Indebted to Window Screens

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.


About indacampo

You'll find me at blogging about Panama...and other things.
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4 Responses to Indebted to Window Screens

  1. Allison says:

    We have “swarmaggedon” soon to arrive here of cicadas. They have started rising from the ground at our lake house, but I haven’t seen any here yet. My sister, about 15 miles north, has them all over her yard. I have vacuumed bees and ladybugs before, so I won’t hesitate to do the same for any bugs that decide to take over!

    • indacampo says:

      Swarmageddon…I like that! 🙂 The insect thing kind of ruins the tranquility of listening to the rain concept doesn’t it?

  2. Kris says:

    We seem to have a lot of tiny bugs that make it through the screens, as well as all the others that come through open doors and any other opening they get. I am thankful for the gecko that hangs out on the desk. I love the lightning bugs too. Once in a while one gets in the bedroom and treats us to a light show as we go to sleep. (hopefully I can find him in the morning and put him back outside)

    • indacampo says:

      I’m not sure if it’s the lightning bugs or some other giant brown things that are trying to get in but they’re clinging to the screens every night. I just flick the screen and they drop off. We’re trying to remember to close the door earlier. The little ones seemed to have disbursed somewhere. 🙂

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