The infestation investigation

We had planned for exotic animals invading our home. In our first week in Thailand, we met people who had snakes and cockroaches in their home. And so we’ve lived in quiet expectation of some invaders coming. You cannot live in 90F heat with 80%+ humidity and expect to share it only with a peaceful spider or two.

Where we live, they spray once a month in every apartment in our 14 storey building, so there are not many bugs, but we have recently had the long-expected infestation… And it was of the not-very-exotic kind.

First we started noticing tiny beetles in our home in small, but slightly increasing numbers. As one or two a week became one or two a day, we started to kill them (which runs against everything I used to think was important until I lived with mosquitos).

Their numbers increased but there was no pattern. They’d be in the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom (where we saw the first one) and in the bedroom.

The ‘investigation’ was rubbish!

Then my wife suggested we have pasta. I poured my gluten free spaghetti into a pot of boiling water (it needs longer than gluten-containing pasta) and then my wife’s spirals were ready to go in. She poured in the pasta, and about 15 little bugs.

She’d bought the pasta for a hefty discount at Tesco Lotus and was excited about having this pasta from home at a reasonable price…

Some rapid pasta resolution gave way to specific research: cereal beetles! They were in bags of flour both supposedly sealed and unsealed and throughout that general area. Carefully resealing the unaffected flours, chucking out the affected ones and killing the ones left behind has resulted in a steadily decreasing incidence rate.

I am still anxious every time I open the Cornflakes though… Will the flakes move?

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