The Many Jobs of a Missionary ~ Exterminator, Crawly Creepies

I thought enough time had passed since I creeped everyone out with a few critter stories, so I thought I’d have a laugh sending some more shivers up your spines.


IMG_0829You’ve never seen spiders like these. As big as your hand, striped or hairy legs, noticeable pincers…definitely nightmare-inducing (especially if you just happened to watch a movie with a certain creature named Shelob…I still remember waking up while scooting my pregnant body out of bed at triple speed. I dreamed a huge spider was over my bed.) Thankfully, the big guys aren’t around too often.



Did you know scorpions are in the spider family? Oh, the things you learn from homeschooling! We actually haven’t seen too many in our direct neighborhood, but our teammates once saw an interesting kind in theirs.

One time we were returning with baby Caleb from a few days away at a cheap self-catering hotel called “Bed in the Bush.” It had a few bedrooms (one with an air conditioner unit!)…well, in the bush. As we drove up to the little camp, we saw baboons running away. I kept an eye on our little crawling tyke to make sure no crazy baboons would kidnap him. We found a scorpion or two in the bathtub there.

We couldn’t stay long, because Seth need an MRI for his bad back. I still remember sitting in the back seat beside Caleb, feeding him cereal in the truck as we drove away early that morning, when suddenly a big black scorpion scuttled out from beneath a few books beside me on the seat, not a foot away!

“Augh! Augh! Stop! Pull over!” I screamed. Miraculously I held onto the cereal. Seth handles all critter murders in our family. I was sooo glad Caleb wasn’t stung!

Here we are, safely leaving Bed in the Bush.

Here we are, safely leaving Bed in the Bush, unaware of our stowaway.


These aren’t the little ones I remember seeing at college in Florida (which were the first I’d ever seen). These are 3 inches long. If you’ve ever been woken up to a 3-inch cockroach crawling on your arm or head…let me rephrase that. If you’ve ever woken up to find yourself frantically snatching at something crawling on you only to fling it away, turn on the light, and see a big brown cockroach–then you might be a missionary.

We were doing pretty well with exterminating these guys, but then in 2010 our one adult male church member died. We stored his widow’s belongings when they cleared her little shack for visitors for the funeral. A whole cockroach colony moved in with that storage. It took at least a year before things were under control again. And these guys leave little marks of their presence all over the kitchen cupboards.

Unfortunately, I read in a kids’ book (good ol’ homeschooling again!) that cockroaches can live for a long time without eating (2-3 months maybe?) and that they can live off of cardboard. Isn’t that depressing? No wonder they never seem to die in the attic.

On that optimistic thought, I’ll leave you to enjoy the thought of summer approaching. 🙂

About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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8 Responses to The Many Jobs of a Missionary ~ Exterminator, Crawly Creepies

  1. Ann Bedford says:

    Remind me never to read your posts when trying to go to sleep.

  2. Dana Jordan says:

    It’s official….I’d never make it if I were in your shoes! Yikes!!

  3. Oh dear… i always hope to say something nice and encouraging to you… but usually can’t think of a thing worth saying to your very challenging posts. Hope your Mother’s Day did not include extermination of bugs that came to wish you a good day… Hugs from all of us to all of you!

  4. aleassa says:

    I just had the same car experience happen tonight! Except that it was a jumping spider. And it was the size of a pencil eraser. So it really wasn’t the same at all. But still, nothing worse than creepy crawlies in a moving vehicle!

  5. Pingback: The Many Jobs of a Missionary ~ Exterminator, The Slithery Kind | Ita Vita

  6. Pingback: The Many Jobs of a Missionary ~ Exterminator, Flying Creatures | Ita Vita

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