Uninvited guests

I have welcomed many visitors to my new home and also met some that have come in on their own!

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Gekkos are our friends; they eat mosquitoes

Most of the ones I have seen are light brown or bright green. They make strange noises at night, chirping like a cricket or even barking like a dog. Yes, really! The can walk easily up and down a smooth wall and have amazing pads on their feet that just stick. Strange fact. They have no eyelids, unlike lizards, and have to lick their eyes clean.

I saw a big sign for Rotring pens in Chinatown recently and went back to the shop to buy one. They were brilliant for drawing in A level Biology and drawing cartoons in letters as I was recently reminded. Unfortunately they stopped selling them in 1998 but the sign was covering a large hole above the shop door so they had not moved it. I must do some drawing one night.

Undeterred, one night I put some black ink in my fountain pen and looked at a pen and ink Christmas card for inspiration just as cockroach scampered across the floor. If you spray a cockroach with insecticide such as the appropriately named “Doom” you may be surprised by the cockroach indignantly sniffing it all in, turning round and flying towards you squeaking, “is that all you have got?” A flip-flop or sandal is more effective I have found and better value.

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Cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion and may well inherit the world if things go bad

They tend to be the size of an adult male thumb, slightly brown on the back and pretty fast movers. You don’t see many during the day, but they are more active at night and can be disturbed wandering across the floor just as you turn a light on. Somehow they can survive without food or water for a month which in this climate seems amazing. They make a quiet sort of hissing sound but stop when flattened by a flip flop… like thisssssssss one.

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Next, something silent but stingy…

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The Yellow Indian Wasp hovers like a silent hang-glider

Now these little blighters are quite scary. Firstly, they are almost completely yellow, secondly they are silent and thirdly, they are bigger than the average wasp and the sting is severe to mind numbingly super painful. You can be relaxing quietly when you are suddenly aware of one hovering, ready to swoop silently on you. Beware.

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Not sure if it is a male or female mosquito

So I started with the Gekko which is our friend, can be slightly alarming at first, the barking chirp is mildly annoying after a couple of hours trying to sleep but they eat the evil enemy known as the mosquito, the deadliest animal family in the world. This drawing actually is the most scary of the three I have attempted and seems to have some of the menace they give out. It is the female that bites, the male doesn’t. I have also heard that the male makes a whiny noise, the female doesn’t.  So the next time you are falling asleep and you hear a mosquito close to your right ear, don’t worry, relax … but if you hear nothing, there could be a female just about to bite you! Useful? I hope so.

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