Sunday, February 5, 2012

10 Not so Fun Things! Ewww in a Maui Jungalow


If you live in a Maui Jungalow... a jungle bungalow, there are certain distinct things that you may see in the course of a day or over a week.  If you've ever considered moving to Ha'iku or Hana or Huelo, or cooler, wetter parts of the island, well you may reconsider after reading this post. Some parts of this post even apply to higher or dryer parts of the island.

I want to be authentic and share what's so, even though it may make real estate brokers cringe and the visitor's bureau may give me "stink eye" (local lingo/pidgin for a dirty look). On the plus side, if you know about these things and are okay with them, then hey, jungle living may be for you!

1. Spiders.  Yup, they like hanging out in jungalows, and wanna-be jungalows.  There are jumping spiders which are small and hard to photograph, daddy long legs, Argiope spiders, and crab spiders.  I recently found a crab spider that snuck in the house.  Right now, we're deep in spider season and they have been making webs around the house.


Daddy long legs in the corner... I guess this is good impetus
to clean behind the couch more often!



 2. Rats.  They scurry across the banana trees at dusk, and love eating avocados in the avocado trees in the middle of the night. Thankfully, our cat enjoys hunting and has left many dead rat offerings on the door mat.

3. Roaches. Sigh. Yes, these exist too.  Bugs like the warm Maui weather, and when it rains more often, especially in rainy season, the roaches like to crawl inside, especially late at night.  Even in the cleanest of houses, bugs are a fact of life.  In Yoda-speak, "BUGS ARE."  Cracks and crevices to the outside world are well-known to every bug in a 5 mile radius. Ok, yes, you could pay for pest control once a month but that would be so boring.

4. Leaks. When it rains on Maui, you will find out where the cracks and crevices are in your roof. Some jungalows and dwellings have been slapped together by hippies, toker-smokers, surfer dudes who'd rather be surfing, or super "pake"  (pronounced pa-kay - local lingo for "cheap") folks. So the buildings may not be to code - a shocker to many mainland folks. Ha! Code!  What's that?  Let's face it, your roof may not be waterproof.

5. Gecko poop, turds, droppings. Notice I did not say geckos. Geckos are cute - most people like them, and they eat bugs. But they got to go somewhere to poop, especially on white or clean things!  White pillows, white sofas, fresh laundry, anywhere you just cleaned. You get the idea. Your jungalow = gecko bathroom.


Yes, a genuine gecko turd.


6. Dead geckos. This is worse than gecko poop.  They look like miniature Egyptian mummies. I wondered if I was the only person to deal with little dead geckos, and then a friend posted an entire album on Facebook of dead geckos from her Wailea condo.

Sliding a screen door too quickly is dangerous. Something gummy could fall on you, like a gecko which was munching the bugs in the slider above the screen door. Sliding doors = gecko guillotines. Ewww!

7. Bug eggs. Yuck. Spider eggs, cockroach eggs, need I say more?


Mysterious bug eggs - well they look like they are eggs, don't they?

A genuine cockroach egg, I think on a  plastic chair leg outside. Ewww!



8. Mildew and black mold. Hopefully you don't have much of this in your home, and most jungalows are well-aerated because they don't seal that well anyhow!  I hope you don't have too many clothes in your closet because that designer outfit stuffed in the back of your closet for months (because there's no place to get dressed up) has just been turned into a mold hotel. Unless you aerate your closet or have a fan, dehumidifier, or heat stick running, you are in big time trouble.


Mold growing on a bamboo sushi mat that I thought would be
better kept in a ziploc bag. Wrong!



9. Spices gone bad. Yup, a fact of life, not just in Haiku, even as high up as gasp! Pukalani. For fresher spices, keep them in the fridge. If not, use them in a few months or they will self-destruct. I've had good luck with whole spices like cardamom pods or whole cumin seeds for long periods of time, but if they're powder, the time bomb starts clicking now.


This was a spice container of Spike, unused for far too long. 


10. Termite poop, or for proper folks - termite droppings.

On the other hand, all this coolness is comfortable to live in, and it comes with the lushness of the island. So if you're not cringing too much, it is part of living with nature. 

1 comment:

  1. I so wish I had read this before I had the run in with our nocturnal visitor, Mr. Roof rat. Our two dogs were snoozing on the bed with me at 1 am and I am suddenly wide awake, something is making a scraping sound on the book shelves not 3 feet from my head. Turning on the light produced a fleeing gray smear that ran over the top of my foot as I struggled to find the source of the noise. The dogs are still zonked out as I squeal and jump and skitter across the room. My husband is awake now, and starts moving furniture. "Stand back, over there in the corner", he says in his most paladin-like voice, preparing to pull the bed away from the wall and find the offending rodent. As I wait, wide eyed and damsel in distress, for him to vanquish my rattus rattus foe, the little bugger comes screaming out from under the bed and runs right over the top of the same foot it trampled earlier. My traumatized foot and I are hyperventilating after a blood curdling scream that awoke every single neighbor from Ulumalu to Door of Faith Rd. I am writing this, huddled in the dark, my so-called savior sound asleep after declaring the closet a de-militarized zone and sanctuary for politically oppressed rodents. He told me to go back to sleep and he and the mutts are all out cold, a trio of snores, while that THING is living the high life nestled in between my Teva's and New Balance cross-trainers. Ugh. That's my maui jungalow life this morning.

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