Extermination day…Much to prepare…A year ago…A rare endangered species…

Late yesterday afternoon, Tom spotted this partial rainbow, taking this great shot.  

In our old lives, the only time we’d call an exterminator would be in an extreme case of an infestation by any insects or creatures that we could not rid ourselves of after trying every natural method possible. 

The last time I got rid of a creature in our old lives I used a safety trap with cheese. In a short time, I had it trapped and let it go outside.

Living in OPH (other people’s homes) we don’t have the opportunity to decide on the maintenance they choose for their property. Other than a few biting flies and mosquitoes, we haven’t seen many insects since arriving at this Maui property two weeks ago. 

About a year before we left Minnesota, I spotted this Chipmunk on the bottom step in our house. I ran upstairs to the attic, getting the safety trap which I’d set with a chunk of cheddar cheese on the floor near the steps.

I imagine that on a regular basis, a part of the association dues paid by the owners every month is allocated to pest control. Most likely, the work is done every few months or so. 

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be exposed to such chemicals that we’re so adamantly opposed, except in urgent situations as was the case in Kenya where bugs were crawling all over the walls. It was this experience that broke us in part to an aversion to insects. As long as they wouldn’t bite or crawl all over us we could live with it.

It’s the biting insects that are hard to take when I’m an awaiting meal for any voracious biting insect who invariably thumb their noses at Tom when they see me.

An hour later the adorable chipmunk was chomping on the cheese. I brought the case outside, opened the door, and her/him out tossing the remaining cheese in her direction.

Today, an exterminator is coming to do this entire condo complex. With no room in the cabinets for any non-perishable foods, of which we purchased in bulk in preparation for Hurricane Ana, this morning we moved all the food to the bedroom, placing it on the bed and covering it with beach towels. 

Also, we cleaned off the countertops in the bathroom of all of our toiletries stuffing everything into the limited space cabinets and drawers. We removed the extra rolls of toilet paper and the tissues, fearful of the toxic stuff ending up in the most delicate of places.

We have no say in this or any other type of scheduled maintenance while we’re living in someone else’s property. Luckily, the owners of the homes we’ve rented these past two years (tomorrow’s our two year anniversary of leaving Minnesota).

I can’t recall the last time we put onions on the bed.  We covered them after taking this photo.

The kindly owner of this condo called and asked how we’d feel about the property being shown for sale while we’re living here. We, in turn, kindly asked that they wait until we leave. 

The house in Morocco was for sale during our stay. There were three showings while we were home, feeling we should be there to keep an eye on our stuff. We felt very uncomfortable with strangers coming into the house.  Having been in real estate for many years I know the risks associated with the possibility of perpetrators “scoping out” a home for digital equipment and other valuables.

Even the bottle water needed to be hidden from the exterminator’s toxins.

I also know that real estate people have no knowledge if a potential buyer is in fact a criminal. Background checks aren’t provided on prospective buyers. Anyone can get an appointment to see a house.  

After the experience in Morocco, we decided that we won’t rent a house that is actively for sale unless the owner agrees that no showings will occur during our occupancy.

Yea, that’s Spam. It’s low carb and gluten-free. Tom’s been eating a little each day as a snack. No thanks!

The bottom line, these aren’t our homes. Unless specified during the time of a rental agreement, we have no control over maintenance, and other owner arranged visits to the property.

I’m certain that if we’d asked the owner of this condo to keep the exterminator away, they would have complied. But, with the precautions we’ve taken today, we’re at ease, certain that we’ll be fine as will the items we’ve put out of harm’s way.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2013:

When we were on “vacation” for three days, one year ago today, we spotted the elusive and endangered Colobus Monkey. No words can express how overjoyed I was to have this one pose for me. We’d seen a few dash through the yard in Diani Beach, Kenya but hadn’t been able to get a photo until this one. For more photos of these monkeys and more, please click here.