THE EXTERMINATOR AND ME – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Thursday
THE PUTRESCENT EXTERMINATOR

I had a disturbing and rather depressing (brief) conversation with the exterminator a couple of days ago. He happily reported that we had killed (poisoned … yes … we poisoned them because we tried all the nice ways of getting them to move on and they came right back) as well as the big carpenter ants. It doesn’t mean we won’t get more mice or more ants because we live in the woods. It’s a package deal. You get to live in Hobbiton, but you also get the critters who live in the woods.

I mumbled about living in a more civilized location and he pointed out that I’d just be exchanging ants for cockroaches and mice for rats, which didn’t sound like all that great either.

MY kind of mouse

I remember when we lived on Beacon Hill — yes, snobby little Beacon Hill — and we had the worst, biggest, healthiest cockroaches you have ever seen. They came with the 300 years old house and I swear they had been living there for all 300 years, too. We had all our things gassed in the moving truck so we wouldn’t take them with us to the new house.

We got two healthy young cockroaches in the donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts, so we killed the roaches and stopped buying donuts. I think we totally lost all taste for donuts at that point.

We had plenty of ants when we lived in Boston, but no rats or mice. Ants are ubiquitous: no matter where you live, the ants will find you. On the other hand, we also had cats and I suspect they took care of the other problem.

When we moved out of Boston into the country, we merely exchanged critter for other critters.  Our conversation, the exterminator and me, moved on from what kind of critters were going to take up residence in our house to how likely we were to get into a nuclear war. He was an unenthusiastic Trump guy and to my amazement, we had a relatively civilized conversation. He wasn’t trying to convert me and I wasn’t trying to convince him. He pointed out that in such an event, ONLY the cockroaches would survive.

You can’t kill roaches.

wall.alphacoders.com

When Garry worked at Channel 7, they suffered from rats. Big, mean hairy rats from the docks. The station was pretty close to the water. The rats used to walk calmly up the marble steps, slide under the door and ramble on into the station. It was a bit breath-taking. They weren’t afraid of any of the people watching them stroll up the steps, all our mouths literally hanging open.

Garry knew about the rats, but he said the two-legged ones were really worse than the four-legged ones and sometimes, he had trouble telling the difference.

In the spring, I’ll have to sign up again with the exterminators. It is one of the unavoidable things about living in the country. If you ignore the critters, they multiply and eventually, you realize that you are but one, while they are many. Rich or poor, if you live in the country, things that live out in the wild will want to share your warm and cozy home.

Pick your exterminator with care and remember, you cannot rehome mice. They always come back.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

14 thoughts on “THE EXTERMINATOR AND ME – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Some good advice and puts your mind to rest to know that others also suffer. I met my first cockroaches in a very old block where we had an apartment. It was built in the early thirties. I had never seen a cockroach before and I hated them. How do you kill a brown armoured insect that is as large as your big toe, no larger. If you tread on it it will squelch and crack. We solved the problem, we moved after living there 18 years. Now we have no cockroaches, we live in the country. The mice stay away from our home, they live in the garden cupboard during the winter. Our only danger are now spiders and moths. Insects are international and I congratulate you on winning the first battle. There will definitely be more, but you will gain experience.

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    1. What I learned was that sometimes, you need the professionals. There was NO way to keep the mice out. Tom and Ellin had the same problem. Big houses in the country attract mice … and sometimes squirrels and bats and birds and other things. They are all looking for a warm, comfortable place for the winter and I can’t blame them. And if it had been ONE or TWO mice, that would have been okay, but from a few mice, suddenly, there were hundreds of them … and that was NOT acceptable.

      Garry loathes cockroaches, though he found living in Boston, you had them, like it or not. They got into the buildings and especially the very BIG building he lived it, there was no way to get rid of them. And the rats, because of the river and the harbor, were huge and aggressive. They didn’t bother us at home, but any place near the harbor had rats. Which were all the offices and all the restaurants. You couldn’t avoid them and they give me the shivers.

      The ants? Well, ants come, ants go. They don’t really do any harm, but they are a big mess, so if we can just keep them out, life will be easier.

      I couldn’t do it alone. That was the real story. I tried, but sometimes, you have to hire the people who do it professionally.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally get the desire to avoid the critters. The summer we had a hole in our roof (or should I say, we had a roof partially obstructing our open-air cathedral ceiling) I spent my nights wondering what was going to crawl into the attic to stay! But, so far, no signs of invasion—other than the usual suspects that always get in somewhere (I’m looking at you stink bugs)—have made themselves known. If it helps with any guilt—you can always contribute to the wildlife fund in your area to support their natural habitats very far away from where you live!

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    1. I don’t think we are going to run out of ants or mice. I’m more worried about the larger species that are being wiped out and yes, I do give what I can because once gone, that’s it. They won’t come back. But mice? There are more than enough of them to take over their OWN planet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be a great sci fi series: Planet of the Mice. I can just picture a new twist on space traveling mammals that change the course of planet earth!

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    1. My little terrier Divot was a mouse killer. She was small, but a mighty huntress. Our current terriers have no interest in hunting, though they should. That’s what they were bred to do. But Divot, SHE hunted anything small enough to kill. Birds, mice, rats, and she had a real passion for frogs. Whole. She hated water, but if there were frogs? In she went!

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  3. We’re not really in the country, not in town. Lots of vegetation all around us, and when we first moved in 24 years ago I was horrified at the number of centipedes we saw daily, no matter how many we killed. I HATE those ugly bugs! My ever-capable husband found a spray and the equipment to use it, and I haven’t seen a centipede in the house for a long, long time. The stuff works pretty well on spiders, too. I can deal with a mouse here and there, but no centipede ever ought to go to heaven!

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    1. My son is terrified of centipedes. My husband is dead scared of snakes. I’m freaked out by spiders. Everyone’s afraid of SOMETHING. For my mother, it was rats.

      I am not afraid of mice, but they do a lot of damage, especially when they multiply. They chew through everything and they leave a lot of mouse doody behind them. The problem with mice is that they multiply, multiply, multiply, and then, they do it again — until they really are everywhere. I feel sorry for them, actually … but a house full of them was just not acceptable.

      Liked by 1 person

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