It seems like I spoke to soon for today the manager came back to us with word on how to deal with our growing termite invasion. The infestation was finally traced back to within the apartment and the queen was found to be (in Ray's terms) pooping out babies somewhere in the master bed-room. Having taken over the heart of the home, they have since spread through the skirting along the side of the apartment as well as the gaps between the tiles and the concrete flooring. But not anymore. It was decided that biological warfare was the best (and most environmentally friendly) way of dealing with them and the apartment managers and the exterminator eventually settled on the method of setting up feeding stations to attract the worker termites and take them away from anywhere else they might be damaging in the house. Anyway the idea is to lure the insects to the feeding stations, where they will happily chow down on treated pieces of paper (that are significantly more tender and nicer to gnaw on than wood, or so I'm told) which has been dusted with insect growth hormones. The hormones would be brought back into the termite nest and spread among all individual members of the colony with no apparently averse side effects. Until, that is, the termite reaches its time to molt. That's when the growth hormones start taking effect and instead of safely shedding their exoskeletons to make way for the larger and stronger new ones, the termites will find themselves quite literally stuck in their old skins. Unfortunately for insects, being stuck in one's exuvia is not quite like wearing a dress several sizes too small. It is almost invariably fatal. Here's a cartoon I drew to illustrate
I suppose we'll only learn whether the hormone was effective in controlling them AFTER 27 days, when the exterminator comes back to check on the feeding stations. According to the "professional" no more termites in the stations would mean that the infestation was successfully managed. Meanwhile, I can't help but feel sorry for the little guys... well, almost.