Double Ts: Tints & Termites

Talk about getting “syiok” on the left but getting whacked on the right!

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(When under the sun, the amount of sun-rays allowed into the car can make a big difference between a car and an oven. Image source: http://blog.ooyyo.com)

I got my new car more than a week ago (the post on that coming up soon – review on the car is half done but let me tell you upfront that there have a new found respect for Proton – damn, what I am saying!) but it is almost the same time, I got to know that my kitchen cabinet been creeping with hunger termites. It is truly time to be in a dilemma.

Tint

When one gets a new car, there are couples of things that one would to change or add on – new music player, perhaps new rims, state of the art alarm system (definitely) and in a tropical country like Malaysia, a good tint.

When I got my very first car many years ago, I did not opt to tint the car. I was naive and did not really understand the benefit of tinting the car. Tints back then was expensive and not all was so reliable (they tend to fade after several years) and there was the problem of contravening JPJ guidelines. As a result of this, my car interior was like an oven whenever left on the outside; so much so, cracks appeared in the interior plastics. Driving was so uncomfortable even though the air conditioning was at its peak but the interior remained hot and sweaty.

So, when I decided to change car this year, getting a good tint for the car was high on my list and it was not on solar tint alone but security tint as well. Proton was providing “SafeTint” for free but there was no further detail on this brand other than it was part of Proton’s own products and some said that it was not so reliable. Checking with the sales person at Proton indicated that “SafeTint” was neither a solar nor security tint – it was just to add color and make the car look nice.

Given the number of cars being broken into these days, I rather have security tint than solar ones. As I checked further, there were certain brands that provided 2-in-1 tints – both security and solar in one neat package. One of them was Cool World’s RhinePro XD3 which retailed for RM980 (complete package and before any discounts). There was another tint package that was recommended by the Proton sales person but that was going for RM2,000 (and that too, after discounts).

So, further checking with Cool World and further negotiations, I got RhinePro XD5 (6 mil thickness 2 in 1 security & solar tint) for the side windows and premium solar tint for the front & back (I understand that JPJ does not allow security tint for the front & back), sun visor and regn number etching a total RM1,100 (after discounts). The whole deal also comes with RM500 worth 5 years free insurance and a 15 years warranty. It looked good on paper but what about workmanship itself?

Tint maybe branded and made from exotic materials but poor workmanship can really mess up things. I lost count of the many cars I have seen running around with tint full of bubbles, scars and out of place installations? So, the price was good and past reviews on the tint shop on the internet seems to be in positive.

Thankfully, the workmanship at the shop that I went to was as good as it was claimed and I did not have to wait for the tint work to be completed (within 1 hour, my car was done) but I guess going to the tint shop very early helped in my matter. Early to the shop when there was less cars and more of the staff available to work on one car at the same time. Final verdict – the tint was the right move and I managed to get a good deal for a quality tint although I should have chosen a lighter color for the security tint. It is quite dark now causing the guards at my residential area security checkpoint wondering who is driving the car late at night.

(Similar baits now resting in my kitchen cabinets, feeding the unsuspecting termites towards the destruction of their colony – so evil of me, ha ha. Image source: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com)

Termites

Several months, my mother noted a small patch of termites in the kitchen cabinet and so after a spray of termite poison, that problem was resolved fast. That is until, couple weeks ago, the termites made a comeback in a more destructive manner. The kitchen was still in good condition but we know that we needed to act fast.

I, perhaps panicked with of losing the “not really cheap” kitchen cabinet for good, decided to do 3 things that I should never have done, at least according to professional pest control company that I engaged later:-

1. Spray more insect poison onto the termites’ patches
2. Clear away the “mud”
3. Wash the kitchen cabinet

I understand later that by me doing these things could have driven termites into the wall where it will be more difficult to kill later or into the ground. Couple of days later, we still had termites in the kitchen cabinet, so we had to call the “real” professionals in. The pest control staff came over to the house on the weekend and started to check all over the place on the extent of the damage. The good news was the termite problem was constrained to the kitchen cabinet and there was no other “leakages” elsewhere in the house. The bad news was it was going to cost me (big time) to resolve the termite problem and it is going to take about at least 3 months to kill off the “colony” (if we opt for the long term solution which costlier of the 3 options available).

The cheaper option of simply spraying insecticide of ruled out for obvious reasons – we did not know where the colony way. Besides, insecticide in the kitchen is only posing danger to us – this is where our food was cooked. Of course, 3 months is a long way to go and I wondered for how long the kitchen cabinet will last.

The better solution is to place baits in the path of the termites that will then eat some of the bait and passed the remaining baits to others (ultimately to the Queen herself). But although this will be very, very effective, it is not going to be a quick solution. The pest control staff said that they will come over every 3 weeks to check on the bait and extent of growth. But a complete wipe out of the termites from the house will all depends on the size of the colony and there are any other colonies lurking nearby.

Only time will tell on whether the home would be termite-free and whether I will still have the kitchen cabinet standing at the end of the 3 months.

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