Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Victory is Mine! (End of Mousewars?)

Warning - eww ahead -

It has been quiet at night. Too quiet.

  • I wrapped my clothes in brown paper so I could easily tell if they'd been disturbed. 
  • All guitar cases that had been stored under the bed were removed 
  • ALL on-the-floor storage was cleared out and lifted
  • The grass was cut super short
  • Counter tops were cleaned and sprayed with peppermint
  • Floors were mopped with peppermint soap
  • Original live traps were replaced with glue and snap traps 
  • Door seals were added to all doors so that you couldn't put a dime under them
  • Orkin put a bait box outside
  • All food was put in glass jars or in the fridge (no more fruit on the counter)
  • Peppermint oil was dabbed along the corners of the floor (smells like Christmas!)
  • I started burning peppermint oil in the house

Besides smelling like a freshmint commercial - I thought these tactics might work to disinvite our little guests. Things were quiet.
Then I caught a wiff of something off.

I was laying on the floor getting a calf rub from T who was on the couch ( I know, lucky ) but then something made me wince. The scent made me choke a little it was so unexpected. It was the smell of rotting meat.

I've dealt with the scent before in sorting carcass barrels at a wolf sanctuary. There was no refrigeration. Let's just say I'm mostly immune to the effects of corpse smell and I can sense it a mile away - but this was unexpected and in my own house.

You couldn't smell it everywhere either. It was very faint and came in little wisps on the air.

I freaked out. 

I checked the compost bin - bananas, the fridge - rice, the dog's bed - dog, the carpet - baking soda and peppermint, the sink - dish soap, the couch - cotton, I crawled around like a mad woman sniffing the air and trying to figure out which way the air was flowing that low in the house. There was nothing.

I thought maybe I was going crazy. Perhaps my nose was going haywire, or I had a sinus infection, or my imagination was inventing it? But now I couldn't get the smell out of my head. I kept sniffing and narrowed it down to someplace near the sink and under the cabinets - but I couldn't see anything under the cabinets. Ty got a flashlight and I couldn't see anything but it was definitely coming from that area.

Then Ty put the flashlight under the fridge and I saw a tail. There was something with a tail stuck to a glue trap.


Some shrieking, and getting D out of bed, and clearing off the top of the fridge, and careful rolling of the fridge later - the offending smell was exposed. It was BIG.

I was too grossed out to look at it long but it was bigger than I expected. I had imagined a tiny house mouse, the kind you might keep as a pet, but this was a beast. Not quite rat-sized, but the idea crossed my mind.

No wonder the live traps didn't work - it couldn't get inside!

So, with the mouse war possibly over, we aired out the house and disposed of the ex-creature. I feel sad about the casualty, but now I can sleep better at night.

Also, fyi, my house doesn't smell icky now. It still kinda smells like peppermint and I might keep it that way for the season. The smell of victory...

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