Attacked by Christmas Bugs
They call them Bichos de Navidad (Christmas bugs) here in Lima, and they're everywhere inside our bedroom.
Tatiana and Aidric have been home from the clinic for only a matter of hours. The three of us just woke up from a brief, early-evening nap, when I noticed the pile of wings on Aidric's changing station. I looked up, and much to my horror, discovered that the Bangkok mood lighting that I'd strung up over the baby's corner of the room was writhing with dozens and dozens of insects.
I'm running around our living space frantically, trying to kill as many of them as I can without scattering the others to the far reaches of the room. I dare not move the light—instead, I'm grabbing wads of toilet paper and feverishly squashing their bodies. Tatiana's father just came in with a fly swatter, but seems to be doing more harm than good. We had to dismiss him.
I've encountered something like them before. When I was in Antigua, Guatemala, I dared not turn on any light in my room after a certain hour of night, least I bring dozens and dozens of these insects swarming out from the spaces between the wooden ceiling slats. I couldn't even allow my MP3 player to show in a darkened room, as the illumination of its display caused them to start flying into my bed and hair—drawn towards the light. These too lost their wings in the process of whatever it is that they're doing, before they started squirming about.
I'm assuming it's mating season for some variety of termite. They don't appear to be winged ants—the structure of their thorax isn't right.
What I do know is that they're attracted to any type of light, they bite, and they're very common in Lima around Christmas. Tatiana's sister says they have a serious problem with them at her work, as they bite workers legs under their desks.
This is making me very unhappy, because I've caught more than a few in Aidric's bed, and these things are just about the last thing I want biting my son, or crawling into his mouth.
I don't know what to do.
I can't spray them or the room with an aerosol insecticide. I can't locate where they're coming from—out of thin air, it seems. The windows and doors have been shut, but they continue to appear.
Do I turn all the lights on and spread them about? Do I turn one on in the corner of the room, away from the baby, near our bed? I can't keep the lights out, because we need to live and do things in this room. Even flashlights will attract and focus them into a small swarm.
Everything seems like a no-win situation…
The lights are out in the room, and the bedroom door propped wide open. I've loaded as many additional lights as I can into the second-floor landing (that all this floor's bedrooms are clustered around) as the hallways outlets can accommodate.
The strategy is working. The landing is full of fluttering or fallen wings.
I don't think Tatiana's mother cares for it, but I told her quite plainly that I won't allow for infestation of the bedroom, and if this is what it takes, than she's going to have to accept the lights and bugs in the hallway every night until they're no longer a problem.
This is the worst Tatiana has ever seen of them. We've noticed one or two every few days before this point, but never like this. Oddly, our bedroom seems to be the only affected.
Ah, well, it looks like Tatiana is going to place a mosquito net across the opening to Aidric's bassinet.
Update, January 14
I had a nightmare about these things last night. I snapped upright in the early dawn hours, yelling out for Tatiana to brush the biting insects off my back. Geez.