Life here in the countryside is great, and so far I’ve enjoyed spotting lots of wildlife (large and small) that I’ve never seen before.
Seek is a great app that I use to identify plants, bugs, animals and fungi and to take part in biodiversity challenges. It’s good fun for adults (and sprogs) but I digress.
When you realise that some of these creatures have decided to take up living with you indoors, when nature/bugs/creepy crawlies come into your house, it’s not so great…
I noticed early on that there was some scratching (small chomping noises) coming from the wooden slats in the ceiling above my bed.
It would often wake me up at night, since there’s literally no either noise round here after sundown, save for a few hooting owls and the occasional grunts of a wild boar.
It’s total bliss compared to some of the apartments I’ve lived in over the years; there’s no neighbours directly above my head, no dogs being taken out for a pee at 3am and no screaming children.. So it’s funny now, how I can hear the smallest thing and it wakes me up.
I spotted a hole in the ceiling where the little beastie had either got in, or come out, so I got some woodworm spray from the hardware store and sprayed all the area I could reach with 2 full cans (balancing on steps ladders at full reach with a mask and sunglasses on to avoid getting spray in my mouth/eyes!)
Suffice to say, the little beggar is still there after nearly a year, so I contacted Rentokil to see what they’d charge for treating the whole ceiling.
Bearing in mind this was a quote for just one room (I did all the measurements and sent photos because of the lockdown/virus situation) in fact it was only one ceiling, and the quote came back at around €900! If it was about 100 I might have paid it myself, but that was far to much to even pass onto the owners.
Then I started hearing chomping noises coming from over by the balcony doors, not as often as the ceiling chomps, but there nonetheless.
Although it looks like someone had treated that area previously by blocking up some rather bigger holes than the one in the ceiling with some kind of black filler, it’s clear that something else is in there having a picnic.
I’m not sure what it is, since the holes (oh yes, there are about 10 x 1cm diameter holes visible in there) although I did find a couple of inch-long black bugs, dead on the floor.
It’s clear that 3-4 floorboards need to be cut out there, as the wood has been properly chomped and is paper thin in places. I’m stepping over it each time I go on the balcony to avoid one foot ending up in the kitchen!
Oh and there are a bunch of woodworm also eating their way through the balcony roof outside too… it’s bug party time out there AND the whole frame around the bathroom door has been eaten too…….. 😦
Talking of floorboards… there’s a bigger problem in the spare bedroom where I have my office.
I don’t know how they got in (maybe in the feet of some side-tables that were brought over from the owner’s house next door – or maybe they’ve been here all along) but there’s a colony of termites eating their way through floor and skirting boards in here.
I first noticed something was up when I moved the side tables to hoover behind them, and it was clear to see the pine feet had been chomped right through. Looking at the floorboards towards the back wall it was clear to see they had made there way in there, or maybe up from there into the side tables. Gross.
The property managers/repairers/my neighbours from down the lane, came up and replaced a few chunks of floorboards in the problem areas a few months ago, and I thought that was the end of it.
A few weeks back, when I moved a cardboard box way from the wall under the bed, about a hundred of the tiny little buggers fell out and started wriggling all over the floor. I nearly puked.
I raced to get rubber gloves, bug spray, the hoover and a dustpan and brush. It was so grim. The termites are only about 3-4mm long, and a creamy white colour, but there were so many of them, I was totally freaked out.
I Whatsapped my neighbours straight away and sent them some pictures of the wriggly beasties with LOTS of puke emojis. They know I hate bugs and anything that bites already, but I was totally grossed out. They were probably rolling their eyes..
A few weekends went by (they were getting lots of outside jobs done before the rain came in) and then we had the goat debacle to contend with. Finally last weekend they came over to tackle the termites.
They took out the floorboards from wall to wall, up to a depth of about 50-60cm and it was apparent these little beggars were making a home all around the walls.
It took all day to remove and replace these planks, and new ones were put in that had already been treated. Plus, they sprayed plenty of fresh protector stuff all around, which really stinks. I can still smell it a week later.. but.. hopefully that’s done the trick.
My only worry is that they’ve got into the doorframe above the lounge and may have spread under the partition wall into the corridor… at least you can’t hear these little feckers, but the damage they can do is pretty bad.
Anyway, next up will be another visit from the neighbours to take up floorboards in the bedroom and replace the frame around the bathroom door..
On a positive note, at least I get to spend time with people while they’re here fixing stuff.. so there are some small benefits to bug busting!
I promise my next post will be about all the lovely, interesting and much less gross flora and fauna I’ve spotted outside the house.. or maybe my cats being cute.. because who doesn’t love cats right?!! :p