, how else can one explain why an ant in the first month of our stay here got into a laptop screen?
Somehow slipped between the layers and died there poor little fellow. So it is still there and there is no way to get him out in any way.

Also, the ants like iPads and other equipment.
Perhaps because of all the same cooling paste.
Perhaps because of the spilled crumbs of "snacks".
How to get rid of them?
Option 1. – Take it to any PC workshop to clean it.
Option 2. – Put the device next to a bowl with a delicious honey.
After a couple of hours, the "intelligence" from the laptop will learn about it and tell it to others, and almost all the ants will move from the device to a more affordable food – a bowl with honey.
Option 3. – Put the device for some time in the freezer. The ants will run away.

Next on our list - bigger ants.
I will just call them the "ordinary".

Альбом: живность
Альбом: живность
Those ants are black (sometimes can be red-brown, but there is no the fundamental differences between them). Calf length - 4-5 mm. Usually start ceawling around the house after dark, though a bright light bulbs do not bother them. Same for the presence of people – they just go about their business.
Most of them, of course, are found in the kitchen. However, you can find them in the living room. Rarely seen in the bedroom and bathroom, although the passage between them is free.
Jump well. I would say really well. Can jump at 20-30 centimeters instantly. First we even suspected them to be able to teleport.

In general, by long and regular observations (that's right, what else to do here?), it was proven that they can jump!



Now - how to fight them.
And here goes another question: What for?
Well, of course, when there are periods of literally invasions, when the black trail literally lives in your kitchen or living room, the measures are necessary.
For example, not so long ago we had a good fortune to see that in the kitchen:
Альбом: живность
Альбом: живность
Note - they crowd here for no apparent reason: there were no crumbs, no "fresh corpses" of other insects...
In those "difficult cases" we used a chalk, which is sold in supermarkets.
And we would choose it solely by experience. I recommend to change them from time to time, as it seems that the ants get used to it and adapt.

But again, the chalk we would use only in the extreme case of "war." The rest of the time we peacefully coexist side by side.
As they are fragile creatures. Many of them are dying ignominiously under slippers when we just walking around the house, but most of the morning "corpse" which I have to sweep out every morning, would form on their own. How many times have I witnessed: the poor fellow is just going its way, all of a sudden for no reason, stops as if to sit down, and in a minute curl up to remain in this mournful posture forever.

About the same as those ants described above as "ordinary", but with thin soft wings, would appear about once a year, and it happens in April and May. Perhaps these are the same ants, but only with wings.
It lasts about 1-2 weeks. Those are drawn to electric light, deftly wade through the mosquito nets on the windows into the house most of the time sticking right into your face. Actually, this is the only inconvenience, due to which I decided to mention them here.
But there is no recipe to struggle with those. You just need to survive this period. What you can do is less turn on the lights having the open access to the house. Let me remind you the net does not help, only the tightly closed windows.
In the rest of the year out of the darkness into the electric light are drawn the same things, only of a 2-3 times larger size. And they would also want to stick to you face eventualy. However, it is almost impossible to deal with them. It's like strugling with the wind. Or with the waves.

However, back to those bigger ants.
Here we go again:
These ants are large, but harmless.
Calf length can reach 1-1.2 cm (very little body without legs and antennae).
Альбом: живность
Альбом: живность
Appear, as a rule, in the dark (and it is dark from 19 to 5).
They love to run around in the kitchen getting into a bucket of trash, to the sink, especially if there is a utensil in it... However they would not mind to run around the room, where we set in the the bright lights.
Run fast and at first glance - chaotic.
Here, filmed just in the kitchen today:

Can jump over small distances 5-10 cm). Know how to swim.
Overall - pretty harmless creatures, but if they jump on exposed areas of the body, one might feel very unpleasant.

How to fight?
Well, there are chalks and there are boxes with poison ...
Альбом: живность
A box of poison for ants.
As conceived by the manufacturer - the ants would have to creep into it and drag the poison into their burrow.
And that is where it will affect them so they will forget their way back!
... Well they appeared to be not that stupid!
First they took a little ...
But after awhile they decided to peacefully move around that box. Ants are learning fast.
But by and large - as soon you deal with them and sigh freely, in a few days will come the others. Therefore, the recipe is simple – keep the place clean and nerves strong.

