Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Exterminator: He'll Be Back

You know that problem you have where there's something wrong with your car or whatever, but when you take it to the mechanic or other appropriate expert, there's no problem. There's nothing to show them. Well, we did not have that problem last week when the exterminator came out to give us a quote.

You see, we've had some minor pest problems in our new house. First, there were tiny ants in the bathroom. And then we saw some roaches around the trash can outside. And then inside. (Please don't judge us.) Then, just to round it out and make a trio of terror, I came across a mouse scurrying across our kitchen floor. And saw tiny tooth marks on things in our pantry. And saw a mouse in the basement while I was doing laundry.

But did we really have a problem? Who knows? I bought some of the old-school spring-loaded mouse-killing devices, smeared them with peanut butter and put them in the three places where I'd seen mice in our house. The next day... no mice. But I'm pretty sure the ants ganked the peanut butter.

Then, to my surprise, I found that our most expensive mouse trap, which we had not in any way baited, managed to catch a mouse. I am referring, of course, to our washing machine, into which I was about to put a load of laundry. Who knew that building a better mouse trap would involve a spin cycle? Now, I had never seen the kitchen mouse and the basement mouse in the same place, so I figured we might have taken care of our so-called problem, but when the exterminator came last week, I mentioned it anyway.

And you know what? As we were examining the basement, we had a mouse mangled in the mousetrap I'd put down there. So there were at least two mice, which--let's be honest--probably means there are two hundred. Also, it turns out this was not a new problem. You see, with our home's stone foundation, there's a sort of ledge that goes all the way around the edge of the basement, and the exterminator was examining that ledge, finding things like dead bugs that had come in, mouse droppings and, oh, what's that? A greatly-decayed mouse carcass with equally-decayed mouse poison around it. Nice.

Oh, but before we go, I'd like to clarify something: we had mentioned, when we called, that business about the cockroaches, and when the exterminator showed up, he expressed some skepticism, at least about the kind of roach we might have, because our house just looked too nice to have, you know, actual cockroaches. Turns out it's some other kind of roach that just tends to be a problem in old country houses. So there--we're not living in filth and squalor. As far as anyone knows.

So we had someone coming out earlier this week to spray poisons all over our house in an attempt to make it more livable for us by making it less livable for the various critters. He forgot to put out the tamper-proof mouse bait stations. So he came back out and did that.

And how have things gone since then? Well, it's a good thing the bait stations are tamper-proof, because our 15-month-old tampers with the one she can sometimes get to every chance she finds. Last night while doing a load of laundry, I saw another field mouse running crazily around our basement. Hey there little guy! Aren't you hungry?

I guess we had three mice. At least. The exterminator will be back in a couple weeks to see if Mickey and his friends are taking the bait--we'll see.

1 comment:

  1. I got rid of our mice by using three of those ultra sonic plug in things. It took 6 months or so, because once they're nesting, the baby care instinct overrides everything else. Just about the time I had decided that the devices were useless, the mice up and decamped. I haven't seen a mouse since and we had quite an infestation in the walls (for which putting out traps does no good unless you can find the ingress/egress point). I liked the idea that we weren't killing them with traps or poisoning them.

    Bugs are a different problem, and I've occasionally had to put out bait traps behind the stove, under the sink, behind the refrigerator, etc. Then the bugs disappear for a season or two, then they're baaaaaack. No, we're not slobs, either. They come in for food, water, and to get out of the heat, as does any sensible creature.

    Why sit outside on the asphalt and get baked? Or squished?

    Our scariest problem is black widow spiders. Killed one yesterday....