termite.jpgIn a couple of weeks, my house is going to be covered with a thing like a circus tent.

Before that happens, I have to take out all the food, medicines, houseplants, and anything else that could end up in a mouth, as that tent is going to be pumped full of noxious toxic gas.

Yes, we have drywood termites. The flying kind. Indeed, judging from the number of tents sprouting in the neighborhood, every other house is infested.

We went through all this about ten years ago, and it seemed amazingly hard, a once-in-a-lifetime mess. A wiser colleague warned me that tenting every ten years or so was just an incident of life in south Florida. I didn't believe him, but he was prophetic. And after hurricanes, teenagers, and the odd medical crisis, it doesn't seem so bad.

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8 Responses to Termites

  1. Just me says:

    Like mold, termites are something that every house in South Florida will always have. It is only a matter of how bad the infestation and how much you are willing to spend to fight the problem.

  2. michael says:

    Mold? We have mold? Where?

  3. Keith says:

    I’ve actually been wondering about termite tents. I feel like when I was a kid (here in Miami), I constantly saw tents everywhere, but they now seem relatively rare. I wonder if this is actually true and why. Construction techniques (different materials)? New extermination techniques replacing the tent in many cases?

    Just some of the joys of living in a sub-tropical swamp.

  4. Just me says:

    Not to freak you out Michael, but it’s my understanding that just about every house in South Florida over a few years old (and maybe even brand new ones too) have some mold somewhere. If you are absolutely set on finding it, check in the attic, inside the walls (rip out the drywall in your bathrooms…yuk), and just about anywhere else that is dark and not exposed to constant A/C. Mold is just what naturally happens in dark, hot, humid places not exposed to sufficient ventilation.

    Ever had a roof leak in South Florida? If so, your attic is a mold paradise!

    Ever has a slow plumbing leak in your bathroom that you didn’t notice for a couple of days? Rip out the floor, fixture, or bathtub…viola! Mold.

    Musty smell in your garage? Mold!

    Don’t freak out though. I think people make may too much of it. If we all live with it, and we do, then why don’t we all have the infamous lung problems associated with it? Short of a crazy out of control mold situation taking over your house, I think it’s just plaintiff’s lawyer generated hysteria.

  5. Randy Paul says:

    A reminder of my childhood there in The Magic City, along with the palmetto bugs, unusual rainfalls, poison toads, warnings about swimming in rockpits or driving off the road into the Tamiami Canal.

  6. epox says:

    Your house resembles a circus tent beacause that’s where clowns live, with your bow ties and bozo hair. Termites ate a hole in your head long ago. You must make a whistling noise on windy days. as for mold, you do seem to resemble some sort of bacteria.

  7. Sue Ann says:

    It happens to all houses about every 7 to 10 years. After a while you get used to it. We’ve had it done to our house 3 times so far. I take pictures of the “tent” every time because people up north don’t understand how it’s done.

  8. Brautigan says:

    We just had that done last month. Word to the wise – wait an extra day or two beyond when the fumigator clears the house for re-entry. Wife and I both had headaches for 24-48 hours afterwards. And we are definitely not overly-sensitive to these kinds of things.

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