I live in a very old house. When I say old, I’m speaking more like Eddie Izzard’s opinion on American history than old old. Our house is no 1800’s New England house (lived in one of those too), but it was built in the 1930’s and it wasn’t built all that well. More sharecropper’s shack than chic bungalow.
Not only is our
shoddy cute house old, but it’s also the most secure part of our wealth. Why is that important? Because I’m constantly worried it’s going to implode and leave us penniless. Lately, the biggest source of that fear is winged insects.
It all started when Tim repaired some rotted wood on our side porch, and thought he saw termites. Termites are evil y’all. Termites are death. For a 1930’s house with wood foundation, termites are panic inducing.
In fact, we tried to buy another old farm house (we have a pattern) back in 2008 in North Carolina. The deal didn’t go through because the home inspector was able to ram a screw driver through the foundation because it was the “worst termite damage he’d ever seen.” Whenever I think about termites, I think of that old farmhouse slowly crumbling to the ground… and now I think my house is crumbling to the ground.
While Tim did research on treating termites (how rational), I walked over every spot of my hardwood floor. It’s soft here! Is it as soft there? Is it moving? Was it that color a year ago? Is it rotted? Is there water damage? You get the picture.
I read the top 3 pages of google results on termites. When my Dad (a custom home builder) came to visit, I had him crawl under the house with a flash light.
“IS IT FALLING APART YET?” I yelled to him while he was on his belly in the very tiny 2′ crawlspace of our house.
He said it wasn’t. We treated most of the yard for termites, made a plan to fix the existing damage (small) and finish treating the rest of the house the following weekend. Crisis averted.
That is, until I tried to go to bed this week.
We walked into our bedroom and found our white comforter covered in flying ant looking things in various sizes. I squealed sat frozen on this tiny corner of the bed I deemed safe. Then we went on about a fifteen minute “Is this an ant or a termite” google spree.
The damn things look identical. How am I suppossed to tell?
After researching too much, we determined they were actually flying ants that were driven inside from the recent heavy rains. We changed all the sheets. I vacuumed the mattress and behind the bed like a crazy person, and then my lovely husband crawled into bed to go to sleep like a normal person.
I am not a normal person.
At first I decided I was only safe if I stayed 100% under the covers. Keep in mind that it’s summer in Texas, but I choose heat and discomfort since the comforter gave me another 3″ of protection against the evil flying ants.
Then I had to periodically swipe and jerk and turn on my phone to check for bugs. All. Night. Long.
I tell you what, I’m traditionally not a suburb person but sometimes I dream of a freshly built two story house where every nook and cranny was caulked in the 2010’s.