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Kill It. Kill It With Fire.

Nature and I are not that close. I’m just not that big of a fan.

I can appreciate the beauty of it, for sure, but being out in it, with the bugs and the critters and the sunshine and all, it’s just not for me. At our old house, for some unknown, wonderful reason, we had nary a insect the entire time we lived there. No spiders, no ants, nothing. This is not the case at our place now. I am fighting an uphill battle to rid our property of creepy-crawlies and it is driving me mad.

First, we found out we had termites. Not too big of a deal, many older houses have termites. It’s more of an inconvenience than anything, what with the packing up all the food and getting out of Dodge for a few days. But then it got worse. A couple of weeks ago, Jon looked into the backyard to see thousands of little bugs flying around. I imagine it was similar to the swarm of locusts in the Bible. Plague-like, if you will. Turns out, we also have little asshole subterranean termites. They swarm in the spring like the stupid bastards they are and wreak havoc on surrounding wood.

photo of stone walkway with wood centers that show termites bored holes from their annual swarm

See all those dark spots on the wood? That’s where the little dickheads came busting out when they took flight.

photo of a little shithead subterranean termite drowning in a bucket of water

If you look closely, you can see the little winged bastard floating there in the bucket of water. Stupid termites, drowning themselves. Subterranean termites are even more destructive than their cohorts. I was checking out the Wikipedia page of a particular type (which I don’t suggest reading if you every want to sleep again) of termite, and apparently there could be millions of these dickbags under the backyard. Awesome.

If only it was just termites, though. Termites I might be able to handle with some grace on their own, but no. There are spiders. Lots and lots of spiders. When we moved in, I strapped a shop vac to my back and went to town on the various areas of the property that are often neglected and filled with cobwebs, like the garage and backyard shed areas. While the garage has stayed pretty much cobweb-free, the backyard is a whole other story. I have pest control people coming out once a month to spray, but it is doing absolutely no good. Would you like to see why? This is the next door neighbor’s backyard–

photo of a completely overgrown backyard with bushes growing around and over a van

photo of completely overgrown backyard

The top picture is from the vantage point of me standing on a chair peering over a eight foot tall fence looking to the left, the bottom is to the right. Yes, that is the roof of a full size van you see in the top photo, and yes, that is the top of the eight-foot fence you see at the bottom of both photos. The entire backyard is completely overgrown and plays home to all manner of everything I hate. I went out last weekend and trimmed back everything that had grown over into our yard and vacuumed up all the spiderwebs infesting everything. I still feel like they are on me. Everything. Spiders, webs, every itchy little thing. I am scratching myself like crazy as I write this just thinking about it. This on TOP of the pest control people, and yet today, the webs are creeping back in and more little tendrils are branching over into our yard.

I can only imagine what kinds of creatures are calling that jungle home. I don’t want to be that neighbor, but I can’t take it anymore. Nobody actually lives there, so it’s not like I can walk next door and try to reason with them. A doctor used it as his offices for many years, but it has been sitting empty for quite some time, quietly growing into a mass of flora ready to swallow our yard whole. I’m thinking the Fire Marshall may be my best bet, but I feel a tad bit guilty calling him on the neighbor. Unfortunately, due to the termites (OH! And wood boring beetles. We have those, too!), the fence has to come down at some point relatively soon, and I am terrified of what would come tumbling out of that mess without eight feet of wood holding it back.

I love where I live. My Nana has made that house a true home, and I practically grew up there. I think that is part of the reason I am taking these fucking bugs so personally, as if they are deliberately trying to fuck with my childhood, my safe little haven of Nana and Papa’s house. Nobody messes with my nana, nobody and no thing. This is my official declaration of war. If anyone has any tips on dealing with these various pests, I would love to hear it. I am not against massive amounts of toxins, either. Yes, I know, they are horrible and awful and no-good-very-bad, but I cannot even deal with these little beasts, and I don’t think vinegar and essential oils are going to be the solution.

P.S. We also have a total jerk-face, ass-eyes, dickhead mockingbird that sits right outside our bedroom window and sings all fucking night long. He doesn’t even take a breather. Literally all night. If anyone knows how to get rid of him, I will love you forever. Googling “How To Kill A Mockingbird” is less than useful for my purposes, as I am not doing a damn book report.

4 replies on “Kill It. Kill It With Fire.”

Kym – you have inspired me! (Well, also, since this is my first comment and I’m not sure if ‘smash’ means “wow – smashing post!” or “let’s grab baseball bats and go smash the shit out of the object of your posted wrath.” If it is the latter I apologize for skewing the vote by choosing ‘inspired.’

I feel your pain. I am not a fan of nature either. Nothing that crawls, flies, slithers, looks like it might irritate my skin, or anything resembling sunlight can have any redeeming value. I have also passed on my (irrational) fear of mosquitos, flys, worms, roly-poly’s, cicadas, et. al., to my two children and I don’t give two shits who criticizes me for it.

I crown you the Queen of Stiff-Upper-Lippedness in the face of fear and massive infestation. I strongly believe that you should petition the courts to force your ‘neighbor’ to live in his back yard for an entire week BEFORE he pays to have that unauthorized rainforest razed and the property repeatedly treated for pests and vermin (including your side – those effers do NOT respect the rotted fence line).

During his week of back yard confinement he will also be required to put you up at a 5-star hotel. The entire bill is his – including spa treatments, lavish dinners, and shopping.

I am not litigious, but between the bugs, vermin, toxic chemicals, and the prospect of Googling ‘How to Kill a Mockingbird,’ well, he brought it on himself.

Nobody puts Nana in an infested yard. (said Patrick Swayze from the other side) Nobody!

Yeah!! Welcome to commenting! We are a nice bunch around here, so jump in! Typically the “Smash” means the latter, but I will happily take yours, too. I need to incorporate “smashing” into my vocabulary more. It is a wonderful word.

And oh yes, I hide from the sun as well. SPF 70 if I have to go out in it; this pasty redhead burns to a crisp.

I love the idea of forcing the neighbor to live back there. I don’t think they could even last two hours. It is so, so, so gross. I am also going to push for the 5 star hotel stay. Smashing idea!

Your comment was absolutely awesome. I sincerely hope you will continue to jump into the conversations around here!!

Call the county and report it as a nuisance property. Most counties/towns/etc. have rules about that kind of thing as it’s a public health hazard. Don’t feel guilty-it’s the owners job to maintain the property, even if they’re not using it. And you want to be a good neighbor, but they’re not being a good neighbor and you need to protect your property. And yourself, from the giant man-eating spiders that are currently plotting a hostile takeover of your house.

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