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
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.
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.