How do you know rainy season is about to begin?

Greg and I had gotten in the habit of watching “The Good Wife” TV series in bed at night before going to sleep. We are NOT caught up yet to the current showings, so please no spoilers. It’s comfy in bed, we can snuggle, and at the end of our TV viewing, I love just slump down and go to sleep (teeth having been previously brushed and PJ’s already on!).

It was getting near the end of April and we were still in the dry season, but it had started getting cloudier and cloudier during the day – and it appeared like it would rain soon – but it had not. Yet.

So there we were one night, cuddled up watching our show, and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw something flying above the window. I screamed “BUG!!”, grabbed the laptop from Greg and paused the show, while he was already in action shouting “Where? Where’d it go?”. OK – I was busy pausing the movie, how was I supposed to know where it went? But it flew again – by the bathroom door – Greg ran, captured and killed the thing. Whew.


I said “What was it?” (fully expecting a June Bug maybe, or a beetle of some kind – it seemed pretty big).


“Babe – tell me, what was it? I can take it.”

Greg, sighing regretfully: “It was a roach”.

UGH – the feared and dreaded word – I cringe just to hear that word, let alone say it (and yet – here I am doing a blog post on it…). I will henceforth refer to it as the R-bug.

Crap! How did it get inside?? We had the bedroom window open – which is high up, but it has a screen on it. And we had the drapes closed. I was perplexed as to how it got in. But you know – R-bugs can get into some really small places (being the creepy, sneaky, ugly bug that they are!).

Ah well, it was just one – right? We went back to watching “The Good Wife”, and before I knew it I was entrenched in Alicia and Will’s romantic tension.

The following night – we were in bed watching “The Good Wife” again. After we were done – Greg got up to plug his laptop in. All of a sudden I heard him moving furniture around. What?? Come to find out – he had seen 2 (two!!) R-bugs when he turned on the lights by the front door, and they went scurrying under the sofa! UGH!!!

And of course Greg was set to house/pet sit at our friend’s house (a mile and a half down the hill) – THE VERY NEXT DAY.   I was going to be staying at our house (ALONE!), as I had some prior engagements I needed to take care of.

So Greg did what he could – mixed up a heavy potion of some bug poison and sprayed it everywhere. I mentioned to my neighbors that I might be calling on them to help me while Greg was out – to their credit they said “sure, no problem”, but I’m sure they didn’t know how serious I was. Greg left, and my nervousness set in.

The first night of being alone – I slept fairly well, considering. Woke up the next morning, started some coffee, opened the drapes, and started putting the dishes away that had set out all night to dry. When I got to the silverware… yep – you guessed it – there was a little visitor squirming around (these things are FAST!) at the bottom of the silverware container!! I freaked out – ran and got my phone and “The Executioner” (a tennis racket bug zapper thingee), and rushed back to the scene.  He was still there.IMG_8296

I texted Greg with trembling fingers (“R-bug! Alive! What to do??”), he somehow was awake and texted me back that he was on his way (I know, I have an awesome husband!! – even though it was probably going take him 45 min’s to hike up to our place). I kept my eye on the R-bug – screaming quietly every time he moved. I was totally creeped out, the hair on my arms standing on end. I somehow got the silverware out and put my bug zapper tennis racket over the top of the silverware hole so if he tried to come to the top I would zap him.

I then politely emailed my neighbors.  It was 6:30 in the morning, but this was an emergency!…

Subject: BUG!!
Email:  Do you happen to be up? Bug emergency!!

Within 5 minutes (which is a LONG time to be watching an ALIVE R-bug) my neighbor replied:

“I’ll be right there”


I frantically texted Greg and told him, so he didn’t need to hike up here – but he was already on his way and said he was coming anyway.

Said neighbor appeared slightly thereafter with coffee mug, bug spray and bug traps in hand. I was never so happy to see anyone.  He took care of the “problem”, and I tried to thank him as best as I knew how. It was hard to convey how much it meant to me…  He was cool as a cucumber “What? No big deal, Jen. Anytime – you just call me.”

I knew I liked my neighbors before this, but now I really, really liked them.

The next night – it had just gotten dark out, and I saw an R-bug suddenly flying (yes – FLYING – they FLY here!) around the dining room table light. I ran for The Executioner and phone – he was still in the light fixture. I frantically called my neighbors. No answer. Called their 2nd number. No answer. I was starting to hyperventilate. I messaged her on Facebook (but she’s not usually on Facebook). I tried her other number again – and she answered: “Bug Patrol” (Oh!  I love a girl who doesn’t waste time with minced words!).

