Friday, March 13, 2009

Pest Wars

I got home tonight and found a welcoming party at the front of my house. Millipedes. Around and on my front door, up the walls, on the porch roof, floor, footpath, and even starting to wriggle inside.

So I carefully made my own way inside and ran for the pyrethrum gun, my trusty weapon that saved my strawberries from the millipedes a few months ago. (I picked up the camera on the way, of course.)

Pesticide weapon in one hand, camera in the other I sprayed them and they fell, with this little ‘plot’ noise if I scored a direct hit with the spray. So then it was raining millipedes.

It was very satisfying, although disgusting, and I was making little shrieking noises as I showered pyrethrum at them, possibly freaking out or amusing some neighbour of mine.

Possibly I used excessive force. In this photo of the aftermath, you may be able to see how the porch entry is actually wet with spray. But, those millipedes aren’t moving.

And otherwise, I was worried that I was going to wake up in the morning covered in millipedes. That they’d gradually encroach on my bed (in the room next to the front door of course) and swarm on me in the night. (Millipede woman!!!)

I can still smell them. (I probably have them stuck to my shoes.) I remember them at one house when I was a kid. Millipedes crawling up the hallway carpet, in the bathtub, even in my bed. That stinky millipede stenchiness.

If that wasn't exciting enough, today also brought other pest incidents.

This one is minor, I’m only mentioning it because it also contributed to today’s pest warfare. The kitchen at work had so many ants that it took me more than twenty minutes to just wipe them off the surface of the bench and off everything anywhere the sink. Hundreds of them.

Several times this evening (I was helping in the kitchen at an event tonight) I would come across another corner of some random cupboard where a big crawling blob of ants was eating who knows what. The last time it happened, I was preoccupied and just left them there. They weren’t near the food. They won that one.

Lastly, there were the fantastic horrors of a white ant swarm. If you didn’t know they did that, well, they do.

My mum saw them go past, firstly one by one…. are they moths? Little moths? Then there were thousands of them, as far as she could see, flying in this cloud through the air. And Neville confirms that yes, they’re white ants flying around out there. Landing in the trees on their fenceline, birds flocking after them, snatching at them and eating them as they flew.

My mum said it was like a movie, she felt like she’d just become part of a movie. It sure sounded like a horror movie to me. She couldn’t believe it was real, this great cloud of insects, flying through the town.

And as I’m listening to her tell about this bizarre event, another person then brings up the story of a house in a neighbouring town, years ago, where the new tenants said to the real estate agent ‘well, we’ve locked the white ants in the bedroom and we can’t go in now, but they’re trapped’. And the agent is confused and worried enough, and picturing these white ants crawling up the walls.

They get there and open the door, and the room is full of white ants swarming everywhere, buzzing around inside the bedroom in another great cloud.

The tenants had reported that as they tried to sleep at night, they could hear something buzzing and gnawing in the walls…..

The white ants, trapped in their little room, then proceeded to eat their way through the floorboards, leaving nothing behind but the carpet, all bunched up and sort of undulating across the floor joists, just eating their way through the wooden bits. The tenants had to leave.

Personally, who wouldn’t be fine with sharing your house with that? With buzzing and gnawing in the walls, and a concern that maybe something would buzz and gnaw their way through your bed while you slept on it.

Sweet dreams, everybody!!


  1. I think I am going to die, those stories nearly killed me.
    Very scared of the white ant swarm - will not be able to sleep tonight.

  2. It sounds very interesting, and very didoish