Friday. Weight: 205 pounds.
Last night we talked with the neighbor about the orange oil option for fumigating the house. He was okay, even enthusiastic, about that. He also stated, quite distinctly, that he was okay with any treatment for ground-dwelling termites, as he did not think that ground treatment would affect his allergies.
A crew from a termite fumigation service arrived at 830am, three guys, and two of them set to work on the labor-intensive orange oil treatment, starting inside the house, while the third guy crawled under the house to begin work on the ground-dwelling termites. The neighbor guy showed up shortly thereafter, but was disappointed to learn that the orange oil treatment was only being done to our section of the premises, and not to his as well. While we had offered to pay for tent fumigation of the entire structure, which would have treated the neighbor’s house, he refused, so we proceeded with the orange oil treatment, at almost twice the cost, which would address only our part of the house.
About half an hour afterward, the neighbor showed up again, railing and ranting almost hysterically, “are you trying to kill me?! You’re poisoning the ground! That could kill me!” His wife joined him, with, “don’t you care about his health? Don’t you care about anyone but yourselves?”
This coming from the people who are willing to allow our entire house to be destroyed by ground-dwelling and dry-wood termites. This coming from the people who… oh, why bother wasting any more energy on them? Most normal people, rather than easygoing pushovers like me, would have sued their lying, stealing asses years ago.
Unfortunately, I was at work, so my wife bore the brunt of the tirades. As my co-workers observed, “you’ve spent more time on the phone with your wife today than you have over the past ten years total!”
The orange oil technicians were exceptionally thorough, moving furniture and stored items so they could observe and treat every single inch of the walls, floors, and ceilings. They even treated the furniture and picture frames in which they observed termite damage. The ground treatment guy spent almost three hours under the house. He told us that the house is in serious danger from the termites colonizing the neighbor’s side of the structure, but that the treatment he applied should slow them down for a while. He said the support beams under the neighbor’s house are already beginning to sag. This concurs with the independent termite inspection report and the report from the tent fumigation company.
After they completed the work under and inside the house, all three guys worked around the entire outside of our half of the structure.
An upside of the more expensive orange oil treatment, in addition to not needing the permission of the neighbors in the attached section of the house: it will not harm the geckoes that live in our kitchen. Two fat geckoes show up every morning waiting for a fresh banana. We leave a banana peel and a bit of ripe banana out for them.
Anyway, after two or three hours of pacing around in his own yard and periodically coming over to harass the termite guys, the neighbor shuttered himself inside his own house while his wife went to work. Yes, the “pastor,” who is always claiming he doesn’t have any money, stays home all day in his beachfront house while his wife works three jobs to support him and their 24-year old live-at-home son.
Oh, also, last night we received an email from the real estate agent. The Buyers were not comfortable with the efficacy of the orange oil treatment, and urged use to continue to negotiate “more persuasively” with the neighbor for a tent fumigation, “and even offer to put him up in a hotel for a few nights.” We replied that we had conversed with the neighbor, that we and a representative from the tent fumigation company had met with the neighbor for over an hour to address his concerns, and we had offered the neighbor a significant cash sum for the “inconvenience” of spending one night away from home. The neighbor insisted that he might “never” be able to return to his home if it was fumigated, and that traces of the gas would linger in quantities sufficient to affect his sensitive allergies for many months. Thus, we informed the agent, we would proceed with the orange oil treatment instead, which did not require permission or agreement from the neighbor, and if the Buyers were not satisfied, would he please let us know immediately so we could relist the house as soon as possible.
Needless to say, the Buyers reconsidered their objections. I must admit to being slightly disappointed, since now that we have completed the termite treatment, the land survey, and an appraisal, I feel reasonably confident that we could relist the house and sell it more quickly for more money.