Begone foul demons

Termites are plentiful in Hawaii and, if left alone they can literally eat you out of house and home. But they don’t draw the line at residential dwellings. Anything made out of wood is fair game. So every few years, buildings get tented and the termites get gassed.

Tenting a house is a something of a production, but bigger buildings are a major undertaking. These photos show the local Catholic church being tented. The crane is needed to haul the heavy tarps into place and also to lift workers up and down.

The tarps generally stay on for around 24 hours, before the whole process is reversed and the tarps removed. Once the building has aired out, it’s good to go for another few years. This is the second time, since I moved here, that I’ve seen this church tented. I do wonder about certain theological aspects of this process. I mean, aren’t termites God’s creatures, too?

9 thoughts on “Begone foul demons

    1. Graham Post author

      Some things are removed, some things sealed, but the idea is for the gas to get into the nooks and crannies where there are termites. Some treatments are less toxic than others but yes, there are health considerations. Probably considerably less dangerous than driving a car though!

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            1. Graham Post author

              Our termites live in the wood and as they expand their nest they shove little pellets out, creating piles on kitchen counters and the like. They usually only fly once a year, in May around here, when they leave the nest to build new ones. When they find someplace nice, they shed their wings, bore into the wood, and start over.

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    1. Graham Post author

      My rental was being ravaged by termites until our our current landlord bought the place, fixed it up and tented it. I had no compunction about squashing the termites when they emerged, but in church? There are many questions to answer!

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