Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oh Mickey, You're So Fine...

... and by Mickey, I mean the mouse in our kitchen last night, and by so fine, I mean disgusting.

We are renting a beautiful old house in an area of Durham called Tuscaloosa-Lakewood. We have a GIANT backyard, a screen porch, and a beautiful, spacious interior. The owners moved to Brooklyn and obviously left in a hurry, as the house was filthy when we arrived. They even left us lots of surprises - like a drawer full of lipstick in the bathroom and several reams of paper in the office. Thanks, guys! In addition, when they showed us the house, we asked specifically about pest control. They assured us it was not a problem - they've had a few roaches and only one mouse in the ten years they've lived here!

Um, yeah. BS. We have been here two weeks and each already killed several roaches. We also found evidence that there might be some little rodent friends, so we had the Orkin man come and inspect everything. Not a week later, I am getting ready to make dinner - AFTER I spent 90 minutes cleaning the kitchen top to bottom earlier that day - when I see a rodent friend. Alive - better than dead - but scurrying across my kitchen counter. Now, I have had to learn to control my fear of crawly things being a teacher, because you can't freak out a room full of kids if a bug (or mouse - my old school was an OLD building) gets into your classroom. But a mouse ON MY COUNTER?? No way.

Of course, this was 7:45 p.m., so the Orkin people were closed. Hubs wasn't home from the hospital yet - which I can only assume will become a routine phrase for me to repeat - so I called my dad for advice / comfort. Then I stomped around like a fool to make enough noise so the little friend wouldn't show its face again. And promptly informed Hubs when he got home that I was not making dinner in a rodent-filled kitchen. The closest I got to the kitchen was grabbing a bottle of wine and a glass from our bar cart. I was into my second glass when Hubs got home and we immediately went out to dinner. He's such a gem. (Or more accurately, he didn't want to eat dinner from a rodent-filled kitchen any more than I wanted to cook it. Still though, he's just a gem in general.)

Here's the upside: having a house full of holes through which little friends can enter may be the only thing that will force me to keep up with the cleaning. Congratulations, family - I may just have learned to put my dishes in the sink right away! The downside: I have to completely re-clean the kitchen so that I am, in fact, able to stand being in there and preparing food. I did some reading on the internet - NOT a good idea, by the way - and learned that good sanitation cannot always prevent rodent friends, but bad sanitation will definitely attract them. So here I sit, a reformed leave-the-dishes-til-tomorrow sinner.

Trying to see the positive in this rather than the mouse droppings.


  1. This dishes thing is impressive. So proud, even if it was mouse induced :)

  2. Welcome to the not so-South South. Unfortunately, it appears you are in no-man's land - where roaches and mice meet. I had a very similar experience in my first Montgomery, AL apartment, though I will swear to this day it was a rat! And I also called my dad for advice/comfort. I have since moved, but I now have a lovely collection of glass jars. I have also become less annoyed with feral cats as apparently they eat the rodents.

    If you haven't tried it yet, try Ortho Home Defense spray. You can get it at Home Depot/Lowe's and you spray around your floorboards, door frames, window frames, down drains, and if you are me - every where there is a right angle. I found it helped a lot when it came to roaches and other bugs. If they made it in, they died quickly leaving me to just sweep (or vacuum) the dead up. It lasts up to 12 months I believe.