In the Country

What would you define as "living in the country"?  When you can't walk over to your neighbor's to borrow an egg and make it back in time to pick up your recipe without refrigerating it?  When you can't SEE your neighbors?  A certain amount of acreage perhaps?

I define it as having mice in your house.

This is the first time in my life that I can remember having a mouse in my house.  One of the terrible pitfalls of living in the country: everything wants IN!  Spiders, flies, bees, mice, YOUR KIDS!  OK, that last part, I jest.  Our kids actually enjoy playing outside and most of the time I enjoy them being inside.  But the rest of it is oh-so-true and I have become (nearly) fearless when it comes to pests.

And it's that parenthetical injection that is important.  Nearly.

I can kill the spiders my daughters invariably find in the bath tub.  I can shoo out the bees and kill the flies when necessary.  But I have not enjoyed a winter with mice in my house.

It started one night when Ted was at work.  I remember it was around Meredith's birthday, in November.  I was trying to fall asleep but but kept hearing something in the kitchen/living room region.  I decided at one point it was Meredith's mylar birthday balloon bouncing around.  I shoved it in the box-heavy back room and shut the door.  Finally, I'd be able to sleep.

But it didn't stop and it was freaking me out.  I didn't know anything about mice but the next day I found some telltale evidence in my pantry.  Nothing was eaten through or ransacked but there was black rice all along the back side of the pantry.  Except that it wasn't.  It was mouse poop. 

I was horrified!  Wasn't my house clean enough?  Wasn't I putting things away?  What was inviting these vermon in? 

Nothing.  It's just cold out here and our house seemed so inviting.  Or at least warm.

I decided the best way to rid ourselves of these pests was to find the point of entry.  After searching some time, I found a small hole, a small, fur-lined hole, under my sink.  Gross.  So gross.  I taped over it with a vengeance and bleached the entire kitchen down - the first of many hateful bleachings.

I was pleased with the results.  I saw very little poop in my house and heard next to no mouse sounds. 

But there was still a little bith of both.  In fact, one night, while Ted was home and we slumbered, I was certain something was eating all our food in the pantry, which shares a wall with our bedroom.  The sound woke me up.  We found out in the morning, after the nighttime investigations amounted to nothing, that a mouse had eaten its way through the way - next to the pantry, behind our computer desk, into our bedroom.  I still have the hole to prove it.  And the smart husband who put mouse poison next to the exit hole.

About a week after the incident, we spotted a mouse in the night.  We were watching a movie when I saw something dart across the floor.  I squealed to Ted that I saw the mouse.  He seemed skeptical but half an hour later, after I had dozed slightly, he saw it too and went on a search.  No luck.

But we did get lucky.  The mouse had apparently taken the bate and this past weekend he died, just barely hidden under couch.  My kids found him.  I'm so grateful Gwenna and Meredith found him rather than Simon.  I can't imagine what he would have done. I shudder to think! 

I was shocked they didn't squeal or scream.  They just come and reported their finding.

The biggest though surprise was that my city-girl sister was willing to pluck the dead animal out from under the couch and dispose of him.  I was honestly going to wait for Ted to come in from his outside chose of some sort to toss him out.  But my sister did it.  I will not claim to be without shock. 

We have been mouse-free since.  No skittering noises.  No black rice poop.  No traces.  Thank goodness!

Living in the country means you're sometimes a hotel and smorgasbord (they even eat dry wall!) for pests of varying degrees of horror.  There are about 100 good things that I enjoy about living in the country and luckily they outweigh the vileness of the mice.  Because living in the country apparently means mice.


Amy said...

I have quite the mouse story from when we were in Alabama shortly before we moved. I don't know if I ever posted it. Wes was out of town at the time, so I had "fun" dealing with it on my own. I tried humane. Our house was so hole-y that I never could find point of entry and ended up getting the old fashioned snap traps and put them behind the appliances in the kitchen. That night (only a few hours after putting them out), I caught the 2 mice that were plaguing us and disposed of them. I never saw any mice after that.

Geevz said...

22 mice. I killed 22 mice before we finished our mice problem. I really dislike them.

12 of which were killed by repeatedly kicking the plywood they were hiding behind. The best trap (out of the 5 we tried) ended up being the sticky traps, but then we had to end their lives ourselves. I tried not to think about it. They didn't want to eat the poison. Removing the one stuck in our washer traumatized me forever.

Heather said...

I realize I am often dramatic, but I think it is possible that I legitimately have some mild form of PTSD from a mice infestation in the first apartment Josh and I lived in after we got married. Right before we got married, Tish said she saw a mouse run by, but I thought "No way. Must have been something else." And the landlord put out poison, I believe. Then we went to Arizona for a week to get married, then on to our honeymoon for another week. When we returned it was totally infested and I about had a nervous breakdown. There was one point where I was standing on a chair in the middle of the day (they're supposed to be nocturnal!!) and those brazen mice were running all around the floor around me, totally . I called my mom just crying. I can hardly recall without recoiling when I flipped the bedspread up to make the bed and flipped a dead mouse body into the air with it. Ok, I cannot share anymore stories because it's just too gross. I realized I might have minor PTSD when we were living in Josh's mom's basement and he saw a mouse. I would hardly enter the basement until I knew the mouse had been destroyed, and when I did enter it wasn't without shoes.

Blah blah, I ramble sooo much. All this is to say - I HEAR YOU. I EMPATHIZE. AND I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR PAIN.