Charlene, one of our blog readers, sent us a comment asking about the bug population here. In fact, we've gotten several notes asking about this topic, so thought we'd do a blog entry...
Yes, there are bugs/insects in Cuenca!
Are there 'alot'? It depends...
Compared to our ranch in rural, southern Oregon, we'd say 'no'...but the bugs are different here.
Remember, Cuenca is at 8300 ft altitude (and we grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area at sea level; the ranch was at about 800 ft or so). No humidity here. The air is dry and the temperatures are moderate. No seasons, just 'wet' and 'dry'...No scorching, humid summers, no frigid, snowy winters.
At the ranch, we had those horrid, biting horse flies and mosquitoes at certain times of the year. In Cuenca (we're in a big city now), no horse flies, but we do see an occasional house fly. And, we've seen a couple mosquitoes, too. But, nothing like we'd see during the summer in Oregon.
A couple of our friends have hired an exterminator to rid their apartment of bugs...but we haven't needed to do that. We have found a few potato bug-type,flying 'things' and a few worm-like 'things' in the apartment, but we just 'save' them and move them outside. Not a problem. We have also had aphids in some of the plants on our porch...and some pretty big, jumping spiders upstairs. Again, not a huge problem for us. Those spiders were amazing! Yes, they got moved outside...We just put a glass over the bug, slip a piece of paper over the top of the glass and send the bugs on the way out the window...
Speaking of windows..,no screens on them! No need. We live a few floors up, and we leave our windows open all night for the fresh air. We haven't seen any window screens here, unlike some areas of Ecuador.
We think we got biten by some kind of insect down at the river...kind of like little flea bites, a little itchy, but nothing like the bugs that used to bite us in the pastures. Those bites used to itch like the devil! (Wearing boots and not flip-flops, helped.)
Friends have complained of something biting them in bed, but we haven't experienced that. (Our friends found a good spray that seemed to get rid of whatever that was...)
There are, of course, more bugs and insects along the coast of Ecuador and in the jungle areas, where the altitudes are lower and the temperatures are warmer and more humid than here. Some bite and can carry diseases, and that's why you need to take precautions and use insect "barriers".........mosquito netting, insect sprays, 'bug off' clothing, etc.
Hope this helps.
*Added May 20: For Bob and Roxanne's blog entry on bugs at the Coast, see