Saturday, December 1, 2012

There's a mouse about the house

When my brother and I were little, my parents read us an interactive book called "There's a mouse about the house!" by Richard Fowler.  It had a little mouse that slipped through slits in the pages, "moving from room to room".  It was actually a really cool book.  If only the reality of having mice were as cute as that book...

I have found four mice in my apartment since I have lived here.  Two dead, two alive.  Jordan Rippy, my friend and the previous tenant in this apartment never saw one.  Life is indeed not fair.

I realized that something afoot when I began to smell something really horrible in the apartment.  I don't really keep food or trash in the house, so I knew it wasn't something I did.

I also began to see these HUGE flies in my apartment; I believe they were a symptom of the mice problem.  Killing those flies was a pretty cool deal.  Sometimes I killed them with my bare hands, swatting in a matrix-like fashion.  Other times I killed them with a fly-swatter that amazingly turned into a Lightsaber.  Everything went into slow motion.  In those moments, I was Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Then I would see the dead flies on the keys of my piano and reality would set back in - there was still an unidentified smell in my apartment.

The smell intensified and eventually got so bad that I could not rest until I found its source.

The epicenter of the olfactory abomination was a dead mouse in a glue trap under my kitchen sink.  It looked like it had taken a mob hit, a gunshot wound straight to the head.

I removed the mouse and replaced the glue trap.  A one-time thing, I thought.  But no.

A few weeks later, I smelled the same smell, and I knew another mouse was among us.  One was.  Under the cabinets on the opposite side of the kitchen.  It was right before my mom came to visit.  She hates mice.  I thought she might cancel her trip if I told her, so I didn't mention it.

I told my landlord about all of this.  Her solution was to send me a device that emits a high frequency that repels mice.  She is a vegetarian and doesn't want the mice to die.  To that, I say, she doesn't have to eat the mice.

That device doesn't work, I learned, when one morning during my mom's visit (I'll write about that in a future post), I was going to leave to go get theatre tickets while she stayed to clean.  Before I left, I did one last mouse check to make her feel comfortable.

That's when I found the third one.

I told my mom, "gosh, it's crazy that I've seen three."

"THREE!" she said.

Right, remember I hadn't told her about the second one.  The cat was out of the bag.  Actually, the cat was nowhere to be found because if he were out of the bag, then I probably would not be seeing any mice.

I found the fourth mouse alive a few weeks later, right before Thanksgiving. It was in the loft of my apartment, "upstairs".

I finally called an exterminator to diagnose and fix the problem. His name is Roger, and he's from Jamaica. He determined that the mice were coming in through a hole upstairs between the wall and my air conditioning unit. So he plugged that hole with some steel wool. I haven't seen any mice or smelled any dead ones since then.

Anyway, it's been really funny, and I hope that humor has come across here.

No comments:

Post a Comment