Dodging a big bug bullet

This happened two weeks ago before the flu found me and before the water leak in the guest room.*sigh*

We’ve been slowly converting the kid’s old playroom to Coach’s home office. (he could have shared my huge office with me, but nevermind, we need our space)
This led me to start out on a decluttering tare; you know how the age-old fable of “If you give a mouse a cookie”….
I started cleaning out the playroom closet, which led to moving things from the big linen closet to the smaller linen closet and to items being donated. (wait, is it tare or tear?)
Which led me to move some items from the under-counter cabinets in the kitchen to the big linen closet.
And that’s when I found them.
I picked up my two nesting collectible Longaberger baskets that were handed down to me from my MIL when she downsized her home about 5 years ago.

Pic of the larger basket, now living outside while being monitored

I haven’t used the baskets in about 2 years, but they were special to me as I’d longed to be able to purchase them myself back in 2003 when my friend had a Longaberger home party. (we were poor, but we were proud )
My heart sunk when I saw the dust in the bottom of the big bowl that was coming from the bottom of the smaller bowl.
My heart sunk further when I saw the two little white bugs eating away.
My brain saw $$.
My brain remembered the new roof we put on last year
And the new a/c unit.
And the new hot water heater.
And all the new landscaping and trees.

I remembered all the work we had to do to empty our rental condo last year before it was treated for termites.
I texted my exterminator with a video of the bugs and he confirmed that they were termites.
I shuddered. My skin crawled.
He gave my number to a specialist and they called me within a few hours that night and scheduled an investigation for the next day.
My young and sweet termite specialist did a thorough look all through the house, attic and the property then deemed us to be very lucky. He said: When I saw the video of the termites, I was afraid for you because I thought your home would be infested. 
Turns out the termites were ONLY in that one basket.
Did you know that termite eggs can stay dormant for many, many years? 
You’ll never sleep again, will you?
I asked my MIL  (Hi Sue!) if they ever had termites in the old house, and the answer was no.
But, I can only assume that they had possibly the start of termites and didn’t know they were there, then the house was sold.
I’m still freaked out a bit by it all. Mostly because if I hadn’t been on a cleaning tear/tare, I might not have picked up/looked at the baskets for another few years. By then, they might have eaten the entire wood cabinet.
I loved that beautiful bug basket.

15 thoughts on “Dodging a big bug bullet

  1. PS. I am very sorry I did not comment more on you being sick and finding the water leak. We were just getting over our craziness about that time and still staying in doctors' office due to the husband's appointments. Being sick is more than enough – – – and that cough — – – it's HORRIBLE! Then there is the weakness which is almost as bad. You are younger but I know it felt like I would never gain strength back.I am thankful you do like eating healthy. It is probably what helped in your recovery.Life is not always balanced regarding events. We can end up with too many \”problems\” but often after we get through them, we are rewarded with abundant blessings.


  2. Oh wow! Looks like you dodged a bullet! I loved Longaberger baskets long ago and remember being at a party and wanting that one that fit on the stairs but not being able to afford anything! Now I don't really have much use for baskets anymore!


  3. Eww – glad those were solo bugs and that they never invited their friends over. I wish I had more time and energy to declutter, those drawers I tackled will have to suffice. But oh how I am enjiying them. From the sound of it, you did lots of shuffling. Hope you remember where everything went.


  4. Termites are a southern thing, aren't they? The reason I ask is because my parents lived in Chattanooga for four years and they had to have Terminix (or whomever) come out yearly and spray for termites. We don't have to do that up north, thank God. Something to be thankful for subzero temperatures, I guess. #brightside I am so glad you didn't have an infestation! Maybe with the money pit you just dodged, you can go on a vacation! 😉


  5. I have never heard termites mentioned outside of literature before! I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was eating the basket! I'm using too many exclamation marks now! Good for you being all pro-active and de-cluttering (I think it's tear). My husband and I could never share an office either. Now that Angus is gone the three of us each have a floor to ourselves, which is perfect for a family of introverts.


  6. Thank you everyone. Ernie-decluttering is my favorite sport. I'm never done either. Billie Jo-Yep. But still, very fortunate. Kari, I do believe they are more prominent in the hotter areas of the States, but I think they're all over North America. Biblio-You don't need to worry about exclamation points! 🙂 I understand about having 'space' in the house. We used to have a thousand square feet per person, now since it's an empty nest, we've doubled our space. Yeah, too much. George-you are exactly correct.


  7. What a shame about your basket. I have never had termites but I wanted to buy a house one time and it had termites and I decided not to take a chance on getting it cured. I'm glad they didn't get in your house and I didn't know they could lay dormant. That is really scary.


  8. good news! i've seen lots of longerbergers for sale on the local yard sale site…perfect for my basketcase friend! perhaps you can have them tested for dormant termites before you pay though xo


  9. Whew! So glad to hear it wasn't the worst case scenario. We found termites when we remodeled out bathroom, but luckily they were only around the tub frame and not in the walls. To be safe, we had our pest control come and spray everything really good while everything was gutted!


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