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It seems that my city is in the midst of a Termite Invasion! OMG…I still haven’t gotten over our own personal bedbug invasion. If our regular readers recall, after a trip around the world for his work recording sound for television, Crazy D brought back unwanted guests in the form of bedbugs. Loathsome creatures. We were lucky to have found them before they migrated from his room into the rest of the house. (L’il Sis would beg to differ that there was any silver lining in the episode. She still fights anxiety attacks when the subject comes up. As do I.) But we called the bug people immediately and, after two fumigations, the loss of  Crazy D’s expensive mattress (to the dump) and the revelation that Walmart is the go-to place for bedbug-proof mattress and pillow covers, not to mention the loss of dignity in the neighborhood, we survived.

I wonder if the residue of chemicals from that incident will protect us from termites. Probably not. I’m consoled by the fact that we know the go-to people and are almost on a first-name basis with the Critter Gitter manager. We had some lovely chats while she worked her magic. I’m sure we could jump to the head of the line if necessary.

The paper, in its article about the termites, mentioned only two areas where the bugs are worst. They refused to identify other areas for fear of causing panic or, as I discovered with the bedbugs, embarrassment. I took note that one of the affected areas is in the district where L’il Sis lived in the old 1860s house that I purchased for her to launch her fashion boutique. I refer to it as ‘The Money Pit House’. Despite pre-purchase inspections, we would later discover knob and tube wiring that had been hidden, asbestos-wrapped pipes, mice, rotting beams, faulty plumbing and a smokehouse with hidden bones. Don’t ask. The one thing the inspector didn’t find was termites, but I’m betting that is now Termite central. The house, for all its charm, has ‘Eat Me’ written all over it. Of course, after all the money I sunk into it (and the piles of cash subsequent owners also did), it is just sitting there begging for another disaster to strike. Perhaps next a cloud of locusts?

As long as the damned bugs don’t navigate out here to the burbs, I’ll be fine. As we speak, I’m considering having a moat built around my house to thwart them. On second thought, perhaps that approach is too extreme. After all, with the flock of ducks, the songbirds, the obese squirrels , chipmunks and voles that inhabit my yard, surely some of them eat bugs. Maybe I could even turn this thing around and cut down on my birdseed bill!

It seems that no place is perfect when it comes to houses or apartments. As long as Gill has been living in Britain, the dreaded ‘creeping damp’ has plagued her…along with the inefficient, middle-aged heating — as in The Middle Ages, not just mid-life) , the sketchy plumbing and single-glazed windows that invite the North Sea gales to come on in.

I’m not going to panic. If and when I hear a gentle ‘crunch, crunch’ near my foundation, I’ll spring into action. Oh, I just had a thought: I wonder if The Pig (L’il Sis’ beagle) likes termites…

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