We have ants in our entryway. This stream of small ants that are defiantly traipsing through our entryway because it is warm inside and cold outside. I decided to talk to our gardener Pablo to see what he might suggest to get rid of them.
Pablo and I have difficulty communicating. I speak very little Spanish. He speaks absolutely no English. I gestured for him to come with me to the entryway and pointed to the ants. Through a series of hand gestures and spanish words, I understood “Raid” and realized he suggested I buy a can of Raid and spray it along the exterior of the front door. Makes sense. He continues…..the only bit I piece together from what follows is “Bedside Table,” and “Raid.” I think Pablo explained I should also get a can of Raid for my bedside table. Sounds very odd. Surely I must have missed something in the translation.
The next day I share my funny misunderstanding with Leonora. Leonora goes on to explain that Pablo wasn’t telling me to put Raid in my bedside table but telling me I should spray the Raid around my bedside…….Hmmmmmmmm
Leonora goes on to tell me of a spider in Chile called the Corner Spider. Let me quote from Wikipedia:
The Chilean recluse spider is a venomous spider, Loxosceles laeta, of the family Sicariidae (formerly of the family Loxoscelidae). In Spanish, it (and other South American recluse spiders) is known as araña de rincón, or “corner spider”; in Portuguese, as aranha-marrom or “brown spider”. This spider is considered by many to be the most dangerous of the recluse spiders, and its bite is known to frequently result in severe systemic reactions, including death.
Wow. So much for worrying around about ants in my entryway.
According to Leonora, while the corner spider stays away from people, they will bite when threatened. She recommended we don’t put our beds up against the corners of the room and we should be sure to shake out the sheets before getting into bed. She also suggested shaking hanging towels in the bathroom or shoes in a closet. She shared a story of her husband getting bit and having to go immediately to the emergency room. Apparently he was lucky because in his case they caught the spider and I should try and catch the spider if ever bitten.
Right. Catch the spider. Sure.
Oh, and tarantulas, they are all over Chile too, but those don’t bite and are harmless. I guess the Rose Tarantulas are commonly imported to the United States to be sold in pet stores as pets.
Needless to say I have become TOTALLY FREAKED OUT about this idea. People assure me that they are mainly out in spring and mostly in wooden houses. I don’t love the wood trim quiet as much as I used to.