Culture Shock: Bugs

culture shock bugs

Living in India has been a challenge; a bigger challenge than we thought.

I began the “culture shock” series two days ago, writing about the lack of privacy. Today’s subject (as you may have assumed by the title and image of this post) is:


Major pain in the ass. Back in the U.S. if I saw one spider in our house, I would cringe and ask Josh to take it out. I took some out myself but did not like it at all. I am not afraid of bugs, I just don’t like them one tiny bit. When we moved to this house in India, bugs were quickly a problem. Ants were everywhere; mosquitos and gnats and all kinds of moths came uninvited into our home after 7pm, very rude bugs. The ants would especially hold parties in the eastern toilet, which made me hate it even more. A couple would crawl on us when we went to bed. A few would dive into our drinks and decide to die there. I wear shoes in the house at all times, something I’ve never had to do before, I actually love being shoeless in my home. The first thing I used to do when I arrived to any of my previous homes, was remove my shoes.

Dead bug in Josh’s coffee.

Now, two months later, I am used to seeing bugs in our house. “Oh look another spider”, “oh look I’m showering with a spider”, “oh look a cricket.” We get reptiles too, I have seen many lizards in our walls, adults and babies. I don’t care about the lizards, they don’t bug me. I guess that is why they are reptiles and not bugs; because they don’t bug people, get it? Anyway, even though I am used to the bugs now, it doesn’t mean they don’t bother me anymore. Does that count then? Can you be used to something even if you don’t like it? Or do you have to be unaffected by it to be used to it?

Well, I feel like I’m used to it because it doesn’t surprise me anymore, and I don’t react to it anymore, but it still kinda bothers me. I don’t know if there is a word for that.

india bug

I decided I needed proof, so I went around the house to find bugs to photograph, after seeing just a couple ants, I said out loud: “where are the crazy bugs when I need them?”, and totally unexpected, Josh said:  “I have one trapped right here.” He pointed to an area in his desk where there was a bug trapped indeed. I started laughing and said: “what is this?” I wondered because Josh has openly declared a war on ants after their invasion to our house. His declaration went something like this. “I don’t go to their house, so why do they come to mine? [talking to the bugs] If you crawl on me you die. I told God to not bring the bugs to me because I’ll kill them. I warned Him.” This is an example of what India is doing to us, back in the U.S. we would never just purposely step on an ant. So when I saw this bug trapped, instead of being killed or flickered to the floor, it made me laugh. “I didn’t want to bug him, he was sleeping” Josh said. The bug had landed on his keyboard and apparently fallen asleep on his back. He wasn’t dead because after about 10min he started moving again.

trapped bug india
This is the guy who landed on Josh’s keyboard, fell asleep, and got trapped.

Before publishing this post, I opened the front door to check if our cat was here, but instead I found an amazing leaf bug. I wish I had been able to take a better picture but it is night time and I refuse to use built-in flash, it makes every photo worse.

leaf bug katydid

These bugs that resemble green leafs are commonly called katydids. What a funny name. (Wikipedia told me.)

8 thoughts on “Culture Shock: Bugs

  1. Ooooooh! I have a phobia of spiders- have not encountered one in India yet (my husband said that because we have the incense burning from pooja it keeps them out- might be something for you to try). Also- spiders do not like orange peel (and Nagpur is the orange city- so fingers crossed!!) x


    1. What a great tip! I used to light incense every now and then in the US, I have not bought any here in India. I’m definitely going to buy some next time I go to town. I like woodsy smells but I might look for some orange incense 🙂 Thanks!


      1. You are welcome!! I really think it must work because I didn’t see any bugs in our house (only the invisible mosquitoes haha) x


  2. Oh boy.. I’d be on the first train, boat, plane home!.. I cannot deal with them!! What I wanted to ask you.. don’t you have screens?? how are they getting in? Also..aren’t there locks on your doors to prevent those people from constantly streaming in? Or do they ring a doorbell? I would put one of those ‘baby sleeping’ signs on the door.. !!. Seems like Lauren lives there too now? It’s 5:51 here in NJ right now.. is it coming to be your morning? Or are you up… I know you said you keep crazy hours!…


    1. Hi! So, we moved in to a quite old house that wasn’t being maintained much. One major thing was the windows. They are very old and most of them have cracks or holes or something where the bugs come in. About a month ago we got new windows for the bedroom, and we are in the process for getting new windows for the rest of the house. It’s a pretty small 1 bedroom house but it has 12 windows! Some are also coming from the pipes of the sink and the toilet which unlike in the U.S just lead to an opening outside :s We are hoping the new windows are going to help a lot with the bugs, and eventually a western toilet. Lauren is in the UK now but her husband lives in Nagpur, where she will move to next year. Right now she is doing temporary visits. And about the people… well, it is mostly one person who makes most the visits, and he actually works for us, as well as being a friend. He was the one who helped us get settled, and he is the one who provides with anything we need (even if it takes a while). Since we don’t live in a big city, it’s hard to buy things. We wouldn’t even know where to go. He also is our middle man between every worker we hire, since most don’t speak a lot of english. He finds the people, and we pay. So he helps us a lot. But he also is and wants to be a friend so he comes to our house a lot, to deliver things, to talk about updates and statuses of orders, give messages to the cook, etc etc.. He brings workers without announcement, we are trying to change that slowly. We do have a lock for the front door but it wouldn’t stop him from coming. We both work at home, so we are here most of the time, and he knows that. He also lives very close by, so it adds to his ability to stop by more often. It was about 3am when you posted the comment, I went to bed around 2am last night. 😉 My times do vary. 🙂


  3. I tell you!… it sounds like one continous party!!… There is this stuff.. it’s called “Great Stuff” it’s pink too… would match your house! lol.. anyway.. you spray it and this foam expands and hardens.. no bugs would get in.. I am guessing they don’t have it there right? Are there places like Home Depot there? Hardware stores or am I getting ridiculous? That sounds like what you need!… Annette


    1. “Great stuff” sounds great haha. I wish we had Home Depot or something similar. There is absolutely nothing like it here. All the stores here are shops, they are small and they each sell specific things like there is one shop just for construction paint, there is one just for linens, there is one just for clothes, one for plastic household goods, steel household goods, the incense shop, the sweet shop, the vegetable market, the fruit market.. you name it. They are all separate, so going shopping to town is an adventure. It’s different in big cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, etc.. but we don’t live in a big city, so it’s very hard to find whatever it is we need.


  4. Oh, good luck with your bugs! That would be freaking me out. I’m also not “scared” of bugs, but I don’t like them, and I don’t like squishing them, mostly because they make a crunch, squishy sound.

    We don’t have nearly as many bugs here in Denmark as you’re having in India, obviously given the climate differences, but I’ve also noticed a difference in the amount of bugs inside between here in the US. Most Danish homes don’t have air conditioning because it doesn’t (usually) get hot enough to need it, so in the summer they just open their windows. Except that most of the older buildings don’t have screens. Which means that bugs can just come on in any time the windows are open, which they do. So we almost always have a couple of flies and some fruit flies and maybe a couple of other weird bugs in our apartment. I just don’t understand why it wouldn’t be common place to have screens in a country that has to have their windows open a few months every year…


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