Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Pest Control

Every summer, I get to release my inner hunter instinct that must come from my pioneer ancestry. Normally, our family emphasizes a harmony with nature, but there are a few notable exceptions. Any nature that decides to make our home its habitat, foregoes all benevolence from the home owners.

We weren’t always this blood thirsty. It was a gradual corruption of our core values, an erosion of our gentle sensibilities that started with our first apartment in New York City. One day I came home from work to be warned by my husband not to enter. A heavy cloud of choking toxins hung in the air. “I’ve just taken five years off my life.” He explained, looking rather frightening with an aresol can in one hand and a fly swatter in the other. He took me for a walk in the village park to explain while the apartment gasses did their thing. “The roaches were having a family reunion on our stove.”

Bugs freak my husband out faster than anything, so I smiled benevolently and we went out for dinner before returning to a now faintly musky smelling but bug free one room apartment.

When we moved to Houston, it was my turn. I had never seen mice in a home before, even having lived in New York city. The first time I saw a mouse, it ran and I screamed a’la that faceless woman from a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I even reached for the broom. My husband went to the local hardware store and bought an environmentally friendly trap to catch the mouse. He baited it with peanut butter. That idea alone put me off of PB&J for years.

The next day, “Mickey” was trapped in a small green case and well fed. Now we had to release the darn thing somewhere which meant carrying the case with said mouse to somewhere. My husband patiently convinced me to get in the car with the green box, I put the green box in a shoe box and then held the shoe box. I was afraid we had caught the mensa of mice who would figure out how to get out of the humane trap and scurry around the inside of our car.

Releasing it into the park however, turned out to be much more difficult than originally planned. Opening the trap, we waited for Mickey to leave. Mickey didn’t move. Tapping the glass case only further convinced him to stay put. Shaking the trap didn’t work either. In the back of the car, we had a hammer (Don’t ask), and I thought we could maybe smash the side of the polyurethane case to make the opening bigger. My husband convinced me that it looked cruel and that this probably wouldn’t work, so we waited. Forty five minutes later, Mickey finally decided to poke his nose out of the trap. A dog barked. Back inside he went.

Just when I started to think we should start charging rent, my husband sprinkled some cookies he had in his lunch bag from yesterday outside the trap. Mickey was willing to go out to eat. The trap was now ready for additional use the instructions on releasing said, but it would have to be cleaned. Looking at the green plastic cage filled with mouse droppings, I threw the whole thing out. I wasn’t even tempted to recycle.

The next turn of the battle with beasties came at our first home, with our daughter, newly potty-trained. We had purchased a house next to a vacant lot, which gave the whole place an open feeling of being bigger than it was, but also meant we had flora and fauna for neighbors. When our daughter screamed in the bathroom, “Something is slithering at me.” We knew there was only one thing she meant.

My husband captured the snake in a brown paper bag and I praised his man-god hunting skills. Then we worried the whole incident would set potty training back for years. I knew I wasn't going to use that facility anymore.

I have however, finally come into my own, for I am the Samauri exterminator of all flying insects. Flies, wasps, bees and mosquitos, anything with wings that darkens our door doesn’t stand a chance against dead-eye Mom. The kids take my title seriously and have been keeping a running tally. Hunting my quarry, I am known for the quick and merciless strike. However, zealotry in this activity can have its downside. It seems I hit the sweet spot on the window the other day, and now, well, the winged creatures of the world have their own private exit and entrance.

Until it’s repaired, here’s hoping they are as slow to catch on to it as Mickey.

For Pest Free humor, try clicking Humor-Blogs.com , let them know you laughed. I'm number 83 at this point.


JimmyV said...

Nice. The first year in our house, we had over a dozen mice and two squirrels. Not to mention stink bugs. Although, I got a good man-hunter in this past July when I manage to decapitate a snake with my hedge clippers. Accidentally.

Amy said...

Ewww! Wish I hadn't read this before bed tonight. Can't wait to see what kind of dreams I'll have now.

Andrew said...

Ouch. If I ever caught a snake in one of our bathrooms, I guarantee certain members of my family (okay, the one I'm married to) would NEVER use that room again.

SherryTex said...

Sorry about that Amy.

The thing is, all of this is true. However, current house has lots of fauna around the house. I think the eight kids provide a sufficient deterrent to even the most stout hearted rodent or rodent eating creature.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!