We all take window screens for granted. At least in North America we do. No, I’m not talking about Microsoft Windows screens that run your PC. I’m talking about the screens that cover the house windows.
Back in the day people started stretching cheesecloth over open windows in an attempt to keep out bugs. Window screens weren’t invented until about 1850 but they looked different from what they look like today. They were built as a detached sliding unit in a narrow frame and was located only over the lower half of the window where they would not block the view. I can remember the old windows in the military quarters. We used to put screens in the windows in the Spring and replace the screens in the Fall with storm windows. Now screens are normally kept in place year round. I mentioned in an earlier post that we had gotten brand new, more durable and nicer window screens installed. They are installed so well that from a distance we can barely tell they are there. They are also made of much nicer material; Dos Gatos can climb them and not leave a hole behind.
Still today, not all Panameño houses have window screens or even real windows. Some houses just have fancy concrete blocks set in a pattern where a window would go. The concrete block allows ventilation in the house but hardly keeps out buggies and other pests. Right now we have a few buggies flying around. Welcome to bug hatching season!
We don’t generally have a problem with mosquitoes in the campo because there is a program in place to control them. We’ve already gone through a little burst of activity with fly hatchings which calmed down after about a week. The last couple of days there were small winged creatures flying around even in the rain. Today there are little brown beetles flying everywhere. Too late, we didn’t close the door early enough tonight and we had several winged insects attracted to the light inside the house.
There were so many SU decided the only way to rid ourselves of them was to vacuum them up. A great many of the little pests had already taken up occupancy inside the light fixture and vacuuming them out necessitated climbing the ladder. Have I mentioned that I hate heights? Luckily SU climbed up while I stood on one of the high chairs from the counter. If anyone had looked through the window they would have seen SU at the top of the ladder and me standing on the high chair holding the vacuum trying to swat the flying creepy-crawlies away from me. We vacuumed them from the fixture and from the air but there were a few of the wily insects that escaped.
Our window screens are vital at this time of year to have air ventilation and keep those nasty bugs out. Life must be miserable without them during hatching season. On an up note the lightning bugs have returned. They are one of the amazing critters that make life good in the campo. Now if only all the other bugs would die back a bit we’d be able to sit outside and enjoy them.