I didn’t hear chewing noises in the night, I wasn’t watching walls disappear before my eyes, but I did have termites eating their way through my house. At first it was hard to tell, but a number of signs had me convinced that I was sharing my home with wood-eating white ants. One day I came home and found some small mounds at the bottom of my door and window frames. Similar mounds appeared on the bathroom walls. These are called ‘pellet piles’ and they are in fact fecal waste from termites. It was nice to know that they were leaving me such little presents around the house! Another other tell-tale sign was that after a significant rainstorm, quite a number of winged insects, looking much like large ants but which were actually female termites, washed up dead on my front porch.
My landlord did inform me that there had been termites in the parquetry flooring before this flooring was replaced by tiles (which have really brightened up the house). But replacing the floor did not evict the termites; they just packed up and used their tunnel systems to move into the walls. They ate their way through the doorframes and up to the ceiling where they continued their feast. Apparently gypsum board is a favorite termite snack.
Quite concerned, I called APS Laos in order to have the problem dealt with. A pest control inspector came promptly to my house and had a look around. He confirmed that there was most definitely a termite city swarming above us and that action needed to be taken very soon before serious damage may be done. Next they brought around a contract, which I quickly signed. For 3,000,000 kip with a one year warranty the gentlemen from APS expertly exterminated my unwanted insect neighbours.
The process is not as troublesome as one would expect. Rather than dropping a huge gas bomb on the house, the workers arrived with drills and spray guns. We put as much food into our fridge as would fit, then wrapped all cups and glasses and anything else in plastic bags. The pest control guys drilled very small holes into the door and window frames as well as the flooring near doorways. These they pumped full of insecticide in order to obliterate the termites living inside hollowed out portions of the wood. They then mounted ladders, pulled out the light fittings in the ceiling and sprayed above the gypsum ceiling too. It didn’t take too long, was very professionally done and I was able to sleep in my house the very same night. All chemicals used by APS are approved by the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, under the watchful eye of the World Health Organization. You can contact APS Laos on +856-21 316 400, 030 777 5193 or email here.
Below is a video of the extermination in action: