It’s my first evening in Voi, we are chilling on the verandah after dinner. On the ground below I see a strange insect with horns raised high speeding towards us. As I stare at it wondering exactly what it is Alex run for his boots and it’s neutralized before causing any harm. It was a scorpion and the ‘horns’ are actually the teeth, or fangs!
I got bitten by one afew years back but I never saw it. At first I had thought it was a snake bite and rushed to the dispensary to find it closed. The kids using the security lights to do their homework are the ones who diagonized it as a scorpion bite from my description of the pain.
My wish of seeing a live scorpion has just come to pass.
The milipedes are all over this place too, am told its because of the rains and the cold so they come into the homes looking for warmth. Wednesday night I saw one making its way past the sitting room and towards our bedroom. Chris kicked it out the door and a few minutes later I saw it crawling back in, not sure if it was the same one or another. I let it have a warm night. But promised myself to shake my shoes well before wearing.
The following day I saw one at the corner as I was sweeping. Because it was at the furthest corner of the house I didn’t wanna drug it all the way out so I pushed it aside cleaned its corner and pushed it back at its original position with the broom.
On Thursday I saw one on the wall of the outside bathroom. I dressed up quickly, ran out and asked Tony to remove it which he fearlessly did. I know millipedes are harmless but they scare me with their countless legs, I imagine them walking all over me and that scares me out of my skin.
I thought I would be done with insects once I get back home. How wrong I was. I had insisted on not spending the night at my aunts place for I wanted the comfort and peace of my own house, my own bed.
My sleep was disrupted many time by insect bites. At first I thought they were bedbugs because this place is hot and many boarding schools, lodgings and even homes get invested with bedbugs. I checked around my bed but I saw none. On the wall I saw some ” insects ” all over like they were crawling from the ground to the cealing. I even saw one on the floor that looked like it was moving its mouth, or maybe I imagined.
I looked around for an insecticide using the spotlight on my phone, (there was a black out) but there wasn’t any. All I could find was a bottle of air freshener in the toilet. I sprayed them with its contents hoping its strong pungent would kill them or at least incapacitate them till morning when I could get a better solution.
I slept peacefully after that or maybe I was so tired to feel the bites. In the morning I called a friend to help me figure out the kind of insects all over the walls. He squeezed them with his finger and laughted so hard when I told him that I had seen one of them move its mouth at night.
“They are eggs”
Some stupid ( or clever) insect(s) had decided to lay it’s eggs and patch them all over my walls figuring out that the house was unoccupied. The house has only been slept in like four nights for the last one month.
The task now was to forcefully move out the new occupant who had strategized his stay by occupying the darkest corners. Those corners that are only touched during the occasional thorough cleaning. I spent the whole day cleaning, from the walls the floor and the ceiling where spiders had woven their webs. I was careful not to squish any spiders because am told unless they are burnt the surviving eggs, if any hatch into even more dangerous spiders.
I also found a millipede under one of the couches, I called my neighbors seven year boy to get it out.
The bites during the night were from mosquitoes. Since the place is usually dry I haven’t had much problem with them and haven’t been using a mosquito net. I never bothered to refill the electric powered mosquito repellant that I came with from Nairobi because I have had very peaceful nights.
With many more insects flying around the security lights every night with some finding their way into the houses, I think its us humans who have invaded their space. What I have gathered is that all this land was forest land once upon a time, allocation to squatters from Chyulu hills. Kibwezi forest is less than a kilometer from my home which opens up to the Tsavo National Park that streches all the way past Voi down to the Coast.
Sometimes elephants are seen in Kibwezi. Hope I’ll get a chance to see them when they visit.
Is it called human- animal conflict, or should I call it human- insect conflict because till the end of the rain season we’ll be fighting.
Lucky me I am stronger and more intelligent ( as a human) and I have bought enough insecticide and repellants to last the season.
Its war, and am gonna win.
The mighty and strong always get what they want, its the law of the jungle.
I guess I live in the jungle.