Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Hatchings

Most evenings, after the sun has set, the only sound I hear is the waves crashing against the shore. But about a month ago, the general silence was broken by an incessant tinging sound – the sound of bugs throwing themselves on my fluorescent light bulb. I looked at the ceiling. It was covered with little bugs. It was covered like an anthill just before it gets kicked by some kid. Even the gecko-like lizards didn’t go to eat them – there were too many, and it was, well, gross.

I grabbed my bug spray. I sprayed all over the ceiling with little consideration for the things on the ground that the moribund bugs would soon be writhing on top of. For the next hour there was a consistent pit-pit-pit sound of bugs falling to the floor. They continued falling, though with less gusto, until the morning. I then swept out the thousands of little carcasses from my house.

Another PCV later suggested that it was a hatching; he had had similar issues with another kind of bug in his house.

More recently, there has been another hatching. There’s a new moth that just appeared. Its body is the size of my pinky finger, and its wings beat so fast that there’s a low hum whenever it’s near.

I first encountered this moth when I was lying in bed. There was some excessive thudding on the other side of the room, and I thought it must be a big cockroach slowly dying. I shined a light over to see, and, of course, it was this monstrous moth.

I’ve since been “attacked” in the shower. One flew into the shower building, attracted to the light, and it kept dive-bombing my partition of the building. I eventually sprayed it with my trusted bug spray, only to have a second evil hummingbird-like insect enter. I was so disgusted, I nearly ran out of the shower, though good thing I didn’t because it opens onto my neighbors backyard.

Readers may be scoffing that I am grossed out by large moths, but, dear readers, remember that it has taken me almost 7 months to get to the point where I don’t run screaming out of the bathroom when I see a cockroach in there. (Didn’t you note how blasé I was about the possibility there was a large roach in my room?)

My island of Kauvai is unique in many ways but in one great way in particular: no molokaus. Molokaus are centipedes that are aggressive and difficult to kill. They creep and lurk in the worst places, and their bite is apparently more painful than a beesting. One PCV moved a pillow on his bed only to find he was about to lie down on a molokau. Another found one crawling out of her sink. And so on with molokau horror stories. But there aren’t any on my island, so, phew.