If I were diplomatic, I'd say Brazil has brought me into closer communion with nature; since I'm not, I'll just say I've grown exceptionally tolerant of bugs-- although, not really by choice. The construction of most buildings (except the really new or really ritzy ones) encourages a general buggy paradise around the city of Rio: windows rarely have screens, most bathroom and kitchen floors have drains that go straight to the sewer and nothing is properly sealed. In the US, it's a seasonal thing. Here, with temperatures only diverging about 30 degrees fahrenheit across all seasons, pests are perhaps the most enthusiastic of all Brazilian citizens.
Mosquitoes- These guys are truly the spawns of Satan. I hate mosquitoes with a passion. Unfortunately, they love and adore me. I've woken up in the morning to just about a dozen bites across my body. No area is off-limits-- feet, hands, face, neck, arms, legs, butt...I've seen it all. Of all Brazilian bugs, nothing enrages me like mosquitoes. I've gone so far as to do research to figure out how to deter these suckers from getting cozy with. I run a fan all night, I spray myself generously with Off! about 3 times a day and I try to wear long pants as much as possible but even those things can't eliminate the midnight snacks that are my big toes.
Roaches- Oh, the cockroach. I was never properly acquainted with them until Brazil. Thanks to our kitty, we wake up to about 3-4 dead roaches per day. They hiss, they fly and they hang out in the nastiest of the nasty places around town. I've seen people stop in the middle of the street as a little family of these suckers walks by. They clearly feel at home here and no one is ever shocked to see them show up at a party, a restaurant or in the shower. I'm really unfazed by them now. I think it would actually freak me out a lot to see them in the US but here, it's just par for the course.
Gnats- In my experience, gnats are something that occasionally build up if you have old bananas or other squishy fruits in a bowl. Once you toss the fruit, they disappear. Not here. Gnats are constantly in the kitchen. We can't get rid of them. No amount of cleaning or vigilance about food seems to make any difference. They congregate on everything-- pots, pans, drying dishes in the rack, the walls, the TV antenna, lights- everything! I've literally seen them having sex on the rim of my coffee cup in the morning. It's insane. In the summer, it becomes like a cloud you have to wave through to get to the fridge. Plus, there are no bug sprays made for gnats so nothing works. Yeah, fun stuff.
Ants- Last, but not least-- ants. These guys are also a constant preoccupation in Brazil. Nothing sweet can ever be kept anywhere but in the fridge-- granola, sugar, juice, bread, cookies, chocolate milk powder, etc. They also seem to migrate incredibly fast. I've found ants in purses that were hanging up on my bedroom wall because I left gum or cough-drops inside (still wrapped-- they get under the wrapper). I'm less bothered by ants, I guess. They don't bite (at least not the local variety), sting or cause any kind of pain. They're just annoying. I admit, I've continued eating something even after noticing a few ants. I literally had a bowl of cereal once that had ants floating in it (just a couple). Whatever. Some cultures actually consider them a delicacy. Who am I to turn my nose up at the caviar of the jungle?
Aside from these four major categories, there are an innumerable amount of bees, beetles, wasps, slugs, maggots and assorted creepy-crawlies that make life in Brazil interesting. I'm by no means a bug fan but one must simply "migrate, adapt or die", as they say. Because, one thing is for sure, the bugs aren't going anywhere.