No, Not in my code. My research for the this unknown insect has been going for sometime now. Its everywhere, (when I say everywhere trust me its all over). This is also known locally as ‘Mupli’. I am not sure why its called that way. May be because its the newest member of everyone’s family at Kottayam.
The endless rubber estates. The tapper (person who taps the rubber for latex), gets around our place at 4 in the morning. He takes his knifes and other materials and walk to our estate to begin his work. He taps every rubber tree and collect latex and come back around by 10. The rubber sheets are made out of the latex by mixing it with diluted acid. This is then sold after drying it out in the sun or in a ‘smoke room’.
This post is not about how rubber is made out of the rubber trees. Thats normal, usual thing that happen around. You might have even seen it, if you have been to Kottayam District in Kerala.
What I want to talk about is the new member in the family. Or should I call it members?
Its the newest bug in town. When I say new, its just a few years old. Noone (not even the government controlled Rubber board) have clear idea on how this bug came into town. There are zillions of them, everywhere. Once the dusk is near and people turn on the lights, they come over. They invade the entire house.
People tried different things to get rid of it.
1. Tried starting a fire, people guessed that all the bugs will get attracted to the light and eventually perish in the fire. But instead the fires were killed by the number of bugs.
2. Poisoning the entire house. This did not help either, because this did more damage to the people than the bugs. Their population was the key to their survival.
The bugs are at the top of the food chain, with no natural predator they multiply in millions. They feed on the dead rubber leaves(thank god as the rubber industry would have gone for a toss if they started eating the fresh ones). Rubber itself is not a natural tree in Kerala, it was bought to India by the British, where they saw a huge potential for rubber cultivation because of favorable climate.
Noone in my previous generation has see this bug. It’s either a mutated bug or took a boat from some other country.
Here is a photograph to give you an idea on the numbers and a closeup.
The bugs don’t harm humans, unless we squash it on our body. Then it excretes a fluid which is second cousin of some acid that will burn our body. This is very rare, the bug is not dangerous.
But the number of them in a house will mean, bug in your food, shirt, trousers and even undergarments. It will walk all over your body and give you little time to sleep as you will spent the entire time picking them from your body.
Now that’s one irritating member in every family.