"The beacons are lit..."

Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 by Travis Cody in

The beacons of Minis Tirith!  The beacons are lit!  Gondor calls for aid.

And Rohan will answer.  Muster the Rohirrim.

OK, so it wasn't as dramatic a moment as in LOTR:  Return of the King, but we finally threw up the white flag.  Our Rohirrim came in the form of Paul the Terminex guy to deal with our NCELM problem.  

For those of you not versed in the issue, NCELM stands for nasty creepy eight legged monstrosity, or s-p-i-d-e-r.  For the last two years we've been using over the counter sprays and relying on the generosity of our neighbor to help.  But February isn't even over yet and we're still a month away from the spring equinox, and we've already had four of the creatures in the house.

I'm not talking the odd daddy long legs or the occasional critter no bigger than your average gnat.  I'm talking creatures with bodies as big as a quarter.  Add the legs and a few of them can carry off a small child.  These are big and black and...GAH!

That is not acceptable.  Think of the fear that takes your breath and makes your heart rate go up...then double it.  That's how afraid I am of s-p-i-d-e-r-s.  Pam isn't much better.  You'd laugh at us trying to kill them by drowning them in bug spray, because we're too afraid to get close enough to hit them with a fly swatter...or even a broom.

But when you laugh, I'll remind you of that thing that scares you like that...and tell you that it's going to happen to you frequently for at least eight months out of the year.  And I'll remind you that when it isn't happening, you'll be on guard against it happening so that the simple act of walking into a room in your house can cause unease.

Yeah, so we finally called Terminex.  Paul came on Saturday and he'll come once a quarter.  He sprayed the chemical around the outside.  Then he came inside and put some powder chemical in the most obvious entry points.  Then he left some sticky traps in some other high risk areas.

And he killed and removed at least two NCELMs he found.

Paul didn't make fun of me at all for being a guy afraid of s-p-i-d-e-r-s.  He even made me feel OK about the alleged NCELMs in the crawl space.  He said those are good bugs and they aren't the ones coming up into the condo.  They like dark and damp, and they are actually guarding the house against other kinds of bugs.

He's the expert, so I believe him.

We're not completely relaxed yet.  But we feel better knowing that we've done something to address the problem.  And if we still get NCELMs, we can always have the full chemical treatment inside.  We'd have to leave for a few days for it to dry.  But it's still an option.

I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, and that the quarterly treatment schedule will deal with them.


  1. TopChamp says:

    I chickened out of cleaning the shower (had already given it a quick once over after using it) before leaving our holiday home on Friday, as there was a big spider in the cubicle.

    Otherwise I'd have laughed at you for being scared of spiders, of course.

  1. Most spiders won't hurt you, but they will certainly make you hurt yourself. I spray our house annually.

  1. Coco says:

    Ick Ick Ick Ick *shudders deeply* That's NASTY! Just the act of reading about it this morning has given me a severe case of the heebie-jeebies. That is one of the greatest things about deep winter here - the crawlies disappear for a while. You and Pam have my sympathy!

  1. I love your dramatic beacon lighting, Travis. If you're going to do something, do it in style.

  1. In battle we are joined!

  1. jennifer says:

    You wiped the smile RIGHT off my face when you asked me to consider dealing with my fear on a regular basis. I am SO afraid of snakes and I can't imagine having one in my house, much less worrying that it would happen often.

    So YAY for Paul the exterminator! I'm glad that he gave you and Pam peace of mind.

    Although Travis, this really was a wonderful post about s-p-i-d-e-r-s ... anytime you incorporated Lord of the Rings, it is instant blog gold.

    Have a wonderful week!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I don't mind spiders at all but if I saw a mouse or a rat in my house I'd have to move - pronto!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    wasps, roaches and crickets, ladybugs and other hard-shelled insects here... already dealt with my fear of bees (as long as they'r not the afircanized ones).

    *mortal fears*

  1. Down here we see so many bugs of all sorts. I am thankful that none of them are in my house. Last year we had a little field mouse in our bathroom drawers. Hubs finally sealed off all of the plumbing with great stuff. That is where he was coming in. My cat killed it in the big garden tub. He is my hero.

    I can deal with just about any kind of pest except those giant water bugs. THey make me shiver with uber grossness. I like to be on the proactive side and keep things sprayed just in case.

    In our former home we had brown recluses and they were a bit scary.

    May you and Pam sleep in confidence just knowing that you will not be attacked by those evil spiders. I bet you will start seeing their corpses soon.

    Have a great week.

  1. See, and other than it is spelled TERMINIX not TERMINEX (a common error by so many people), you called the experts and they will care for you.

  1. Jamie says:

    Goodness. If I had known the situation was that serious I would have adopted the NCELMs and given them a good home. Of course, there would be a quid pro quo involving the "ants that must be slain" after every rain.

  1. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I KNOW how you feel about...um...those things.

  1. Cherie says:

    For the past 15 years, I've lived in places where they sprayed regularly, so I didn't have to deal with that stuff too often. In other words, there's no shame in calling the bug man. In the south, they have a regular schedule so they don't overwhelm the county. :) Glad that they were able to take care of the problem for you. :)

  1. I'm not laughing. Spiders scare the hell out of me.

  1. TC: Of course.

    Driller: We've been spraying ourselves, but it became clear that it wasn't good enough.

    Coco: I was hoping they might hibernate a little longer, but no such luck.

    Julia: Fear-influenced style!

    Charles: Draw swords, forward at the gallop!

    Jennifer: He really had a great "bedside manner", for lack of a better thing to call it.

    Akelamalu: We have actually had discussions about selling. I think this might be the last resort.

    Lois: Bugs are just too yucky to be allowed.

    Pam: I'd actually prefer not to see the corpses either, although that would be better than the live ones.

    V: I hate spelling errors. Dang. We've had the flier we received in the mail since mid-December too. We intended to take care of this next month, but had to call early.

    Jamie: The problems with that plan include transport, and the fact that they keep coming back!

    Lana: Those things are awful.

    Cherie: I was lucky at the apartment I lived in before I bought the condo. And Pam's downtown condo doesn't have bug issues. But we sure had them here.

    Southern: I'd send Paul, but we're keeping him.

  1. jennifer says:

    Travis, your post came up today when I checked Diva Daughter out of school for an orthodontist appointment. Even though I have experienced the pain caused by a poisonous s-p-i-d-e-r'-s venom, we decided we would rather have 'that critter' touch us than a snake... even a snake that isn't poisonous. Fears run deep.

    See what you've done? You made a teenager and her mother have an interesting conversation :)

  1. Anonymous says:

    You are very brave, Grasshopper.