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Belize Rain Invites Creepy-Crawlies

It is known that the rainy season in Belize is during June and July, but wait it’s 2012: the year of strange weather patterns and the end of the Mayan calendar, so it’s fitting that the rainy season is upon us in May.

This early rain is new for everyone, and when it rains here, it is no joke! The rain is violent and makes a statement. It leaves standing water everywhere, and the worst yet, it invites many strange creepy-crawlies to come out and play. We have encountered flood flies (also known as flying termites) and flying red ants—yes red ants with wings.

The first time we were introduced to flood flies (after a colossal rain), I was home alone and about to be unknowingly invaded. At dusk they started showing up and some managed their way through the screens. I soon figured out that these flying creatures flock to any kind of light. I also learned that flood flies drop their wings soon after invading, and then they left looking like little black worms. Fortunately they die soon after their wings come off, and they only swarm for an hour or so. After they were done with their wing dropping and died, I was left with cleaning up of their bodies and wings. Days later, I continued to come across the discarded wings. One good thing about these creatures is that they don’t bite or sting—at least that is what we are told.

The next week we experienced another turbulent rain, but this time instead of flying termites, we were visited by flying fire ants. We’re told that the fire ants have wings because they are mating, but why do they have to mate in our house? Like the flood flies, the flying fire ants show up at dusk and flock to light. But what is not the same, is that the fire ants continue to show up for more than an hour, they don’t drop their wings, and they quite possibly do bite.

Days later after the fire ant swarm, we had yet another violent rain, but felt like we were prepared for either life form. We shut everything up, kept all the lights off, and left the house. When we returned both the flood flies and fire ants were all over. Well, we should get points for trying.

A few days later, I encountered another insect, but this time I’m not sure if it was related to rain. This creature was some kind of black and red centipede, but it was over two inches long with about 40 legs. I found it whipping all around the bathroom sink. I ran the water on it, and it took a while to go down the drain, but seconds later it popped right back up. Do you know what that means? It came from inside the sink! I tried squirting it with bleach, but ended up beating it to death with the bottom of the spray bottle. Ahhh!

This is our lesson: Rain or shine, watch your step, but especially after torrential downpours; be on alert for flying or crawling creepy-crawlies. It’s the tropics.