I am not really a creepy crawler person. I do not have anything personal against bugs, spiders, or snakes. I simply prefer my multi-legged friends to be soft and cuddly. So I was pretty curious about what critters I may encounter here in San Carlos. And I mean, encounter in my house. I have friends who have shared multiple stories of getting ready to jump in the shower only to discover a scorpion had gotten there first. On one hand, seeing a real live scorpion sounded somewhat exciting. On the other, not so much.
So far my run-ins have been pretty boring. After Hurricane Newton last September, two tarantulas showed up. They were dead- – -so not a lot of fear factor there. Strictly for the sake of science (and a really cool picture for Facebook), I got close enough to examine and measure them. There are several reasons I am not a scientist. Eight hairy legs is one.
Cockroaches are pretty regular visitors. They do not announce themselves. Typically, I open a closet door and see of flash of brownish-orange scurry away. Initially, I did not take much comfort in the old “they are more afraid of you than you are of them” line. The cockroaches are a lot bigger than the ones I used to see. Their antennas move constantly, reminding me of an evil villain rubbing his hands together in demonic glee. Over time I adjusted. Anticipating a cockroach allows me to master the surprise of actually finding one. I have also discovered that cockroaches flop onto their backs a lot. Lacking the abdominal strength to turn themselves over, they are a pretty helpless bunch. Their bellies are much cuter than their backs.
Ants, mosquitos, flies, moths. Nothing exciting to see here, right? Except those bugs lure one of the sweetest guests imaginable into the house. The common gecko is the smallest member of the lizard family. Called cuizas (kwee-zsahs) in Mexico, these little guys jump like Olympic athletes from one side of the stairwell to the other. They scamper along the walls and ceiling. They are incredibly quick and impossible to catch. And they are absolutely adorable! They range from an inch to three inches long and have very light colored bodies. I may purposefully leave a screen door or two open to let bugs inside. This way I am guaranteed a visit from a cuiza!
The very best part of the common gecko is its chirping noise. For the longest time, my husband and I thought there was some kind of nocturnal bird living close to us. Finally, we learned the noise we were hearing was, in fact, the gecko. Friends told us this little fellow is also called a “kiss kiss” because the chirp is very similar to the smoochy noise made when calling a dog. For such a tiny fellow, the gecko has a huge set of pipes!
If I hadn’t already been in love, the name “kiss kiss” would have put me over the top for sure. Kiss kiss was the name my maternal grandpa called me. I don’t find very many pennies from heaven here in Mexico. But I do hear a lot of “kiss kisses”. And every time I do, I feel my grandpa close by. This makes tarantulas and cockroaches, and even the prospect of a scorpion, all the more bearable.