Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Always Something - Part 2

I woke up Wednesday morning to find teeny tiny dark brown granules at the head of my bed. Panic set in immediatly as my first guess was termites. I called a termite specialist to have him come and inspect. He confirmed my fears, it is dry wood termites. I live in an old Florida style house that has no attics. It is an open beam ceiling with tongue and groove wood. The ceiling is the roof, the roof is the ceiling and it was dropping termite poop on my head.
We were going to have to tent the house at a cost of $850, which was the least offensive part of the whole thing. We would have to leave the house for 2 1/2 days. With no where else to go, we would have to find a hotel room at the height of tourist season, $$$. We would of course have to eat out , $$$. That satellite dish and antenae would have to be taken down, $$$. We would have to cut down the vine at the front door and the rest of it will most likely die along with all the other landscaping close to the house. We would have to remove all the food from the house as it will be contaminated, but he said I would not have to wash all my dishes later (why wouldn't they be contaminated too?) But the straw that broke the camels back was when he told me that I would have to remove my fish. I could go buy a very large fish tank and filter, $$$ or have some kind of service take them, $$$. Either way, we would also have to remove all the water and rebuild the tank again. Needless to say I was sick all day at the thought of the whole process.
Internet to the rescue. I was searching for a second opinion, when I came across the words Alternative Termite Management. I called them in a flash and the guy was here a few hours later. Wow, what a difference. They will scan the ceiling with some expensive piece of equipment to determine exactly where the termites are. They then drill tiny holes in the ceiling and inject the wood with a bug killer and preventative. The only thing we will have to do is move the bed. The whole process will take about 3 to 4 hours and the cost is less than tenting. Both this method and the tenting have the same warranty, so which would you choose?
We have scheduled them for Monday morning. In the meantime, a large hunk of painters plastic ($2 at Home Depot) stapled to the ceiling will keep the poop from falling on the bed. Look close at the top of the picture. You can see the little dark specks of termite poop. Yah, I know, it's gross.

13 comments:

Shana said...

The second way of doing it is how I have seen it done on those tv shows and I am sure it is probably healthier for you and your house and our fish! I would definitely go with that choice. So sorry this happened but it is good you found out!

mkhquilts said...

WOW!! OMG!! What a horrible thing to find out! And what a blessing to find that alternative treatment!

Dotti said...

What a story! Glad there was a sunny ending...not as sunny as those walls. Did you do those?

Ann said...

Oh my, I would have been freaking out. What a difference in methods. I would have gone with the second option also.

Lynne said...

It's times like these that I wonder what we ever did without the internet! Excellent job finding alternative (and easier) treatment! I would go with the 2nd opinion since it comes with the same warranty.

WillOaks Studio said...

Horrible situation (I'm very bug-phobic!) but so great to hear there's an alternative!! Good luck solving a really gross problem quickly!

Lori in South Dakota said...

I think you've made a good choice. And plastic works too, for a bit! Poor fish, at least they didn't have to be relocated!

Janiss said...

Oh, I feel your pain! Here in southern California, termites are constantly an issue. The house we owned before the one we currently live in had to be tented, and not only did my boyfriend and I have to spend two days in a motel, the dog had to stay at his work, and the three cats had to be boarded at a cat hotel. Boarding the cats cost more than boarding the humans! I'm hoping to keep this house termite-free with alternative treatments too - it's quite a bit bigger than our old house and would really be an expensive PITA to tent.

Lin said...

Ewww. Okay, I get the bugs (which is bad enough), but do they have to poop on you while you are sleeping???! Geesh, the nerve.

Jen said...

We are in Alabama, and had this treatment done to our house a number of years ago. They can also drill holes in concrete, which they did on the front on the porch (since termites come up from the ground and must return to the ground every day). I think we just left the house for the day and that was all. Glad you found a better solution and I hope it all works out for you!

Campbell Jane said...

You are not alone. Everything is breaking around here and being a starving artist I've got to save to get things fixed. I'm glad your story had a happy ending and you didn't have to tent the house!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Ewwwwww! What a nasty thing to wake up to. I would then spend the day wondering if I somehow ingested some of it while sleeping... sorry... probably shouldn't even GO there. Hope they get those nasty buggers exterminated FAST for you!

Buggys said...

Thank god for the internet, right? What relief you must have felt after talking to guy #2! I hope you get some poop free sleep very soon.