Yes, that's right - I chose to spend approximately 3 1/2 hours of my God given life beneath my house today with only the ugliest of critters to keep me company. Now before you go calling the psyche ward on me, here is the reason --- I have --- (Reek, Reek, Reek ...yes, more horror movie soundtrack) --- Termites! (If you could see me at this moment, my whole body just shuddered)
Can you believe this? Those disgusting insects that will eat anything wooden structure in just moments are attempting to eat me out of house and home - literally. I remember laughing at cartoons when I was a kid where animated termites would mow down a mansion in seconds leaving a pile of sawdust and the dweller from within in some compromised position. Now how in the beep beep was that ever a funny concept? Homeless is 30 seconds (fall on floor laughing).
How did it ever occur to me that I might have termites? Well, I noticed a couple of living room floorboards that looked like they were disintegrating. Upon closer examination, they looked an awful lot like the stump outside of my house - at least it used to be a stump. It has become less and less stumplike over the last two years. Upon close examination of the stump remains and a reexamination of my living room floorboards and a quick visit to Google, I concluded that chances were decent this could be a termite problem. Apparently, I reached the correct conclusion. Yea for my brilliance. (note my lack of enthusiasm. I hope that came across.)
At any rate, I met the nicest Orkin Man who quickly agreed I had indeed reached the correct conclusion. He validated that with a trip to my crawlspace. Upon resurfacing from the depths below, this man said I did have termites, they needed to be treated, but they weren't as bad as some of the infestations he had seen. Yea for that (again, note my lack of enthusiasm).
He also mentioned that there appeared to be a lot of books below and asked if I used the space for storage. "Absolutely not," I responded quite proudly. "The renters before I bought the house did. My husband cleared a bunch of stuff out of there."
"Well, he didn't clear out a bunch of wood and boxes of books." The Orkin man pulled out a sample text from the dungeon. (Reek, Reek, Reek, Reek) The most intricate tunnels had been burrowed deep into the tome. "Termites love book because paper is made of wood." Apparently. Yea. (More enthusiasm)
After a nice sitdown at my dining room table, we came to the conclusion that this problem needed to be addressed ASAP. The Orkin man quickly drew a blueprint of my home, went out and measured, returned and wrote a variety of numbers all over his really nice drawing. He proceeded to explain that the numbers represented a variety of chemicals (about 5 or 6 in all) that will be sprayed on and into my home. Some are liquid, some are powders, some are foam which is used simply as a traveling agent that permeates the walls. They will drill holes into cement, fill with both liquid and foam termite killer, then plug up the holes. The home will be termite free for three years or any additional treatment will be free. After that three year period, a yearly Then he told me that the intial treatment would cost ... (Reek, Reek, Reek, Reek) $2500.00. That's right Twenty-Five Hundred Dollars. Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars.
At this point I was deciding how much I really wanted this house to stand. Maybe it would be better to let this 40+ year old home be eaten. Maybe it would be better to let my bank have the house back. Maybe it would be better to put my cats in the car and just start driving. Arizona is looking really good to me this time of year!
But then I took some deep breaths. The sucky thing about being Christian is that I can't just ditch all my responsibilities and leave it for others to clean up. Darn it. So I bit the bullet and signed. My Orkin Man gave me good news though.
First of all, this house is made of oak, not a termite favorite. They prefer soft woods, which explains why that stump is just about dust but my house is still standing. The great thing about the stump being soft wood is I don't need to pay anyone to remove that stump! (lemons - lemonade - you know).
Also, the Orkin Man takes installments if your credit is good. He is breaking these payment down to a little less than a hundred a month and that won't start until April. Yea.
So the money I was adding to my check due to taking the ex-husband off my insurance will now go to the Orkin Man. We got to know each other fairly well, him being in my crawlspace and all. He has two kids - one in college, the other 19 and working. He is a good Dad and he and his wife are doing a great job raising their kids to be responsible young people. His daughter wants to be a teacher. At least I know the money I am spending will go to a company that hires good people like my Orkin Man.
Tomorrow I will tell you about my actual 3 1/2 hours in the crawlspace and the rest of my day. But I am far too tired to get into that tonight. All I can say is it's worth tuning in for. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't lived it. Luckily, tomorrow is another snow day. For the first time all year, I am really happy about that. I am sleeping until 10 tomorrow and I am feeling completely guilt free about it. Let's just hope that my bed doesn't fall through the floorboards into my crawlspace!