Remember the animated film Antz, starring the voices of Woody Allen, Dan Ackroyd, Anne Bancroft, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, etc, etc? Well I loved the movie when I saw it in the theater in Seoul, and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone that missed it - great animation, excellent dialogue, lots of laughs, and a refreshing take on the tried, tested, and true "rescue the princess" storyline.
Well, I am talking about antz today, but these antz have more in common with the pests in Joe's Apartment than the accidently heroic and always wryly mirthful Woody Allen variety - these are, after all, the antz in my apartment, and those of my tenants.
Carpenter ants to be precise.
Now these are not fire ants that will bite people, but are objectionable nonetheless by: a) their presence; and b) the fact that they are almost certainly slowly munching away at the structure of my building. I have found one colony in the basement in a badly chewed and distrubingly soft section of the rim joist, and am afraid that there is another upstairs in the third-floor unit - which by all reports is crawling with them.
Now I would love to find some natural deterant to convince these creatures to move on - scattered mint leaves, chalk lines, or cinnamon - but as a landlord I am in the position of having to act quickly and decively - so the pest control people it is.
So far in my life as a landlord I have had few serious issues to deal with, the largest being the replacement of a few ceiling fans and some other fixits on the third floor, but the challenges are likely to continue arising.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Like this morning, when I was greeted by an e-mail about the rodent that has moved in to keep the antz company in the attic unit. And this is not the cute and perky Stuart Little of the big screen, nor Beverly Cleary's equally adorable little rodent from The Mouse and the Motorcycle, which I read repeatedly as a child.
No, this is the "yucky, yucky mouse" that my tenants are not too happy to share their unit with. Now antz are one thing, and don't ask me for the logic behind my thoughts on this matter, but I just don't like the idea of dispatching mice with miniature guillotines.
Suggestions are welcome...