Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Entomologist I Am Not

Hello there. I'm exhausted and need to get to sleep before 11 tonight, but I thought you all needed an update after my semi-hysterical post the other day.

1. The winged creatures that invaded my pristine white coverlet were, indeed, winged black carpenter ants. I swear I had even walked through the 4-step analysis wikipedia advised to distinguish between winged ants v. winged swarming termites, but obviously my 18 hours of college biology were no match for the emotional vortex of seeing winged possible termites on my bed, mere days after seeing a snake and giant-foot-eating beetle, while still under attack from a horde of springtails in my bathroom, having just recovered from a hard fought battle with fruit flies in the kitchen. Needless to say, I did not handle it well. Images of my house crumbling around me, of that termite commercial where the post of wood gets devoured in like 17-time-lapsed-seconds, of waking up covered in swarms of winged bugs HAUNTED me all night. I slept in 30 minute intervals, waking up with a start to grab my phone and shine my flashlight all over the room. Every creak and tiny sound made me think a giant termite was crawling on my roof, ready to crash into the room on top of my sleeping form and devour me. I am only barely exaggerating.

I woke up in the morning to a winged-bug-free room, with bloodshot eyes and a splitting headache, and decided I could no longer mock people for overreacting about things I think aren't worth the overreaction (this includes all medical procedures, pretty much everything involving pregnancy and babies, and most everything else). Luckily the new bug man arrived at 8 a.m. and told JP the good news (good news I'm not sure is quite so awesome after reading up on the wood-destroying winged black carpenter ants) and doused the hell out of our house with bug-killing chemicals. I haven't seen a winged ant since, though the springtails are still present and reinstated as Public Enemy No. 1.

2. I spent my entire Mother's Day weekend cleaning, scrubbing, organizing, and harassing JP into doing the same. I have promised him a Father's Day of absolute nothingness in return for my Mother's Day of non-stop activity, but I unpacked the last box and now feel 98% settled!

3. The A/C unit in our master bedroom stopped working yesterday. Yep. Not as bad as termites, but possibly more expensive and the temps are already hitting the lower 90's during the day. We're sleeping in the guest room until the HVAC guy comes on Friday.

4. I love this chair and it needs to be in my living room. I can't buy it because of the aforementioned HVAC issues, but I love it and knew you all would appreciate it. (It's the "Liliana" chair from Pier 1).

5. Seriously, does anyone know how to get rid of springtails? There's one calling across my computer screen as I type.

LL out.


  1. No advice on springtails, I'd never even heard of those until Monday's post. I do know about carpenter ants, though. In addition to the pest guy, take a walk around your house and cut back all the trees and bushes that touch it. We couldn't get rid of ours until we took that step. Now we're careful to keep them cut back, and haven't had ants in years. Good luck!

  2. Love the chair! Where is it from?

    1. "(It's the "Liliana" chair from Pier 1)."

  3. Because I am olde, I remember the days when Pier 1 was cheap, hippie-esque stuff that we decorated our dorm rooms with. (Helloooo, beaded curtains!) I haven't been in there in years, but dropped by one a couple of months ago and was all, OMG WHEN DID PIER 1 GET ALL CHIC AND EXPENSIVE! Eek!

    (Love the chair, btw.) (Sorry about the creepy-crawlies.)

  4. If it makes you feel any better, the bugs are exceptionally bad this year because of the unseasonably warm winter that we had. I had to bring in an exterminator for the first time in nearly 8 years. No springtails, though.

    You could always bring in a few geckos to help out with the bugs. We once lived in a house with tiny geckos all over the place (and the occasional snake)--but not a bug to be found!


  5. Vinegar! Buy several gallon-sized jugs of distilled white vinegar. Pour liberal amounts down the drains and toilet in your master bath. Then spray the walls of the shower, tub, and sinks with vinegar. A lot of vinegar. The vinegar will kill them, plus it helps kill the mold and makes the water in your drains acidic to a level that they can't feed there anymore.

  6. BiologistMomofThree5/17/12, 9:14 PM

    Little buggers are always trying to make a home in our bathtub pipes too. I suggest about 1/4 cup baking soda in your drains followed by 1 cup white vinegar. In addition to being effective at fending them off for a bit and disinfecting in general, it initiates a cool chemical reaction with foam that makes you feel like it's really doing something effective!
    Your new home is beautiful, by the way!