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Jiminy Crickets!

Jiminy Crickets!

on Mar 24, 2014 in Blog, Travel Log, Travel Tips

Duct Tape: Use #821

On our road trip along Route 62 in South Africa, our first stop was a cute little town named Montagu where we planned to spend the night. We arrived in Montagu late in the afternoon and rang the doorbell at our quaint guesthouse. Our host greeted us and showed us around the property. On the short walk between the main guesthouse and our room, our friendly host told us about the current cricket plague. Apparently once every five years or so, Montagu experiences a surge in the cricket population. She expressed her frustration with them and said one had recently found its way into her room and kept her awake for hours. She proceeded to casually mention that they sprayed for the annoying critters, and then sweetly recommended that we stomp on any dark colored critters should we encounter them! Not thinking much of it, we acknowledged her advice and filed it away as a bit of exaggeration.

A Can of Raid is Never a Good Sign

However, upon entering our room for the first time, I saw  a can of Raid sitting on the edge of the desk right next to the TV remotes and the tea kettle. Oh no! Really? I tried to rationalize the presence of the can in such a conspicuous place. Our host did say that they sprayed for crickets, right? Does Raid even work on crickets? It must have just been on oversight … a nice four star guesthouse would not intentionally leave out bug spray in plain sight of their guests, right?

Wrong! It wasn’t an accident or an oversight. Our host actually pointed to the bug spray before she left and encouraged us to use it if we had any issues. She also pointed to a hole at the bottom of our door and stated that they hadn’t been able to fix it properly, but their temporary fix—wadded up newspaper—would prevent any unwanted guests from entering. “Oh boy,” I thought, “let’s hope we don’t have any issues … otherwise it is going to be one, long night!”

At first, all seemed okay and we didn’t really notice any crickets … that is until night fell. After dinner we made our way back to our room and found a gaggle of crickets waiting impatiently for us on our porch. As Kevin fiddled with the keys, I found myself doing a two step shuffle trying to fend off the crickets. These crickets were aggressive! They even crawled and jumped onto our feet and legs (which is against my laws of nature). We finally made it into our room, but so did a couple of the crickets!

Super Crickets

Kevin calmly attempted to eradicate the unwanted guests using the stomping method recommended by our host. He snuck up behind one of the crickets and lifted his foot, but before he could stomp the cricket jumped away. After a second attempt, we concluded that these were not ordinary crickets. And our fears were confirmed when one of the crickets escaped Kevin for a third time by flying across the room and landing on the top of the curtains. As the cricket took flight, I may have let out a four letter expletive while pulling the covers over my head. Jiminy Crickets! We both looked at each other dumbfounded. Crickets can fly? Yes, apparently, in South Africa, crickets can fly!

It took some effort, but Kevin finally evicted our two uninvited guests. But a short time later, another one appeared. Since we had seen a bunch of crickets loitering outside our door, we made an educated guess that the flying crickets were entering through the hole in the front door. The wadded up newspaper apparently wasn’t as robust as our hosts anticipated. We had to find a way to prevent these unwanted visitors from squeezing their way through our door.

Duct Tape to the Rescue

After a few minutes brainstorming, Kevin decided to simply duct tape the door! One piece went directly over the hole to reinforce the newspaper and another couple pieces covered gaps between the floor and door frame. And it seemed to do the trick. We didn’t  have any new intruders that evening!

In the morning, we had to break the duct tape barrier in order to leave for breakfast. In doing so, we found that our duct tape not only prevented the crickets from entering our room, but it also acted as a cricket trap. One unfortunate cricket that attempted to break in ended up stuck to the duct tape like a fly to fly paper.

We’re once again so glad to have duct tape in our backpacks. Our latest duct tape use: sealing doors and trapping unwanted insects!

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