Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stinkbugs And Mousies And Ants, Oh My!

Well! That purchase of a brand-spanking-new Toyota minivan last year isn't looking so smart anymore, is it? You know, nothing adds a certain frisson to the driving experience so much as wondering if your car is going to stop when you want it to. Sort of Russian Roulette on the Road, you know?

It's still a great car to knit in, though. And what else matters?


I know you folks haven't heard a lot from me on the mouse front lately; but fear not, that isn't because mice no longer stop by around here. Oh, no, our house remains a popular vacation spot for any rodents looking to come in out of the wet and the cold. Of course, it hasn't helped that Larry decided to provide them with a continental breakfast special by storing the bird seed inside the house. PETA would have been proud of him.

Dealing with these pests over so many years has toughened me somewhat; I no longer scream and threaten arson the minute I discover mouse droppings in my kitchen cabinets; and my online research on purchasing flamethrowers has also dropped off considerably. Last night, however, tested my new-found stoicism; I discovered mouse droppings in the corner of our main bathroom. You know, the bathroom near the bedrooms, where we are supposed to sleep peacefully at night, without fear that hungry rodents will gnaw our faces off?

Now there's a pretty thought, no? Welcome to my creature-phobic mind. It's a freakin' nightmare in here.

I want a little credit for not immediately torching the house (after evacuating the children, of course). I didn't even wake Larry from a sound slumber to issue ultimatums involving exterminators and divorce lawyers. I'd like to think that, after 19 years of marriage and 13 years of homeowning, I've developed a bit of maturity in these matters.

Not enough maturity, of course, to prevent my entertaining the idea of leaving the mouse droppings on his toothbrush, of course. Just as a sort of statement, you know? A wake-up call, as it were...the desperate cry of a beleaguered housewife losing her fight with the grosser parts of the animal kingdom. It's not just the mice, you know; it's the stinkbugs, and the sugar ants, and the centipedes. It's all of them together. They're out to get me, I can tell.

[Larry just read this and said, "You forgot to tell them about the dead mouse I found floating in the tub of water in the laundry room last week." Yes, maybe because he never told me about it. Can you blame him?]


  1. "Larry decided to provide them with a continental breakfast special by storing the bird seed inside the house."

    Classic Suburban Correspondent. :-D

  2. Did I ever tell you about the family of RATS that used to play on the front porch of our old house! I'll never forget looking out the front door one evening to see a family of rats (a momma with her babies) scampering around by the door we came in and out of 100 times a day!!!! Turns out we had a whole rat population living in our yard due to bird seed stored in our shed!

    I feel for you, darling!

  3. The moral of the story is....
    don't feed the birds!
    Actually, I heard recently that people are now being told not to put out bird feeders...
    it is like feeding any other wild animal,
    they get used to it and don't look for the food in nature anymore. Maybe that will give you some amunition to get the bird seed out of the house :)

  4. We have had a couple of mice here too. We have three cats, so eventually, the mice end up dead. You'd think the cats would be a deterrent altogether. Unfortunately, their combined ages equal approximately a million years, so they aren't what you'd call pro-active anymore. Or even active.

  5. My husband has been a trapping fool lately.

    I loved having to change my dinner plans the other night because a rat had feasted on the bag of potatoes I had stored in the garage. That's okay--between the rat droppings and the gnawed-on potatoes, I lost my appetite.

  6. I was going to remind you that I TOLD you to buy a Kia... but now I'm too busy hanging from the kitchen light fixture.* That is my instantaneous reaction to mice... I inherited it from my mother.
    And ever since the 10yo proudly filled the bird feeder himself last week, I've been wondering about the seeds he spilled on the garage floor. I'll wonder no more.

    *Figuratively, of course. If I really did that, the light fixture & I could be found on the floor with the mice. And we'd probably bring down a few stinkbugs with us.

  7. Ok Ok, did you manage to notice in between all the mice commotion, Larry is actually telling you something to put on your blog? Just give him a few decades more and he'll have a blog of his own.

  8. I've found very soggy dead bats in the washer, and once one in the dryer. Frogs and salamanders in the basement are routine.

    The mice and rat population has dropped off since we got chickens. Apparently chickens like to eat them. Who knew?

  9. I am awaiting the attach of the waterbugs. They seem to come the minutes it becomes warm. Daughter claims to have seen one already. Ewww.

  10. oh yeah, and when did Larry started reading your blog?

  11. SubWife - he checks up on it periodically, just to make sure I'm not posting our home address and phone number

    Suzanne - Thanks for the visual! I'm sure we all will go to bed with visions of soggy dead bats in our heads.

  12. Hi there - thanks for visiting my blog after seeing my comments on The Motherlode. I liked yours too. As for AS I think she misspelt the name she goes by as it should read (complete) can any mother not think Mommy is an important word and deride Mom bloggers when she's never even experienced it???

    I'm a transplant, originally from England as is my husband, and the two things that really surprised us when we moved to the US were 1) The weather extremes (13 inches of rain in one night a month after we arrived, tornado watches every May, 100+ for 3 months straight our first summer here and ice storms in the winter etc) and 2) the wildlife that invades your life and home. We rented a home for the first year and dealt with cockroaches in our first week (AAAAGGHHHHH!!!!) then sugar ants and carpenter ants that were eating away at the bathroom. When we bought our brand new house we had to deal with all the wildlife that felt we had intruded upon their territory, with carpenter bees and hornets invading our decking, armadillos tearing up the yard, all types of ants invading the house and squirrels trying to nest just for starters. The ants drive me nuts - the worst time was when we had fire ants from an undetected nest outside invade the house, marching in a continual line under the front door and right through the house. We've not had mice in the house but rats and mice invade our garage every winter and take death leaps into our pool.

    My husband does not like the idea of my blogging either and I know he checks up on my periodically too.

    Nice to meet you - I hope we can get to know one another

  13. We have stink bugs living or hibernating in the ceiling of the east porch, or at least that is where we found them last week when we tore off the rotten wood behind the gutter that the snow took down last month. Now we no longer have to do the limbo when we go out the east door to the yard. I just need to buy new gutter sectoins, as I do not have the money to pay to get new ones fabricated that are long enough.

    Then to spray the gap under the porch edge with liquid seven, which the exterminator says will kill stink bugs.

  14. I had ants find their way into my kitchen last summer and had a hell of a time finding their entrance. But compared to your experiences, I suppose I can consider myself lucky to have only ants to deal with.

  15. I am glad to know that I would be welcome in your home and fed so well.

    That said, I too greatly dislike rodents who are not kept in a cage. The nasty little droppings make me want to fly to another state. Aha, at last, the real reason we moved north!