Thursday, December 3, 2009

Contents Under Pressure May Grow Abnormaly Large & Scare the Bejeezus Out of You

Remember the ticks? Do I have a story for you.

First let me explain that we have large sheets of two-inch thick styrofoam on several walls and most of the ceiling. You know how those cheap coolers keep things amazingly cold? Well, we were hoping that sealing ourselves in would have a similar effect and keep the heat OUT. We're on the end of the building so the sun hits us from sun-up to sun-down and the first couple months here were HOT.

The styrofoam does a reasonable job and we've painted it the same color as the walls so most people don't even notice our homemade insulation. (Just ask Mary.) We have to be careful not to bump it because as you may be aware, styrofoam crumbles pretty easily. Even elbows and fingernails can take big chunks out.

Now back to the ticks. About a month ago we had quite a few of the creatures crawling all over our bedroom. Most nights I'd be just getting into bed when I'd see one scurry across the floor, so I'd get up, get a tissue, and toss it in the toilet. I'd get back into bed and STUPIDLY look at the wall and see another one, even though I SWEAR I just checked when I still had a tissue in my hand.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Well one night I saw one of the black ones that look like a water bug on the wall with the styrofoam and I just couldn't bring myself to get up again so I did what any normal person would do: I shoved it deeper into the styrofoam and blocked it's escape.

This would be the time when you should glance at the title of this post.


Oh... about a week or so later I was making the bed when I noticed a black thing roughly the size of a dime but in DIAMETER emerging from the depths of the styrofoam. I screamed for Ibis and together we stood there, jaws hanging on the floor.

I mean, seriously? What the heck was it eating in there?

He eventually popped it out with a pencil and the mongo-tick joined his brothers in Mexico's water system. We found another one about the same size the following day, and I hope to GOD that's the last we see of those.


Did you know ticks could get that big?


Stacey Graham said...


How's that move to Canada coming along?


Allen said...

You didn't watch my son's new film, The Tick That Ate Harrisonburg. Shame on you.

If you had, you would know that the evil Dr. Bloodclot had cloned a now extinct tick from the Paleozoic era. Things went really wrong and some of them escaped.

You found the babies.

Sleep tight.
(note: you're gonna need a bigger tissue)

Adam said...

I second Stacey.



Natasha Fondren said...

Oh man. Oh man, oh man, oh man. Oh man. I'm gonna have nightmares. I mean, I had one spider in my bed two months ago, and you'll still find me jumping up in bed and slapping my skin and freaking out.

Melanie Avila said...

Stacey, I know, right? Slooooowly.

Allen, Harrisonburg, VA? I've told you that's where I went to college, right? Bleck. But funny about the tissue.

Adam, I can mail them to you if you'd like.

Natasha, I can't help but look for them because I'd rather kill them then wake up and have them crawling all over me (which has happened). GAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Adam said...

I'll pass, thanks, Mel. ;-)


JLC said...

Yes. They expand as they eat. When I was little, our neighbors had a dog that they left outside all the time. The dog had a few ticks on it and some of them were the size of my thumb. Bleh!!!

Ok... now I have the heebie geebies.

Nadine said...

Ick! Not a fan of ticks. At all.

We have them on the island but so far I haven't had any encounters - thank goodness.

Hope that's the last of them!

Janna Qualman said...

Ohhhhhhh GROSS!!

I, uh, would be afraid they were teaming in great numbers under there. Are you sure there aren't armies, poised and ready to strike?


Melanie Avila said...

Adam, fine.....

JLC, that is so gross! I'm afraid to get near the strays here for that very reason. As it is we find them the size of my pinkie nail lurking between Owen's toes. And I check him every day!

Nadine, I found a couple normal sized ones today. Sigh.

Janna, don't think I haven't already thought of that. Remember me with the overactive imagination? Yeah. That's crossed my mind. Several times.

Penguin said...

Ok, I had to wait to post this, because you hit me with this in the morning before I had even a 1/2 can of Coke and I just couldn't deal with it.

That would freak me out, almost as much as spiders.
I agree with Stacey, Canada must be looking real good.
Add yet another to the long list of reasons why I love the cold. still freaks me out.

Allen said...

Mel, you and my wife went to the same college. AJ used it for his screenplay. It didn't have ticks, though. I am just having a silly day.

I want to work. Really. I do. I just have this eye problem. I can't see going to work on such a nice day.

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, your comment really made me smile. I can totally see you freaking out, lol.

Allen, that's right! I'm glad he didn't actually have a film about ticks. You were very convincing.

I hope your eye is okay!

Robin said...

OK. That's just wrong. I echo your question - What the heck was it eating in there? Don't ticks suck blood? Does the wall have blood? Is your wall alive? Are you living inside a living alien wall?

I'm with Stacey. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, thank you. I mean, seriously, I wasn't kidding when I asked that? All I can think is it laid a zillion babies and was eating them, which really isn't any better.

Erica said...

Ewww! I had no idea. I think I would be dead of fright if I lived with that! You poor girl!