I have an infestation.
Not of bedbugs, although these days that’s the thing that leaps to mind first. “She travels, she probably has bedbugs.” No, by grace, I do not have bedbugs. Yet. That we even have to worry about bedbugs in this day and age! How very… medieval.
No, it’s not bedbugs, and since bedbugs are well nigh to impossible to get rid of I will just pause to be extremely thankful. For the lack of bedbugs. Not so much for the infestation I do have.
Mice are an ongoing battle in my apartment life and I’m none too happy about it. Have I forgotten to be thankful for every single day I haven’t had a mouse?
I’m actually afraid it might be something worse this time.
After the last set of mouse attacks, I not only set the heretofore highly effective snaptraps, but I called the apartment, and they set sticky traps and unbaited snaptraps and left mouse bait and resealed some of the gaps between the walls and the floorboards. None of their measures did much. The snaptraps on the other hand, seemed to work pretty well.
Yes, I kill the mice. Don’t judge me. There aren’t other viable options here. If you would rather have them in your house, feel free to call the pied piper and lead them happily away from my place. Until then, don’t be haters.
And no, I don’t have a cat. They recently lifted the rules here in the apartments and for a ridiculous monthly fee I could have a cat… but I fear that would just mean that I will find mouse corpses in unexpected places (like my pillow) instead of on-or-near the traps, where I can brace myself first.
Anyway, since then, aside from a once-in-a-while disgusting snaptrap win, I have not had a mouse problem. The baits go ignored. The traps are left alone. Life has been good. (Again, did I bother to be thankful for it?)
Over the weekend I was doing a bit of heavier-than-usual cleaning (not that you can tell by looking), and when I moved the microwave cart, there were droppings. I sincerely hoped, even if I didn’t quite believe it, that they were just something I had missed last time I cleaned up after a kill.
Yeah, right. Lke I don’t practically sterilize my place after that happens.
Like I said, it’s sort of the thing I hoped, more than the thing I believed. I cleaned thoroughly. And in the process I noticed two other things:
1. The bag of bait pellets had moved.
2. The bait block that has been untouched forever was gone.
It was a one-by-one-by two-inch block and it was GONE.
Omigosh omigosh omigosh.
Breath. Do not panic. Um. OK. Maybe something was eating at the bait and died and J saw it before I did and got rid of the whole mess, corpse and bait and all. That would be nice of him. Please let that be true. I think I need heavier shoes on.
1. Call J and see if that’s the case. Get his voicemail. Ask him to call back when he gets a chance.
2. Set out a new bait block
3. Put the pellet pack back near where I just *know* they have to be getting in.
4. Pray that whatever it was… is gone now. Preferrably for good.
So the evening falls, and I am in the living room, hovering between TV and laptop. It’s not very “green” of me, but my kitchen light is on.
But I must be being very quiet, because light on or no, I hear rustling from the kitchen. I will bet you ANYTHING, it’s something trying to get into the bait pellets.
With apologies: Crappity-crap-crap.
But I get up (put on heavier shoes) and poke around the kitchen. I don’t see anything. I am hoping against hope that I misheard. But it’s worrisome.
J calls me back. Bad news: he did not discover any mice nor discard any baits.
Morning comes. It’s before 7, the world is quiet. And I hear rustling.
I put on heavy shoes, which are incongruous with my pajamas.
I creep toward the kitchen.
The old floorboards creak. I freeze. The rustling stops. I wait. Whatever-it-is waits too.
Finally I flip on all the lights and I march with purpose (as if I am not terrified at what I might find) to check on things.
The new bait block is missing. MISSING. It was BIG, and it’s MISSING. Lord in Heaven, You know all things — what is in my house? And could You please, please, make it go away?
Also, the pack of bait pellets are missing. But they were being gnawed at. I heard it. Which means that in all likelihood, there is something … something horrible … under my microwave cart AT THAT MOMENT.
Did I mention I was in my pajamas? That I was not dressed for battle? I was most certainly not prepared to deal with vermin up-close-and-personal.
Lord, I need to get ready for work, and get dressed. I cannot deal with this right now. So for the moment I’m just going to leave it in Your hands. Please send away whatever that is. Let it (them?) take the poison away and eat it, or commit suicide by snaptrap – or not – but in any case please make it Go Away.
And please, please, God, don’t let it be anything WORSE than a mouse.