Monday, February 27, 2012

Take Back the Night!

No…this isn’t about reclaiming a derelict neighborhood, or combating drug dealers or thieves. It’s about taking on and defeating far more sinister evils…flies and mosquitoes!

See the thing is, it’s February which is a terrible time to be in Chiclayo. The heat and humidity are relentless. You pray that April will arrive soon. You wake up in the morning with that same clammy feeling you went to bed with. Showers don’t help. You’ve got your windows and doors open 24 hours in the hope that a breeze will keep the temperature out of the 90s F. You don’t have air conditioning – nobody does. Legend has it that one guy had AC in his bedroom some years ago but stopped using it because the electricity bill was too expensive.

And of course with the open windows you’re constantly shooing flies off your food and yourself. But that’s not the worst of it. Right after sundown the mosquitoes start making their grand entrance. This has been an unusually bad summer for mosquitoes all over Peru. So about the time the flies become inactive, you find yourself patrolling; flyswatter in hand hoping to eliminate those mosquitoes that have made it inside and are ready to feast on you as soon as you go to bed. When Maribel and I actually began applying insect repellent to ourselves before going to bed, I knew something had to be done.

Following a leisurely stroll up and down the aisles at Sodimac recently I returned home with the following items:

10 firing strips ¾ x 1 ¼ x 95 “

10 nailing strips 5/16 x ¾ x 84”

4 meters of screen material

Enough nails to last my lifetime

It took the better part of two days to build a screen door for the balcony and two window screens. It took that long because I had to stop every 20 minutes to cool down and drink vast quantities of liquid.

That was two days ago. We’re still going to bed and waking up feeling clammy, but we are not scratching mosquito bites nor are we shooing flies. In fact we have not seen a representative of either in our house since installing the screens. For very little money and not too much effort we’ve eliminated what was a serious nuisance. Now if only I could figure out a way to build April.



  1. Weirdly, we don't have any problem with mosquitoes. Very few flies, more problems with fruit flies if I leave any fruit out uncovered.

    But what we do have is this darned moths! They're web-worm moths that have infested my garden and at night when we have the lights on they all fly into the house. Sadly, there's no way (no simple way, at least) to put springs on the windows. Glad your solution worked for you!

  2. Kelly…..have I got a deal for you!! Two weeks ago we bought 6 flyswatters. Since putting up the screens we have not had a single fly or mosquito in the house. So what do you say.....want a great deal on 6 flyswatters?.....anyone?