We are not alone!

Friday night, my Patient Husband and Kiddo#1 went to a ball game, giving this mom a much-coveted Night Alone. My Patient Husband’s Former Officemate (who had enabled the scoring of said tickets in the first place) didn’t realize that I too was the beneficiary of his ticket-obtaining prowess.

I spent the night with the baby in bed while I sat on the bedroom floor and played with my sketch pad, wrote a bit in my journal, and finished a book I’ll be reviewing here later this week. All told, a quiet night for a Philangelus who lives in a too-noisy world.

Remember, God looks out for fools, drunks, the United States of America, and me. Because thank heaven the next thing didn’t happen while I was alone.

On Saturday night, I was playing with two kitties and the “cat dancer” (their favorite toy) when I noticed I could hear the scrabbling of kitty paws even when the kitties were not moving. Hm.

Now, I believe in angels, but I’m not so much into ghosts and haunted houses (although that’s its own blog entry.) I was definitely hearing a crinkling or crackling sound, so when my Patient Husband came into the bedroom, I said, “Is it raining?” No, it wasn’t. “Then what am I hearing?”

It was shortly determined that whatever I could hear was on the other side of the wall. As in, between the outer wall of the house and the inner wall. We couldn’t determine who or what, only “Yes, we’ve acquired a tenant.”

But how to evict it? And would it finish eating our house before we could call an pest control service on Monday morning? I slept with my rosary clutched in my hand all night.

With the use of my Mad Sleuthing Skillz (you didn’t know I had those, did you?) I eventually settled on a best guess: carpenter ants. On the outer wall of the house, we couldn’t see an entry point for wasps (my big fear) and the sound was too constant to be mammals. It had to be a colony of something with six legs. And it couldn’t possibly be termites because termites would be Terribly Bad, and therefore they couldn’t be termites. Got it? Not termites. Because they wouldn’t be.

Well, to make a long blog shorter, on Monday at 8AM I phoned Angelborough Pest Removal Services and said, “Uh, help?” and they said, “Let me guess? Someone is eating your house? Is 9AM okay?” I agreed that one hour was probably an okay time to wait.

By 9:30, the guy had come and gone, with all sorts of awesome tools. He had, for starters, his ear, which he pressed to the wall and said, “Yeah. Carpenter ants.” I guess they sing or something? He had a sprayer that he could use to coat our entire chimney in AntBeGone while standing on the ground, and he sprayed the interior of the house. He drilled two holes in the drywall, sprayed in AntBeGone with a tube and a breather bag, and then had two little pegs that fit exactly in to the holes he drilled. He even had (and this is the mark of a true professional) a license plate that said “NO BUGZ.” You can’t beat that.

The ants should move out in three to six weeks, he said. Otherwise he’ll come and do it all over again. If the house is still standing.

Until then, listen closely for the pitter-patter of tiny little feet. Millions of them.


  1. Wendy

    As someone who lives in a really yummy house, I feel your pain. And I need to call the termite exterminators.

  2. Jen

    Agh! We had carpenter ants a few years back… hubby discovered the nest by pulling down the insulation in the cellar and watching the ants all drop to the ground. Apparently, this is WHAT NOT TO DO. Who knew? 😛

    We have regular visits by our exterminator, which is handy in keeping the yellowjackets and hornets away (for the most part) as well. I, too, feel your pain!

  3. Megan@Blueberry Scones

    Oh, no! How awful. My grandma once had bees eating their way through her (brick!) walls – by the time the exterminators arrived, the only thing separating her from the bees was a layer of paint.

  4. Pingback: Because I am stupid and tasty « Seven angels, four kids, one family

  5. Patient Husband's Former Officemate

    Luckily, the extra innings (and the resulting bonus Night Alone time) were part of the standard package. A win by the home team cost extra, however, and Patient Husband didn’t authorize the additional expense – sorry.

    1. philangelus

      Not your fault. I had the umps on the phone during the seventh inning, but I couldn’t afford the win either.

  6. cricketB

    I’m always amused by the big letters in the phone book, proclaiming “unmarked cars”. 90% of their calls are “We have a nasty that’s in no way related to housekeeping, and are dealing with it like mature adults.” That’s embarrassing?

    1. philangelus

      That confused me too! But you know, there’s a whole school of thought that people who have bugs in their houses are DIRTY. Because termites or carpenter ants only eat dirty wood…? Or because if you’re a slob, even the studs in the wall are dirty?

      Very bizarre.

  7. Ken Rolph

    We have an only house, built in the 1940s. The frame is solid red gum hardwood. Never had any problems with bugs. As part of my improvements I built a pantry using lovely clean new plantation pine. A year later it got eaten out by a gang of termites. Because it was inside the pantry we didn’t pick it up right away. The exterminators were impressed. They said it was the biggest termite nest they had ever seen. When I stripped the pantry down to rebuild it I found the old red gum frame was entirely untouched.

    There are new suburbs being built into the bush outwards from us. People are putting up lovely shiny new houses. Some have found that when that actually get to move in, the front door falls off. The termites have already moved in.

    Yes, we have termites. But they are very clean and very discriminating termites.