Let me tell you how to protect from ants something that currently can not be stored in the refrigerator or in a hermetically sealed container:

This is a plastic bowl with plain water, and small ants can not swim.
But! if large ants already know that there is a jar of honey, such a water barrier will not stop them - they are perfectly able to jump at a distance of about 10 cm
Another way to avoid all the ants on the table where there can be food:

This is a special double glass, much like the one for baking cupcakes. The "rim" is filled with water, so the legs of the table are kept dry, and there is a barrier for ants.

Oh, and for the last, big ants that like attacking people ... by the way, edible.


These lovely creatures can be called "weaver ants." But maybe it's some other kind of ants.
However, their passion for the construction of cocoons made of fresh leaves, makes me want to call them that way.
On the lawn near our house there is a huge colony of those insects. They occupied a few trees, and regularly build houses like that which we found one morning, literally on our own porch.

I understand that they too need to live somewhere, but only if they were peaceful and did not attack their neighbors ...

They bite rather painfully and often attack people first, and for no reason.
Digging its mandibles into the skin, the ants of this species are not so easy to let go!
If you get their mandibles left under the skin after the bite - make sure to remove them, otherwise you will have inflammation and the wound will not heal soon. Alas I know this from the experience.

How to fight with?
We bought such a device:

It is constantly plugged into the outlet.
Before that the ants were walking freely around the house, but now they would not dare to creep on the front steps of the porch.
Recently, the owner of houses was cutting the lawns... when we passing by stopped to chat a bit, and in the course ask about the very ants (and it was hard not get in to that topic, because there was a huge cocoon hanging at eye level between us, and Mr Silapin was continually taking off the ants from his arms).

- Is it possible to somehow get rid of those neighbors? - I asked him directly, hinting at some stronger sanctions in addition to cutting leaves from which they love to sculpt their cocoons.
He said that it is impossible.
- Why? - I was truly amazed. After all, he himself is suffering from them.
He hesitated and smiled.
- Buddha? – I asked. Maybe he does not want to spoil the karma?
- No, - this time he could not help laughing – you can eat them. They are so delicious.

In general, this is what we were able to figure out and understand: their settlements (cocoons) are knocked in a bucket, covered, and then somehow prepared for eating. So all of a sudden they become a useful and tasty stuff.

What I am going to show you are not ants, but something that also creeps on the walls and ceiling. After I googled it has become clear that it is a kind of a bagworm.
One thing puzzles me: why in our house periodically there are getting so many of them?

They appear out of nowhere, crawling on the floor, walls and ceiling, at some point, for some reason, they would fix themselves in one place and hang there for a long time I take them off using a broom.
Have a look (in the pictures it is clearly seen) – that is"something" caterpillar-like that could come out of the cocoon from both sides! And that something quite knows how to move a massive cocoon.

That's how it is hanging. Vertically:

Альбом: живность
Here you can see a small caterpillar from the bottom opening (bottom / top is clearly visible through the shade of the lamp on the ceiling):
Альбом: живность
And here in a minute it has already got out of the top to start moving up the wall (it is filmed in the video):
Альбом: живность
And it seems that inside the "bags" live only females and the flies that appear here from time to time, and which I still have not been able to identify are the males of those "bagworms."

Well, besides those that you can see inside the house, there are other kinds of bagworms outside the house, but with the more "classic" look. I have encountered them on the porch after arrival.

And even made a video:

UPDT from December 2011
Here is another kind of bagworm, the one that we saw once in our bathroom.
I have already said for so many times while living in the tropics, close to nature, never forget about safety precautions.

That is, literally,
- Before putting on clothes or shoes - check, if there is someone inside waiting for you.
- Entering into the room at night, first thing to do is turn on the lights.
- If you are going to sit down, check thoroughly  if it has already been ocupied.
- If you feel that the arm / back something tickles - check it. It might not always be a drop of sweat.

It was the preamble, or digression.

Now - Preamble.
We have nets stretched everywhere around the house. So you can not just crawl in. Need to find a way around, wade secret paths. And yet, one morning I almost sat on a "twig", lurking, sorry for the intimate details, on the toilet seat.
Here it is:

Альбом: живность

While I was staring at it, it began to move.

Picture taken on the super macro mode, so I say its length is almost 3 cm
Here is a short video:
 

Yes, in fact it is the same "bagworm", only larger.
And it is harmless too. Probably.
But it is very nasty looking.

In general - take care of yourselves!
To be continued...


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