Getting Rid of Pest

Henry Winkler once said that ,”Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” Prior to last week I believed that I fully understood this quote. However, actually having termites in my home has forced me to look at assumptions with a bit more disdain.

We, like so many others in Al Ain, live in mainly concrete homes. We have to use power drills to hang any and everything  up in our house. Our walls chuckle at bare nails and mock hammers. So termites never crossed my mind. They eat wood and live in basements and attics; or so I thought.

I was cleaning my living room one morning and looked up and saw what, from a far, seemed to be a string of dust. I took a closer look and it looked almost like the shed skin of a worm. I told Terrence and he suggested that we watch it. So watch we did and this was a show that didn’t disappoint. That next morning it grew in both length and width. That’s when we knew that something lived inside (insert dramatic sound effects here). Terrence knocked a small piece of this tube like thing off and found an insect. When we further investigated we noticed small, pin sized, holes going up our wall as well. We also noted that the tube was made of concrete particles. That’s when we thought termites.


Tube/tunnel like nest on our wall.

We called 993, a free pest exterminator service in the UAE. However, since it was a Thursday evening we were going to have to wait until Sunday, the next business day, for their assistance.  So I suggested to Terrence that we call maintenance. After all, since we live in row houses termites could be a problem for the entire compound. He followed my suggestion and maintenance sent someone over right away. The gentleman came in with a ladder, paint, and a brush, which was not at all what I had in mind. He knocked the nest down, painted, and left. It was back in full effect the next day.

Thankfully the pest exterminators were available on Sunday and met me during my lunch break to see our tube/nest that was determined to stay with us.  The exterminator took one glance and confirmed that it was termites. He said that they chew away the concrete to get to the wood below. He also stated that termites are actually a bit of a nuance here in Al Ain and that they were the drive behind the start-up of the 993 service itself. After he finished talking to me he nodded his head to the other gentlemen there and they went out in shirts and pants and came back in jumpsuits and masks.


 the exterminators’ truck

They drilled holes into our tile floors, injected some chemicals, and sealed the holes with plaster when finish. In the midst of drilling and sealing three holes under the nest one exterminator found 2 other nest in another area of our living room. So we went from three holes to seven in a matter of 5 minutes. The little buggers were truly trying to eat us out of house and home (I just couldn’t resist 🙂 ).


Drilling holes into floor 

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Injection of chemicals



Plaster to cover up the holes. So yes, we have several holes like this throughout our living room. 



This was our wall after the exterminators removed the nest. Please note the fresh paint.

So all in all, I will admit that this was more of a gross ordeal then it was one of great stress or horror.  Having termites actually helped in my discovering the answer to a mystery in our new home. IMG_4372

When we moved in we were trying to figure out what in the world these holes were on our living room. What had the previous owners put there? Now we know. So we have 10 holes total in our living room. Yep, I hate assumptions.

Ras Al Khaimah

For the next 2 weeks we are on spring break and unlike some of our fellow teachers and friends, we are staying in the UAE for this break. We have, however, decided to take this time to see and do some things that we have yet to do. Our first stop: Ras Al Khaimah.

Ras Al Khaimah is another emirate within the UAE and it is an hour north of Dubai, and about 2 hours away from us in Al Ain. Another family told us about a Groupon for an overnight stay and water-park deal for 277dhs or $75. What a steal! We would be able to see the emirate, spend the night, and visit a water-park. We brought the tickets that same day and made reservations for the following day. We prayed and hoped for the best as we knew that in most cases you get what you pay for.

Ras Al Khaimah Hotel



We pulled up to our hotel at around 3pm. At first glance we were not excited, but we were still optimistic.

We had to park our own car. Now before you judge us, just understand that Abu Dhabi and Dubai have set the standards pretty high as far as hotels are concerned. We have always had our cars valet parked, even when we dine at restaurants. We’re a bit spoiled I will admit. When we pulled up we joked about what we were supposed to do with our car. After beating that dead horse, we parked and walked through a push revolving door. I think that the door was dealing with an identity complex; I don’t blame it at all.

The check in was easy and the staff was friendly enough. They handed us our key and we headed for the elevator. Go back…”they handed us our key.” No, really, they handed us an actually key. Our optimism was left at the front desk. We then stood, jammed in an elevator that could barely old the four of us, counting our loses. We were considering going home.

We got off on the first floor, headed towards our room and stopped at our hotel door.


No commentary needed.

We entered our room and I immediately thought, “I need Lysol/Dettol spray and shower shoes.” Terrence must have been going down a similar list as I noticed that we both rushed out of our train of thought to stop Mila from climbing onto the bed. We dashed over to the bed, pulled down the comforter, blanket, and tossed off the decorative pillows. If you haven’t seen the special on hotels rooms on 60 Minutes you should watch it; it will change your travel life forever. In the midst of my grumbling, I looked up at my children rolling on the bed laughing and playing and it was then that  I decided to make the best of the trip. They were having a good time so their father and I could at least attempt to do the same.

We put on our swimsuits and headed to the hotel’s pool. The water park would have to wait until the next day due to their time of closing.

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*Yes, we need to purchase a life jacket for Aaron as the size nor color of Mila’s really work for him.

The pool was fine and our children enjoyed themselves. After their dip in the pool we got dressed and headed to a local mall for dinner at Chili’s. After which, we called it a night.

The next morning we headed downstairs for the hotel’s breakfast. After picking over the food and wiping our chairs and table down, we headed back the local mall for breakfast at McDonald’s. We were still attempting to have good time.

Dreamland Water Park

The park was about 30mins away from our hotel in the middle of nowhere. It, however, was not a let down. Mila, Aaron, and I had a good time in the children’s pool area. There was also a lazy river close by that Mila and I floated down. All in all, we enjoyed our time spent there.

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Now Mila was not excited about the play area in the middle of the children’s pool. It, in fact, frightened her.

So what did we learn from this trip?

1. Nothing is a steal.

2. We have to stay young at heart for our children. They seemed to enjoy all aspects of our trip.

3. Ras Al Khaimah was, in fact, worth the visit.