The termite infestation

There were just some minor problems when moving in to the apartment at NTU, a broken tap in the kitchen that sprayed water all over the wall when used and some termites living in the wooden frame of the bed in the spare bedroom that we found after a couple of weeks.

Searching around the internet, I found out that termites in buildings here in Singapore are quite common. The kind of termites that we got are so-called drywood termites, that do not require that much moisture to live. We found them when we spotted some termite dropping, or frass, on the floor. Or honestly, at first we thought that it was sand in a small pile on the floor. However, removing it and suddenly it had reappeared the next day, made us realise that it was probably some bug doing this. The termite dropping looks a little bit like really small pellets. They create tunnels in the construction where they are living and kick out the dropping through a hole. In this case it is a small hole underneath the frame of the bed.

Termite dropping

So this was a first: Termite infestation! Just glad we do not own the property…

Found the infested bed later on the ground floor of the apartment building…

So what happened with the termites that we found. We do not really have any wooden articles so they don’t harm us, but probably the building. So, if they didn’t wanna remove them, I, honestly, don’t care. As a home owner I do believe that I would like to get rid of the termites from the building a.s.a.p. However, in this case I needed to argue for them about what’s best for them. After a second reminder the next day, they said that they only spray the apartment against bugs. Not really an option when having a four-month baby girl sleeping and living there; We wanted a replacement bed. This we should argue for in an email to faculty housing according to the person on the other side of the repair telephone number. A little weird, but  I’m not really used to having to describe and argue for what’s best for the owners of the property as, but in this case I needed to do that in an email to Faculty Housing. The repair guys might not be talking to the Faculty Housing and it seems like they can’t make their own decisions. After a short visit and some photographs taken of the bed, they decided that it is not termites (but it was), and had to send the photos up to FH HQ. Later the same day, the remorse (probably) came back and I got a message saying that some contractors would come to remove the infested bed the next day. So, one bed short, we had a termite free apartment! A couple of days later a brand new bed arrived! We’re happy, and Faculty Housing should be happy too, everyone (except for the termites) should be happy!

To add to the checklist when moving into an apartment:

  • Check for termites. Check to see if there are small piles of termite dropping around, or in, wooden constructions.

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