I haven’t reported it to the local authorities yet, but now that the seasonal rains have commenced, my little home is under constant assault. The intruders have multiple legs, and they’re relentless. My home is no longer just mine, and there’s not much I can do about it.
To be honest, throughout the entire year my home is an ecosystem. There are chirping geckos and at least three species of ants living with us at any given moment. Here in Guanacaste the occupancy rises noticeably during rainy season. I’m not diving deep into scientific names for this article, but I’ll give you a little list of the current residents of my living room.
First up, the black millipedes that go from non-existent in dry season to absolutely everywhere once the rain starts. These two inch all black bichos have the bravery of an animal that must taste absolutely terrible. That’s the only reason that I can think of that they brazenly walk out in the open during the day, and I’ve never seen anything eat them.
They confidently stroll in under the front and back doors and bop around my house all day. They’re not here to attack us. They don’t seem to be eating anything. They seem to be content just walking around and gathering under the damp little carpet just outside of the shower. My only complaint is the little bit of guilt that I feel when I accidentally step on one and feel/hear that crunch of their exoskeleton.
Next, we have the toads. The increase in humidity brings an increase in toad visits. This is partially our fault because we leave our doors open practically all day and night until bedtime when we retreat to our glorious airconditioned bedrooms. The toads see an open door as an invitation to stop by for a visit, sometimes extending their stay for several days in the laundry room.
My sons and I are toad fans, so we enjoy their visits but it’s not all positive. We’re constantly making sure the dogs don’t eat them and the largest of the bunch isn’t past dropping a huge toad-poop in the middle of the floor (which we also try to make sure the dogs don’t eat).
Our final rainy season intruders are my favorite, tree frogs. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and we never see them outside of the rainiest months of the year. To be fair, they spend the majority of their time just outside of the house, on the bars that protect the windows, probably hunting the insects attracted to our porch lights.
The real fun begins when they come inside. Unlike the toads, which stick to the floor, the tree frogs literally stick to the walls, shelves and everything else in the house. We generally try to catch them to return them to the wild. This process includes slowly walking up to them with cupped hands, getting about three inches from catching them, and then letting out a little surprised yelp when they spring past you with amazing agility.
I’m sure the species that you share your home with depends on the part of the country you live in. So, let me know which species are breaking into your house. Maybe we can get a list together and report them to the proper authorities.
About the Author
Vincent Losasso, founder of Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring, is a biologist who works with camera traps throughout Costa Rica. Learn more about his projects on facebook or instagram. You can also email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org