Pest City, and Carl’s out of Town

The title is really a little misleading.
We did have a bit of a pest problem, and they left about the time Carl left town.

Since we have been back in the house there have been occasional ants in the upstairs bathroom.
Little tiny ants. Ants that I often would not see in the morning – because I did not have my glasses on yet.

Then there was the day that Carl went into the downstairs bathroom and there were 100 or so little tiny ants.
Eewwww.
He went on a killing spree.

We did so much work on that end of the house, that we figured we had exposed an avenue in, or just disturbed a previous nest during construction. So we called in the pros. (Yes, we called one that uses low toxicity methods.)

Apparently we were not the only folks in the area with ant problems – they would take at least 5 days before they could get to our infestation. The rate of ant sightings went up and then down. Weather? Killing spree was successful? Who knew. (It was kind of like going to the doctor for a nagging injury, and then it just isn’t hurting when you finally get to your appointment.)

Saturday and the bug guy arrived. Very few ants in attendance. Until he put out his bait in the windowsills. Little drops of a sweet gel (with just a hint of poison), and some protein powder as well. Since their visit we have seen very few sugar ants (as they are called), so perhaps it did the trick.

What we did learn was that if they did come out we should not squish them. They put off a coconut like smell (Carl recognized this from his spree), but that tells the rest of the colony that it is not safe and they move. Just to another part of your wall. You can blot them up with a soapy paper towel – which will also get rid of their trail.

Bonus of having the bug guy visit was his inspection of the house exterior for signs of ants. Including a trip into our squat space. [A small space under the end of the kitchen, accessible from a hobbit sized door on the side of the house. Too low to walk into, but you definitely do not need to crawl.] And others had found their way into our space, without using the door. RATS! Rats are all over our neighborhood, so that was not too much of a surprise, but we did not realize we were remodeling a space for them too. [The contractor came back and sealed the rat doors after our report.]

As soon as the pest report was in, Carl was out.

California dreamin’ with baseball on his mind.

4 Men in a Prius is the working title for this trip.
Opening day in Anaheim, next day in San Diego, back to Anaheim, and tonight in Oakland.

I have been following the games, sometimes on TV.
Tonight I was talking to Carl on the phone during the early innings.
A few minutes after we hung up, there he was on the TV – big as life.
They were just showing the Mariner fans in attendance (M’s broadcast team).
And he was on the phone – it wasn’t with me – who could it be.

He is likely getting back tomorrow, and then it is just a few days until the opener in Seattle.

Meanwhile, at work we have been draining 2 million gallons of water from a tank outside of our office.
Actually, about 1.6 million gallons. We were able to deliver about 400,000 gallons before the level in the tank was too low to keep good pressure in the water system. So today I got to put on my rain boots and climb into the tank.

Being in water tanks is cool.
They are ethereal. And the sound echo is awesome.
Unfortunately, they are also kind of dark, and the phone camera does not do much justice.

The dark stuff is manganese. Naturally occurring. Well within allowable levels. We filter manganese out at the wells now, but only for the last few years.  The hanging piece is our level float. It is connected to a guage on the outside of the tank. We also have a transducer for more accurate level measurements. The taller pipe penetration is where the water comes in and goes out to the system (same pipe). The lower pipe is the drain.

Level float, feed and deliver, and drain

Level float, feed and deliver, and drain

Conference in the tank. (Not goofing off - that is my boss)

Conference in the tank. (Not goofing off – that is my boss)

Roof is about 100 feet up. Ladder shadow - overflow funnel on the right

Roof is about 100 feet up. Ladder shadow – overflow funnel on the right

3 Responses to “Pest City, and Carl’s out of Town”

  1. RegenAxe Says:

    Why were you draining the tank, and where did the 1.6 million gallons go? Youth wants to know
    –your older sis, LOL

    • raincharm Says:

      We drain the tanks periodically to assess the condition of the tank and coatings (paint). The water went through our detention pond, into the storm system, Pine lake, Lakes Sammamish, Washington, Union, through the Ballard locks and the Puget Sound.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I hate ants and rats too. I didn’t know that about squishing the sugar ants. Interesting. My parents have issues with them sometimes. Today a bigger ant walked across my carpet and I was outraged. They have the whole outdoors and they have to come inside my house?

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