One thing I didn't think about AT ALL before moving to Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has mountains, beaches, ocean and jungles
Jungles = bugs
You haven't lived in Vallarta until you've felt something tickling your arm. You think it's a loose hair that fell off your head - you look down - there's a teeny tiny ant that you can barely see crawling on you.
Our first house in Gaviotas for the first 2 1/2 years, was outdoor living... the terrace doors opened to the fresh sea air of Puerto Vallarta.
How exotic - until I started thinking about the critters.
There were no screens. Surprisingly, there weren't that many critters nor mosquitoes. That could be because they sprayed the streets with a chemical.
Our second/current place is a condo in Conchas Chinas with a view of the bay and a jungle next door. All the sliding doors have screens - YAY! But because of the jungle and no chemical spraying in the streets, there are lots more bugs, including mosquitoes.
Let's talk about four critters...
We arrived at our new Puerto Vallarta home on a chilly December 2016 evening.
Our dusty home was empty and cold and we had a blow-up mattress and a small blanket to share.
I noticed two inch gaps under the doors and imagined what kind of critters would be crawling in and on me that night.
As I lay there in the dark - um, what's that chirping noise? It definitely wasn't the grasshoppers I was used to hearing at night in the midwest.
Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw a quick movement... GECKO - the chirper! I don't know if I liked that a lizzard was in the house, this freaked me out a little.
Though it didn't take long to love having cute gecko's in the house. They eat bugs.
They eat bugs too, but...
There were two spiders in our first PV home that I will never forget.
Todd spotted a very round spider about the size of a dime in the kitchen. He grabbed a shoe and smacked it.
What happened next was like the scene from Mummy 2 when millions of scarabs came out of the ground and went in all directions to attack the people
BILLIONS of tiny tiny tiny spider babies went shooting in every direction all at once... it was the craziest creepiest thing we'd ever seen! There was screaming and shoes flying everywhere.
Again, in our kitchen, next to an outside door I noticed a huge shadow. My worst nightmare was happening - I was looking at the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life - approximately 7 inches in diameter with long legs. My mouth opened, and no sound came out. I was finally able to yell for my husband.
Todd again grabbed a shoe. He went to smack the spider and you won't believe what I saw next. This spider was so fast that the shoe didn't come anywhere near it.... the spider laughed in Todd's general direction, and then hop/skipped away - fortunately outside.
That spider is called a Huntsman - and that was the only time I saw a Huntsman in our first Vallarta home. Our second home is a whole other story - I wrote an article about it. You have to find out what happened to me - including what woke the neighbors in the building next door! Click here.
There are any possible size of ant you can imagine in Vallarta.
Large ants that march like soldiers in a line straight to your flower boxes at night while you're sleeping, and take away all your pretty flowers and plants.
Then the teeny tiny ants that can sneak into any sealed container in your kitchen.
You have to put everything an ant would love in the refrigerator or freezer.
I've tried to be kind and nice to nature - I've tried EVERY possible natural repellent possible under the sun - to no avail. The ants in Vallarta are persistent, stubborn as hell, and they're the smartest ants you'll ever meet.
I finally had to resort to several types of ant poison pellets and gel. Yah no, still a no go - they don't go near the stuff.
There's no way these ants can outsmart me... what if I found their home and block it with gel poison, maybe that will force them to eat the gel and take it to the queen ant.
With flashlight in hand... i follow them, and follow them and follow them. And BAM, it could be the smallest hole in the world, and that's where they're going - must be their home. I put the gel in the hole - and they're gone! Victory!
Well, for a few days anyway.
YES, there are big-A$! cockroaches. I've only seen a few inside both homes though... my guess is that the huntsman spiders or geckos take care of them.
Mosquitoes adore me - in the summer I wear Fight the Bite - a natural mosquito deterrent from Banderas SoapBlends in PV.
Termites - lots of them - you need to be careful with wood furniture and preferably use wood that they don't like, such as the parota wood that's grown in Mexico.
There're homes in Vallarta that have less bugs - the high-rise condo buildings on the ocean.... the wind from the bay and the height of the building deter the bugs.
I've learned to accept the critters of Vallarta - it's a way of life.
Would I trade the critters to go back to months of freezing cold dreary no sun Chicago? Hell No!
I appreciate our life here in more ways than you can imagine... we enjoy each day and have tons more freedom and laughter. We live an outdoor lifestyle each day, instead of living to buy things and for the few weeks of vacation a year.
My character Larleen preferred not to talk about the critters, but you can see her other videos on YouTube here.