Insects and bugs can be hell while traveling

Traveling to exotic places can also means insects and bugs and creepy little animals

Spiders, insects and bugs can be hell when traveling!
Spiders, insects and bugs can be hell when traveling!

I had to sleep in a room bathing in light because Per insisted that the giant black spiders would sit perfectly still if the light were left on. The spiders were swarming up the white walls. I have great respect for my husband and no less respect when he with his arachnophobia went to bed in these surroundings without any complaints. So for me sleeping with the light on, was not a problem.

I am not that bothered with insects and bugs but I can get hysterical by mosquitoes. I am not afraid of snakes, but I find frogs and toads disgusting. The fact is that the world is full of insects and bugs, snakes, amphibians and creepy little animals. So if you are traveling out into this beautiful world, you just have to find a way to master your phobias and fears towards these unpleasant creeps.

Mosquitoes have always been my worst enemy, and unfortunately they seem to love me! So on one of our first travels to Africa when I knew we were going into the rain forest, I took some precautions. I went to the sports shop and bought a hat with a net, the kind of hat fly fishers use in areas with a lot of mosquitoes, like in the northern part of Norway. I have never been up north in the summer and the reason is, guess? Mosquitoes! But then I discovered that the African mosquitoes did not love me at all. Very strange, but my Nordic blood did not appeal to them. I have never had a mosquito bite in Africa, or may be one or two, but they did never itch.

You will find insects and bugs and creepy, small animals in whatever place worth visiting. These little monsters should not stop you from experiencing the world! So take a mental grip and defeat your anxiety. Again I have to use Per as an example and we are back in Zimbabwe. We stayed for one week in the small village Madagombe and the toilettes, which we shared with half the village, were a hole in the ground. There were actually two separate small houses with holes in the ground, one for men and one for the women.

After some days Per told me there was a snake in the men`s little toilette house. It was a green, thin and small thing peeping out of his hole in the roof every time Per had to use the toilette.

Is it true? I have to admit that I got very shocked and surprised to hear that my husband had visited the men`s toilette house several times with a snake as a spectator.

Yes, come and see for yourself, Per replied. Together we went up to the little house and he was right. Just above the door up under the roof the green snake peeped out on us and it looked as if it smiled. We were told earlier that when the corn is high and we have to walk through the field to get to the toilettes, we have to look out for the very poisonous green Mamba. This little snake glows almost chartreuse so I am sure it is a green mamba. But then Per surprises me again.

I am sure this is completely harmless. The whole village has visited the toilette for many days and no one has responded to this snake. I think we should just leave it alone.

Snakes are mostly just as afraid of humans as we are of them. When we walk through the grass and they hear our footsteps they creep to a safer place. Except the little green in the men`s toilette house I have only once before seen a snake in Africa and that was while walking in Tanzania. We only saw the tale the moment it escaped in under the stones.

Insects and bugs
Insects and bugs

If you are in Africa, Asia or Latin America it makes sense to get used to certain habits. Always turn your shoes and shake them before you put them on. Always shake your carpet or duvet before you go to bed and check under your pillow. Always shake your clothes before you get dressed. Insects and bugs can hide anywhere.

Some people have a huge fear of cockroaches and I have to admit that they are not my favorite bugs either. I will never forget a visit to Moscow many, many years ago. I turned on the light in the bathroom and thousands of cockroaches scurried away into the corners and behind the closet. It was my first meeting with cockroaches and after that I visited the bathroom only in emergencies.

It’s not much you can do about nature and the fauna in exotic places so you might as well forget about it. Most people I have talked with says that the joy and excitement of travel is greater then their fear of insects and bugs and creepy little animals. It also applies to us and we have also found that we forget such trifles when we are sitting on a beach with a glass of white wine and the sun is glowing like a big, red ball while slowly disappearing in the horizon.

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  • Funny, as I was reading this article I killed one giant mosquito on my leg that was in the middle of having a snack and a cockroach just ran under my foot. (Only one cockroach today!) Living in tropical places is great but man I can do without the bugs!

    • Yes, they are annoying! Our Norwegian mosquitos are the worst and today we were troubled by a lot of big wasps during dinner outside. They always come late in summer. Thanks for commenting.

  • Bugs and insects seem to come at all unexpected times, I always check my bed and sheets before I jump into any bed situations even in luxury resorts

  • I sooooo hear ya! I hate cockroaches and you have no idae how many hostels I have left in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama because they were infested. I even found one in my bed (I had put the net down and the cockroach was INSIDE the net). In the end, I was so tired of seeing them, that I decided I was not going to go to Tyrona in Colombia because I could not take any more bugs!

  • Eek! Well, that would be my reaction if I saw one of those at home lol At home I’m an old fashioned girl and will call for humane insect removal frequently (just called my boyfriend for a spider removal like 5 min ago, very topical!). However, when I travel I don’t mind spiders or whatnots, I just don’t want them in my house in Canada. In Nicaragua there were lizards and spiders everywhere and that was fine by me. In Australia I was a little more scared because everything over there tends to be poisonous enough to kill you…

  • Great post, Bente! Living in sub-Saharan Africa has certainly numbed any prior aversion to bugs and animals. I’d experienced cockroaches in New York, but the insects here are so different! I’ll be sure to watch out for the green mambas in Zimbabwe.

  • Your post has reminded me of all the creepy crawlies we found in Myanmar! OK most of them were just big spiders and rather large mosquitoes! But I have shared a room with cockroaches, spiders and a ants in my time…makes me start itching just thinking about it! To be fair I’d probably be sleeping with the light on too!

  • Had to read your post while covering the spider picture lol Although for me cockroaches are even worse blergh

  • When visiting Costa Rica I knew to be careful with my clothing and luggage but came home to find a scorpion had hitched a ride back in my bathing suit!(he did not survive the flight). That could have been a nasty surprise!

  • Oh God, don’t get me started! I once yelled a whole Thai market together because of some creepy crawly! Last year I visited Nicaragua and read about all the possible encounters I could possibly have, but luckily enough, my nightmares didn’t become reality!

  • Not a fan of that first photo right up front! I had to hover my hand over it, blocking the photo to read the text around it. Where in the world were there giant black spiders swarming the walls? And how big is giant? Just so I know where to avoid!

  • The spider was as a big as a small fist? Yikes. I met a green snake with a pink tail in Laos. They told me it might be a spider living in the trees. You have no idea how fast I was out of the wood….:)

  • The mosquitos we saw in the Amazon were HUGE! Luckily (for me!) they eat my boyfriend alive, which means I usually stay bite free when he’s around!

  • Although insects may scare some, the way some countries deal with them is even scarier, and more importantly, dangerous to human health. There was just a documentary on the CBC on deaths in Thailand as a result of pesticide use in hotel rooms, which has unfortunately turned lethal, much to the protestations of the Thai government that it is not the case. Make sure to ask if they use anything to get rid of insects in hotel rooms in some of these developing countries.

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