At last, the exterminator arrived. We’ve had the microwaving done before, but at my request, they didn’t inject the beams with as much toxic stuff as they wanted. So now the termites are back. Small wood-colored bits fell onto an area usually reserved for my indoor photography, and we left it so the exterminators could see.
With temps in the upper range lately, there’s been swarming in many homes, he reported. Obviously, we had a problem, plus he found a few more areas of lesser infestation. This was pretty good news, we were concerned we’d have to tent the place. He kept scooping up the round bits and exclaiming at the quantity.
Exterminator: Gee, this is quite a lot of termite poop.
Me: It’s poop? I thought it was my chewed up house.
E: Well, yes and no. This is how they tell you they’re active. You’re lucky not to have an attic where it wouldn’t be so easy to tell where they are.
Me: Will you be doing the whole ceiling in here?
E: No. Just this area, but we’ll have to put in more of the poison. Did you know termite poop has a smell? (grins)
Me: Uh, no. I never really thought about it.
E: I know the smell real well.
Me: What’s it smell like?
E: Here, take a whiff.
Me (not moving) Uh, I have stopped up sinuses.
E: It’s not so bad.
E: No, no. It’s not. (has some in his hand) Here. Smell.
Me: (seeing the stuff going up my nostrils in my mind’s horrified eye) That’s okay. Just tell me what it smells like.
E: (laughs) Actually, it smells like processed wood.
Me: That’s understandable.
In the parade of happy service people we’ve had through here, he had to rank up there in the top five most cheery. Maybe it’s from all that deep inhalation of a fine brown substance.
The photo is, of course, low-res. If you need a high quality image, please let me know. Few termites are cooperative enough to dump out their poop right onto a white photo table.