She knew my urgency, spent no wasted time on the phone, and before I knew it her hubby appeared at my door and promptly took care of the problem. AGAIN. With a little tiny napkin and his bare hands.

Then he asked me if I wanted to see it.

UM – NO…. !! I don’t think he fully understands my R-bug-phobia issues. But, bless his heart, I was just so thankful that he dropped whatever he was doing, came over, and killed yet another of these awful bugs for me… I thanked him profusely… (again)…

The next day, I got depressed. I couldn’t stop thinking of these bugs, my fear, and my inability to take care of things myself. This was my BIGGEST hang up on moving to Costa Rica (call me a weenie – whatever – it is what it is).  Seriously, this was hands down the hardest hurdle for me to get over in order to move here.  But now – I was here.

I wallowed in my sadness for the majority of the day. But then – enough was enough. Later that afternoon – I decided to put my big girl panties on. I did some research and asked for advice from friends. Before long – I had a plan.

That night – as dusk descended on my little Costa Rican casa – I calmly got up and SHUT all the windows. Took the high potent bug poison spray bottle and sprayed around all the windows – and twice under the door frame. I shut all the drapes. Turned off as many lights as I could. Got The Executioner out and sat on the couch, where I had the best view of the door, kitchen and dining room table, and WAITED. I was ready. Just try me. I could NOT be calling my neighbors twice a day – that was ridiculous! I was a grown woman!

A couple hours later – sure enough – an R-bug came flying in… I got up with The Executioner, and the next time he flew (they don’t fly SUPER fast, which was in my favor) – I hit him like he was a tennis ball – ZZZZZZAP!! I screamed.

He fell to the floor but was kicking around like crazy. I laid my tennis racket on top of him – ZAPPPP!! Scream.

Still kicking, but slower. Tennis racket on top again – ZAP! Small scream.

No more moving. I didn’t want to wait to see if he moved again. I was by the front door – opened it and volleyed him out and over the porch with my racket (no way was I getting closer to him than arms distance!). GONE!

OMG – I DID IT! I KILLED A LIVE R-BUG for the FIRST TIME EVER in my LIFE (well, not including the time I first moved to Dallas and lived in a slum of an apartment and they had baby roaches everywhere – I’m not quite sure how I did that.  But that was a long time ago, and I’ve kinda blocked it out.  And, I digress…).

I immediately texted Greg. Then I emailed my neighbors. I was PUMPED UP. And PROUD. A little freaked, yes – but felt more POWERFUL than anything.

And – since then? Well – I haven’t seen a “live” one in a while. Maybe me closing up the house before dark helps, turning off all bright lights, as they are attracted to light. Now – I have woken up to dead ones – usually just one a morning (sometimes none!) – so I know this “bug season” is still going on. But dead are MUCH more easier to deal with than ALIVE and FLYING ones.

Hopefully this will be over soon – someone told me a month. So maybe by the end of May… Please? Hopefully…

Oh – by the way, the rain started like 3 days after the bugs started. So – there you have it. That’s how you know rainy season is ALMOST here…

Ciao for now! — Jen


A dead Costa Rican R-bug (cuz I don’t have time to be taking pictures of ALIVE ones when they’re flying around and I’m trying to execute them).


I quit my job in my early 40’s, sold everything and retired early to live a simple life in Costa Rica!

Check out my book: "Costa Rica Chica" - the book.

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31 Responses to How do you know rainy season is about to begin?

  1. We have had our share of bug problems as well…including large scorpions. Our house was sprayed a few days ago, still had a huge scorpion in bathroom last night ( alive ). My experience here in CR is absolutely proving just how much that I am a city girl ( bugs and other readings )!!!

    • Yes, Karen – I had heard Atenas is prone to scorpions… I cannot imagine (ALIVE)!!! I feel like R-bugs are my biggest problem – but I have YET to encounter in our current house – a scorpion or a tarantula… knock on wood. Don’t know WHAT will happen to me then! Hope that day never comes. Thanks for sharing with me!! 🙂

  2. You moved to the jungle and expect not to see any bugs……. that’s a strech……before you know it you won’t even care

    • Yes Jim, I fully admit I’m a bug weenie. But – I think I should get credit for moving here DESPITE my bug phobia issues. 🙂 (PS – are you ready to watch some FRIENDS???).

