Wringing Hands

It all began last Tuesday.  Kim started saying, "I think we need to set off a bug bomb."  And by Friday night, I was worried sick that we had termites.  Now, some friends let me know that termites are not that big of a deal: they can be treated.  No, to me, it was the end of the world — would our house be standing past the weekend?!??  Anyhow, I called the pest control company Monday morning.  The fellow reassured me that the termites were "swarming" and searching for a water source.  Within 72 hours they would be dried up and gone.  We have paperwork that says the slab was pretreated.  And, we have paperwork that showed at the renewal in February that the "trench and treat" was done.  Whatever.  The pest company even sent out a 5 month employee on their first "T-complaint".  This employee did not even know the difference between an ant and a termite.  Two segments or three?  Bent antennae or straight?  What am I looking for??  At least they had the two-way going with the supervisor (the fellow I spoke to earlier).

Now I'm not completely sure, but it appears that his prediction is coming true.  We were relieved (?) to find out that our neighbors were experiencing the same phenomenon.  My neighbor was very non-chalant:  "I'm not worried, since we're covered by a contract."  He even had a Terminix decoder ring (!).  I thought of "more Ovaltine, please".  Anyhow, after a peak number last night, tonight there were zero spotted.  However, this is the 2nd night in a row that I spotted a queen carpenter ant.  Oh, my.  The good news is that my marriage appears to have survived; last night Kim delievered the ultimatum , "It's either the termites or me!"

The links below were interesting and useful in my newest obsession.  Since reading them (and collecting bug samples — I am a basket case), I have even had fleeting thoughts of dropping everything to become an entomologist.  Or, short visions of being an entrepreneur finding creative ways to non-destructively observe the critters behind the walls.  Maybe I need to stay at a Holiday Inn Express overnight.

In all, what I really needed to do was to calm down, take a deep breath, pray, and remember I Peter 5:7 , "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV), or the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own." (NIV)  Maybe termites are in our future (the old saying: "There are two kinds of houses in Louisiana: those who have had termites and those who don't know they have them!), and maybe not.  Either way, there are bigger issues and greater blessings in comparison.

Carpenter Ants and Termite comparison: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/housingandclothing/DK1015.html

Formosan Subterranean Termites: http://chambers-tx.tamu.edu/publications/L5233.pdf

Subterranean Termites: http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/b-6080.html

And last, but not least, the outstanding LSU website: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/family_home/home/pest_management/

Check those slabs!

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Published in: on May 10, 2006 at 3:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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