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Lifestyle Changes Living in the Philippines – part 2

Last post was about mosquitoes and ants.

Another insect that is plentiful is roaches. They will crawl in or fly in. They wait until night and you might see one fly into the house.
Unfortunately we do not have screens on most windows or doors but need to keep them open for ventilation. While watching TV you might see something move in your peripheral and there one is, creeping along looking for whatever roaches look for. If you get up for a drink of water, or go to a dark room and turn on the lights, there they are.
In America if you find roaches, here comes the sprays and exterminator again and then the kitchen cabinets are emptied and everything is cleaned. Here you just squash time and kick them out the door to feed the ants.
As mentioned in first of this series, with all the drainage waste water running down the roads and the garbage dumped in the street or a lot if someone is too lazy to walk a few meters to a garbage container the roaches have a smorgasbord at all turns.

There is another item to get used to and that is rats. Not mice, I said rats. They come in all sizes from cute little ones about 3-4 inches long to some as big as a small cat. Lifestyle Changes Living in the Philippines.

As mentioned, without screen doors, these little critters will just sneak in day or night and then hide until dark to investigate your home.

Here when we see one, we put out glue pad traps. They run on then get stuck on them and we throw them out.
Filipinos are more used to rats then we are. As one item in the list of jokes I had posted a while back it said “Here rodents are considered as house pets.”One night a Filipino friend was visiting and we were at the table, I noticed a rat and exclaimed “A rat”, and he looked over and calmly said “yes”.

I was at a Carenderia which is a low cost food place where many Filipinos eat their meals when out. It is an open air facility with woven bamboo wall panels that have round openings. As we were eating I saw a rat about 8” long walk through one of the openings and slink off towards the kitchen area. I joked, “Fresh meat arrived”. It is only a joke and I do not know of anyone who eats rats.
I will continue my observations about lifestyle differences as time goes on. Please comment and also let me know if there are items you would like my feelings or observations.

10 Responses to “Lifestyle Changes Living in the Philippines – part 2”

  1. rick bowden says:

    Hi Bruce

    Rats and Roaches, not my favourites i must admit i have a shudder at both, roaches get the bottom of the flip flop and rats get, well anything i can throw at them.

    usually or rather always miss

  2. Tom Martin says:

    I use MAPECON monthly service. I have a six month contract. I have never seen a roach or a rat in the house and I am surprised since I live in a townhouse and the neighbors on both sides of me put out scrapts for the people to collect to feed their pigs. I also have seen the rats in the gutters running along the street. I swear by mapecon. Now we do have ocassional ants and a shot of Raid and it solves the problem.

  3. Bruce says:

    As always, thanks for your comment, humor and thoughts.

    For the rats, try the glue pads unless your aim is good. Otherwise you will be painting and redecorating often.

  4. Bruce says:


    Thanks for your comment. I will be having Mapecon here about a different situation and will ask about their other service and if it can help.

  5. Ellen says:

    Hi Bruce, yikes those pests look so scary. Having screens help, I know. I have screens in all the hatches and port window in the boat. Now that it is sitting on land, I am paranoid. I still have the sticky paper inside, just in case. The other thing I use is to line all around the sides/entryway with that poison “chalk”. Ants or roaches who cross that line will pick up the dust and eventually kill it. Another thing I do, is to check all pipes/electrical cords coming into the house from outside. If the hole is big, I block them, prefer stainless steel wool pad. Flying ants (termites) – another pest which can go through the screens. I turn off lights if possible. I have the electric zapper inside – it zaps everything – flies, mozzies, flying ants, etc. What else …. oh yeah, all garbage goes into a covered (lockable) bin outside. No empty containers that can collect stagnant water (turn them upside down) and I don’t scare away the stray cats. I also use bottle caps filled with sugar water + boric acid.

    So – am I paranoid or what? 🙂

  6. Bruce says:

    Paranoid, I do not think so, I think your doing an excelent job.
    I did not know the zappers get Mozzies. I thought they were atracted to Carbon dioxide and not light, but do not tell them.
    Thanks for reading

  7. Ellen says:

    Well, I check what is killed by the zapper, and i see mozzies too. Most are the flying ants and flies.

  8. Thomas Shawn says:

    I’m in Malaybalay, Bukidnon right now and making the same observations to myself.

    I killed a roach the other night, it was huge but extremely slow. I should have fed it to my father in law’s fighting roosters.

    I have mice at home in the USA so no big deal there. Rats freak me out though, that’s a sign that there’s too much food for them laying around.

    Mosquitos have been an issue but same as the USA, one container laying around and you just created a nursery for millions. All mosquito problems are local.

  9. Thomas Shawn says:

    Hmm, now that I’m on a roll let me take the time to comment on a filthy, worthless creature that seems to infest every square 100 meters of the Philippines: DOGS.

    I cannot stand dogs and their mess is everywhere. At lest the chickens and pigs provide food. The insects and rodents can be managed but the dogs, to me, have zero utility, they’re not particularly natural and pose all the same health risks.

    One cheer for a useful house creature: the little geckos I see lurking about: insect eating is their speciality.

  10. Bruce says:

    Rats are all over. They are looking for shelter and food. You could have the cleanest house and all foods put away and they will just come in.
    Yes the lizards are good, but the roaches are so big I think the lizards stay away in fear that they might be eaten.
    About dogs: Here dogs are mostly used for protection not as house pets. They are to be outside and bark to protect. Unfortunatly dogs bark at everything, not just people trying to come in. Also in some areas dogs are food.
    I remember a story about a foreigner who complained to a neighbor about one of his dogs always barking. A few days later it was quiet. The foreigner asked the neighbor what happened and the neighbor replyed “we ate him because he was bothering you”

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