  3. Please Jen, if you see a tarantula please do not kill it. They eat a lot of insects (R-Bugs included) Just sweep it gently into a dust pan and relocate outside it if it’s in the house. The are very fragile so be careful.
    That being said, I really enjoy your blog and your writing style. Thanks

    • Joyce – trust me – if I see a tarantula, the only thing I’m doing is running away from it and calling for help. There’s no way I could even get close enough to it to sweep it into a dust pan… 🙂

      Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. 🙂

  4. I’M SO PROUD OF YOU JEN! Way to conquer your fear by facing it and not allowing it to conquer you any longer!

    You are a brave woman—-we hear you roar? ….. No! Listen for the EXECUTIONER! 🙂 YAY!
    Felicitaciones por su gran logro!
    Ciao! <3

  5. Not a big bug fan myself. We have geckos in Heredia but the “R-Bugs” are still a problem.

    Yes–tarantulas love to eat bugs. But God did not intend for insects to have hair so as far as i am concerned “they” are satan’s spawn!!!

    I am back in the states for now and eating real food on a daily basis.



    • I love hearing from other “not big bug” fans! And love your hair/satan’s spawn comment!! Have a cheese burger for me, please! Thanks, Nash. 🙂

  6. I remember out first rainy season in San Ramon. The june bugs were so bad they were marching 12 by 12 under our door at night. Our front door did not have a sweep, I almost packed by bags and heading home. I also hate bugs, but with time you get used to them. After 5 years I can now just step on then, instead of running away.

    • Fran – I REMEMBER you telling me about those June bugs when we visited you on our “due diligence” trip!! You give me hope…. 🙂 Thank you.

  7. You should also set out some baits. Leave them in your kitchen/bathroom cabinets and any dark damp places. This will help get any you do not see. Actually, roaches prefer the dark, so not sure if lights out will help with those guys, but should keep regular beetles away. If you can stomach it, let the next spider you see live. They can help!

  8. Just stumbled across your blog and love it! 🙂 Great post on R-bugs. They are hideous creatures that I am all too familiar with being from the southeastern US. I always found that taking off my glasses and hitting them with a big shoe was easiest but I’ll have to look into that cool tennis racket thing you have! 🙂 Kudos on facing your phobia. I hope they are gone soon and I’m looking forward to your next post!

    • Thanks Deb, and welcome! The tennis racket thing is awesome – I got it on before I moved here (see, I was prepared as I could be!). Thanks for following me. 🙂

  9. Ha! I can relate your bug phobia! I have a sweet hubby who helps me too when he is around.
    BUT when he is not I need to take action. I have a cringe each time. What I find really helpful to minimize the number of bugs is extreme cleanliness. Since you bake it could be flour etc on the surfaces. Make it sure you wipe, wash all so nothing attract them. Here in Ga we have our share of bugs too. I will order that zapper as well. Be brave! 😉

  10. Oh gee. We are planning on moving to CR soon. Does anyone know why Atenas is more prone to scorpions? Jen do you know? My wife is going to freak out if she sees scorpions in the house. I have heard that they are everywhere in CR. Also, someone mentioned having the house sprayed. That is scary too since insecticides are not safe for humans either. Are you worried about that? I would use all natural insecticides if I could, but I doubt that CR has such products. Does anyone that lives CR use natural insecticides? If so, where can you get them?

    • Marco – your wife needs to know that there are scorpions and here and prepare herself to see one. Atenas is much more warmer climate than Grecia, so maybe that’s why? We just buy and spray poison ourselves – no need to hire anyone! I’m sure you can get more natural insecticides here, but that’s not for me – I want the most deadliest stuff… to be sure, you know…

      • Also Marco – the good thing is that scorpions here are NOT poisonous. My husband got stung by one within the first week of us moving here(!), but he was surprised that it didn’t really hurt – felt just like a bee sting (he said), and within an hour – he couldn’t even see or feel where it was anymore (he didn’t put anything on it). So, there’s that, to give your wife some peace… 🙂

  11. Thanks for this entertaining but seriously helpful read. I do not like bugs!! We are moving to Potrero in August. and I will be packing a couple tennis racket bug zappers.

    • Thank you, Priscilla… Definitely on the Guanacaste side I think there are more bugs (scorpions)… maybe – I could be wrong. Let me know! Glad I could help with the tennis bug zappers!! They take 2 double A batteries. 🙂

  12. Be brave. Cover them in chocolate. Extra protein, Jen.
    Okay, I know there are a lot of folks out there who eat bugs and find them hugely scrumptious. Especially covered in chocolate, but I’m probably not one of them. Yet.
    I say you go first and give it a try and let me know how it went, ok? 🙂

  13. Way to go, Jen Jen! I had to take down a wasp and its hive that it was just starting to build by my back door. Sometimes, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

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