Monday, April 11, 2011

Home Alone

Macaulay Culkin, I feel your pain.

I too have battled unwanted intruders when left home without supervision. Oh sure, in my case I’m a grown woman who should (theoretically) be perfectly capable of spending time alone at her house, not a small child who requires parental support. But when it comes to defending my home, I am rather defenseless and would likely need to resort to crazy antics involving whatever I have on hand – frying pans and irons to the face, a nice coating in sticky substances such as pancake syrup, and maybe even a well placed kick to the crotch if it came to it.

All of these rudimentary defense tactics came to mind when, while GAR was away this weekend, my “guard dogs” began barking wildly throughout the night. In fact, they were out in the yard defending the very section of fence that was vandalized just a few weeks ago (though they sometimes took breaks to focus on barking at the front door instead … and clawing at it. So much so that they ripped the “vintage” yellowing mini-blinds on the door to shreds, making it even easier for potential intruders to peek inside). And, to top it off, helicopters were buzzing overhead until 3 a.m. As visions of escaped convicts roaming my neighborhood and hopping the fence to hide in my very own backyard (perhaps crouching beneath the half-deflated pool floaties stacked up outside my bedroom door) danced into my head I quickly began assessing how I would thwart off the bad guys should this occur. And apart from rigging up some sort of electronic shocking device on every window and door, I came up with nada (except hiding in the closet while I wait for police to arrive).

Thankfully I made it through the night just fine, with only a mild sleepiness to show from the whole ordeal. Little did I know that I had yet to face the real threat of unwanted intruders that were about to invade my house that very next evening – they came in by the hundreds … and no amount of slapstick I learned from any of the films in the “Home Alone” series could stop them.

I found the parasitic squatters in my master bathroom the next evening as it neared midnight. I was brushing my teeth when I heard a noise and my eyes wandered over to the window above the tub. And there they were. Hundreds – HUNDREDS – of flying carpenter ants. On the inside of the window. In the bathroom with me. Like that scene in “Arachnophobia” where the spiders are literally covering every surface in the house. Only these bastards – the ones in my house – can also fly.

I quickly backed out of the room (thinking, I might add, “Where is GAR?? Why does this never ever happen when he’s home? Killing bugs is HIS job. Who the heck do I even call at midnight on a Saturday for help?”), trying not to stumble into the ever-so-useful rock garden in the middle of the dang floor (lest they cover my feeble body and devour me whole), and ran straight into the kitchen where I grabbed every can of bug spray I could find. And then I bug bombed the entire bathroom – foam and spray filled the air, dead bugs dropped from above like plump black rain, overall visibility got dim and soon my own breathing became labored. I slammed the door shut and crammed a towel into the crack underneath to keep the poison from spilling out into my bedroom. But, it was too late. The smell was toxic and even the dogs were choking on the fumes. After blocking off that entire half of the house we retreated to the couch for the evening (why not sleep in one of my two guest bedrooms, located far away from the bug invasion? I have no idea. Thus is the logic of my cockamamie defense strategy).

The next day I carefully cracked open the door to the bathroom to assess the damage. I found dozens of ant carcasses on the ground and in the tub, but I didn’t find the hundreds I expected to encounter. And, in the light of day, I couldn’t find a single living soul. So this means there’s a bigger problem – they’re still here but they’re hiding. In the walls most likely. And they’re going to come back. And so I called in the big guns – an extermination service. I figure our house could use a little more protection than some of my homemade booby traps.

Besides, we’ve also got the fleas who get in from time to time. And the wasps. And last year (again when GAR was out of town) I also battled a humongous frog and some pudgy lizards. So enough is enough. But, if next time GAR leaves town the house becomes infested with locusts and a freak hailstorm hits, I’m moving!
Do these guard dogs = a home security system? 'Cause that's all I got!


  1. The one on the left looks far more intimidating!

  2. It's the mustache that does it, right?

  3. Wow. No fun. This is something that has always made me nervous about visiting or moving to florida. Creepy crawly things and bugs infesting everything. Better to live in a place with lots of snow.

    Of course my wife will have stories to tell you about miller moths and dozens of big frogs all over our yard in the summer time.