We live in the woods and many creatures live here too. They lived here first. We are squatters on their land. Among the many other creatures with whom we share space are millions of carpenter ants who periodically try to take over the house. And then, there are mice.

Almost everyone who lives in the country has mice. There are many ways to deal with them. The cheapest and dirtiest is poison bait which they eat and then die.

For the past few years, we’ve had a company “dealing with” our mice and ants. The last company we dealt with promised us that if we bought their “Gold Package,” its price would be reduced each year since there would be less to be done. This year, they raised their price by $200. Meanwhile, despite three years of their support, we still have mice and intermittently, ants, Not only had they promised us a continued price reduction, but we still have mice and ants. I didn’t think they had earned a raise. I’ve been patient, but enough is enough.

I fired them and hired a new one today. The price is exactly the same — about $600 more than we can afford. Regardless, we need pest control. Maybe more than ever.

This very warm winter means the mouse population has been growing, not shrinking as it normally would do in a colder winter. Worse, there will be a lot more insects in the warming months to come. A lot more ants, many more fleas, and a yard full of ticks. And wolf spiders emerging from their little woodland nests searching for more food.

We were up early to meet and greet. He promises to not merely poison mice, but seal up the house so that they stop coming inside. He is sure that in less than a year, we will be mouse-free. And not need a contract.

While all of this was going on, he pulled the stove out from the wall and you can guess what was under there. And so we cleaned. Scraped. Swept. Scrubbed. I washed the floor. I was going to pull out the vacuum and do the living room rug and change the covers on the sofa and love seat.

Our own wolf spider

That was when I realized how sore my right shoulder is. I have to stop using my right arm for a few days. A day or two of light-duty will probably set it right.

I sure hope the mouse guy is right. I would like to solve the problem. Permanently.

34 Comments

  1. The warm weather here has brought out fleas and lice and we have had a couple of days of bombing the house with Raid, vacuuming everywhere and treating the pets. I think we have got the little buggers now but we’ll keep up a regular schedule to be sure.

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  2. Even though pest control is out of the budget zone, it’s worth it. Mandatory even. In my old house I had a huge mouse problem. Hubby was a slob and apparently that was catching as I’m now one too. I swore that in this new home I’d NEVER allow things to get as bad as they did then, and I’ve kept my promise mostly. I hired a cleaner that comes twice a month to deep clean (sort of), but she quit three weeks ago or so, and the new one she recommended to take her place isn’t as good. So I guess I’m going to have to learn to enjoy cleaning. And if I do see even the faintest hint of infestation (bug or rodent) I’m getting someone in to do what your guy is doing. If that spider came leaping out of the dark at ME? The problem would be solved, because I do believe I’d drop dead on the spot. Spiders. Brrrrrrrr!

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    1. If it hadn’t been on the other side of the screen, I might have collapsed myself. I’m terrified of spiders and that one was HUGE — bigger than many of my finches.

      I didn’t know how bad the mouse problem was until I had the place inspected. Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean you don’t have them. Hard lesson. And the worst thing is I don’t have the money but I couldn’t afford to NOT spend it. Hopefully, when he’s done, we won’t have mice at all. I have now contained every single item of food including birdseed, and dog biscuits. Even the bread is in some kind of locking container, EVEN when it’s in it’s original sealed package.

      I hate cleaning and I’m exhausted and sore, but my cleaning lady raised her price just enough to put it out of my budget. So, back to cleaning.

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    2. Binge Night:

      “Of Mice And Men”
      “The Mouse That Roared”
      “Them”
      “Spiderman”
      “Along Came A Spider”
      “Kiss Of The Spiderwoman”
      “The Cobweb”
      “The Swarm”
      “Wilbur”

      “Mighty Mouse”
      M-I-C-K-E-Y……M-O-U-S-E eeeeee w/ Anita, Swiggie, Spin & Marty…Jimmy Dodd and Uncle Walt.

      Tickets: 11 cents for kids. Free jujy fruits and free stale popcorn. BYOB–coke. No sniffin’ glue.

      Coming Attractions included.

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        1. Rats, too. Actually, there are rats anywhere you find water. Wharf rats are bigger than standard rats (often a LOT bigger), so much of Boston which is all lying along a waterfront, has the kind of rat that look you in the eye and you can just hear them saying: “Take me on. I’m ready. Are you?” Mostly, we aren’t. The Channel 7 office where Garry worked was full of rats, two and four-legged.

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    1. Rats are also very smart. Mice, not so much.

      Rats are about on par with dogs, intelligence-wise. And they aren’t afraid of people at all. But, oddly enough, they do less damage in a house than mice. They don’t chew up everything. They are there for the comfort of being indoors. They get their food mostly (MOSTLY) outdoors. Their size, though, makes them a lot scarier. Those wharf rats are bigger than many house cats.

      You need a couple of strong, motivated terriers — the big terriers like the bull and pit bull terriers — to take them down. Airedales, Welsh, Kerry Blue … they are all rat killers. The smaller ones are meant for going to earth and going after badgers who are bigger, tougher, and meaner than rats. Terriers used to live for the hunt. I used to know people who kept packs of terriers and farmers with a rat or mouse problem would call her to bring on the terriers. They had a fine old time and could clean out an entire barn in an afternoon.

      Our terriers just want to sleep on the sofa. They have lived a soft life. But our first (Norwich) terrier used to love hunting. She would kill mice by the dozens and pile them up next to my computer desk. She also loved live frogs and while she didn’t like water, if there was a frog in there, she’d swim out and eat the whole frog. Live. Ew. But she was so happy as she killed. Really bubbling with joy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is so interesting, Marilyn. We don’t have a dog and I have only ever had one in my life. It is amazing how animals retain their natural instincts even when tamed. That is a good thing. I do not want to ever meet a wharf rat of that size. I am not a fan of the ones we get, they are big and ugly.

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  3. Being an arachnophobe I will tell you the spider thing hurts my brain. I use Raid. I’m sorry but they can live all they want outside, but stay out of my house. Do you have chickens? They take care of the ticks. Also, if you can attract possums they eat the most ticks out of any animal there is. They love cat food. Hard though because so do other wild creatures! Anyhow, I did some research a bit ago about the mice. Did you know that mice can begin reproducing six weeks after birth? That means when mama has a litter of 12, all twelve can then make their own 12! It seems to be a bit of inbreeding but they do it. I hate to poison the little suckers because if they don’t die in the house then the hawks and owls are eating the poison too! I think the best solution to them is cats. Finally, the ants. Again, Raid. Haha! Some of the old, tried and true things work. Good luck though. I know how expensive it can be and how frustrating it is when they “come back”!!

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    1. For the ants, boric acid. It’s cheap and it works. Put it along the sills of the doors. As soon as they hit the boric acid, they die. I won’t put out food that will attract more mice or raccoons. Or skunk. Or giant spiders. Or, for that matter, coyotes. There are a lot of predators around here and not a lot of prey left. The rabbits were eaten by the bobcats as well as the chipmunks. As the weather changes, I don’t know what will become of us. I’d keep chickens, but the coons and the bobcats and coyotes and foxes would eat them in a Chicago minute.

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  4. it’s not the corona virus Marilyn, and since your sitting down, maybe it’s time to get yourself a rather expensive bottle of wine, so both of you can sip awhile, while those little furry creatures do one of their spring dances for you, cheers, hope the shoulder improves, amen

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