Sunday, April 10, 2011

What's next, a plague of locusts?

First it was ladybugs in January and February, annoying but benign.  Then it was the birds in March.  The chimney company installed some thingamajig so the birds can't throw things down the flue and into the house, like nesting materials or their young.  Now that we're into April, it's time to add yet another animal into the mix since this seems to be an ongoing theme around here with English manor living.  

Early in the week, I was checking my email and glanced down to the Vera Bradley tote at my feet where the oldest daughter tossed it the evening before.  There were these little bits of torn fabric on the floor around the edge of her bag.  Something had obviously been chewing on it during the night, so I quickly gathered up the bits and put them in the garbage.  Just to be on the safe side, I gingerly pulled out the contents of the bag to make sure there wasn't anything tagging along to school that day.  I had visions of some vermin jumping or scurrying out of the bag on the school bus or during class.  She would never live that down and I would be paying for her therapy sessions until she turns 30.  

I told my husband about it but he said to wait and see.  I didn't have to wait long. A couple days later, I was sitting at the kitchen island reading the newspaper and drinking a cup of tea.  I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see a little mouse skittering across the floor.  I let out a scream that woke the dead and jumped up onto the island, whereupon I did the whole shivery, goose bump, creeped out routine.  Ick, ick, ick!

I had no choice but to crawl down after a few minutes because no one was coming to my rescue.  I stomped down and clattered over to the phone, just to make sure the mouse knew to stay hidden.  I called J at work and told him I had waited and seen.  I was ready to pack up our belongings and move, but J told me to ring up the leasing agent to see about an exterminator coming out to address our new houseguests.

The poor realtor probably thinks I've got her on speed dial these days.  She was very polite and the exterminator man came out that very afternoon.  I followed him around as he checked for evidence like droppings - joy - and he decided that they're probably coming in where the garage was converted to a large utility room.  He checked the attic and found no evidence of mousie housies up there, which would probably have made me a candidate for the local loony bin.  

A week from tomorrow, the exterminator will return to see how things are going with the poison bait he left out for the vermin.  I hope they're eating the hell out of it, really chowing down and telling all their little furry friends to join in the buffet.  I can only assume this means the exterminator will be looking for dead ones that have chosen to partake of the tasty bait.  That's such a lovely thought, mice dying in the house.  What are the odds that their little rotting corpses will smell, huh?  I guess that's the price I'll have to pay for a mouse-free house.  The three cats we had back in Texas would SO come in handy right now.  

I'm just waiting for the local foxes that frequent our yard to figure out how to open the back door and raid our fridge for a midnight snack.  

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