Monday, March 15, 2010

the war on termites..and mice…and mold…

Thursday, I made a mental list of things I had “wrong” in my life.  It was a really short list and actually rather amusing.  I had termites in the door frame around my bathroom and in one of the cabinets.  I had mice that kept eating things in my room and in my closet- crackers and snacks that I had no other place for.  I had mold growing on the ceiling of my closet that was caused by a leak that was growing with each rainstorm.  My cell phone was dead and it had no minutes on it.  AND I had a headache.  These were all minor problems that were annoyances but nothing tragic or serious.

I made this ‘list’ Thursday afternoon.  Friday, around 2:30am, I was greeted by the presence of a tarantula on the wall about a foot and a half from my face.  I hadn’t fallen asleep yet and had been tossing and turning for awhile but had just closed my eyes and was drifting off when I heard a mosquito buzz by my ear. I swatted it away and opened my eyes for a moment and when I did, I saw a dark spot on the wall.  It took a minute for it to register with me that there was something there but as soon as it did I flipped on the light to discover a tarantula.  It quickly ran behind the curtain and then down behind the bed.  I stood in the middle of the room wondering what to do, and where I was going to sleep because I wasn’t going to sleep on THAT bed with THAT thing back there. It took a minute but I gathered my courage and moved the bed and found it crouched along the wall.   I didn’t want to kill it with a shoe because that meant getting awfully close to it before I was guaranteed a kill.  And I couldn’t remember exactly where the broom is stored and I didn’t want to risk the tarantula escaping; at least this way I knew where it was.  So I grabbed the only thing that made sense, a large rock that was holding my closet door open.  I prayed.  I aimed.  I let go.  And it died.  Ta da.   I killed a tarantula.  Its actually the second one I’ve found in my room.  The first one was a little one inside a suitcase that hadn’t been securely fastened.  Friday it was a bigger one. 

At this point, I was still amused by all the things happening at once.  Its life.  Problems like this are expected.  Especially in Haiti. 

Saturday, though, it wasn’t funny anymore.  I had discovered towels in my bathroom cabinet that had been eaten by something.  At first we thought the mice, but later realized it was the termites.  I found extensive damage along the door frame to the bathroom and I as I searched I also found substantial damage along the door frame to my closet and in my closet.  In my closet the mold was growing and it smelled horrible.  In fact it was making my whole room smell moldy and clothes and other things in the closet were beginning to pick up the scent.  I discovered a roll of toilet paper that was soaked- from the rains two weeks ago and then another roll and another roll.  A total of 7.    DSC_0493Three of which had  also been chewed by mice and the paper shreds were all over a shelf in the closet; DSC_0498 they were now nesting.  I knew I had to do something.  Saturday afternoon I put all of my clothes and anything else I could into plastic storage containers. I kept enough clothes out and put them in a suitcase- everything else was put in a plastic trunk.  I got a cooler and put in all the food stuff (which was already mostly in plastic containers).  While cleaning and clearing I continued to find evidence of mice.  Everywhere.  And water.  Everywhere.  The leak was even larger than expected and it had come down the wall and had soaked a pile of clothes and filled two open plastic storage containers which also had other things in them.  The water had now been sitting for two weeks.  And the clothes which were wet, were mildewing and smelled as though they had also been used as a restroom stop for the mice.  I spent the whole day cleaning and packing and throwing away.  By the end of Saturday I was thoroughly frustrated and thoroughly exhausted.

Yesterday I took it easy.  I missed church because although Haiti doesn’t ‘celebrate’ daylight savings time, my phone does, and it changed the time automatically so I woke up and thought it was an hour later than it really was.  Oops.

This morning started early, with guys coming to fix the roof, arriving just after 7am.  They’ve been repairing and banging corrugated metal into place all morning.  And then Wilfrid arrived shortly after 8:30am and he began drilling holes into the cement in which we can place the termite poison.  He is off now looking for a smaller drill bit.  Its been a noisy morning.  Hopefully these things will at least begin to solve the problems.  Now if I could just figure out a way to kill the mice.  They’re not touching the traps.  I’m hoping all the noise and banging on the roof scared them off- at least temporarily.  Maybe I should get a cat.  I wonder if Bubba would eat the cat…..

1 comment:

Lis said...

I asked about snakes but didn't think to ask about spiders! EEEEEEKKKKK!!!!! Sorry to hear that happened but, trust me, it would have been far worse if I had been there when the tarantula made an appearance!