The Great Termite Invasion of ’05


I was reading Abby’s Blog and it made me realize that I never blogged about The Great Termite Invasion of ’05. What a day.
So, it was early Spring in 2005, and I was going about my regular business teaching art to my middle school students. While I was teaching, one of my student aides was taking down an old bulletin board so we could replace it with newer, more interesting stuff. So, I’m standing in front of my class talking about some art topic and this little bug comes flitting around my head. I bat it away and continue. About a minute later, there are two or three of these little bugs flitting around my head, I again bat them away and continue sharing about the glories of art. Then, all of the sudden, my students’ attention shifts from me to something above and beyond me. Their faces look confused, then freaked out. I turn around just in time to see my student aide pull a huge piece of paper off of the bulletin board, revealing a huge mass of termites in the wall, which are now coming at my students in a HUGE FREAKING SWARM!!!
I shout, “AHHH!!! RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Pretty tactful, huh?)
Some of the kids get up and take off out the door, most of them covered in termites at this point. They are trying frantically to brush them off. A couple of boys in the back stayed and started shouting, “The bugs are having sex! They’re having SEX!!!!!!”
I looked down, and sure enough, the bugs were hurriedly trying to mate (due to their short life span, I later found out. Apparently, this type of termite only lives for 3-5 hours before it dies. So, they don’t have a lot of time to mate & lay eggs before they die).
So, now, half of my class is outsite, half is inside, they’re panicking about having yucky mating bugs on them… The shrieks and side-comments from my students were, well, “creative” and “colorful” as they attempted to get these bugs off of their bodies. I finally get them all outside and phoned the office…
Me: Yeah, my room is filled with a huge swarm of termites. I need somewhere to take my class, is there a free room somewhere?
Office Lady: No, all of the rooms are filled right now. You’re going to have to use your class room.
Me: Right. Yeah. I don’t think you heard me. My kids are covered in termites and, if that doesn’t make you puke, these termites are also mating. They have covered everything. There are thousands of them. They are everywhere. I’m not going back in there.
Office Lady: We won’t be able to get someone from the district office out for awhile because they are busy doing–
Me: *interrupting* Let me say this again. Someone better get out here immediately and take care of this or you’re going to have a bunch of kids going home telling their parents about being mated on by a swarm of termites and about how the adults at the school did nothing about this. I’m taking my class to the locker rooms to clean up, then we’ll be on the stage. Tell me when it’s figured out. I’ll call the district office myself if you want me to.
They had a guy out in fifteen minutes who killed all of the bugs, caulked the cracks in the wall, and cleaned the room. That weekend they tented my room. They haven’t fixed the damage done to the walls yet (you can seriously just push the wood in at some places).
And that was The Great Termite Invasion of ’05. Fantastic fun.