If you want to hear me
scream like a little girl screech like a ax murder popped up from under the bed, just be in within my zip code when I step on a rodent.
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
It all started with a scratch, scratch, scratch in the middle of the night a few weeks earlier…
I shot up in bed. A branch scraping on the window? Scurry, scrape, scratch, bang! . . . right above my head. Something had invaded my attic crawlspace. Hubby grabbed a broom and banged at the ceiling while I cowered under the sheets.
Let’s be clear: this is NOT my typical behavior. I don’t mind the creatures most people freak out over. I catch and release spiders, lizards, and frogs when they make their way indoors. I watch bees with curiosity, not fear. I get excited each time I find a snake in the yard. (I once doubled over laughing when a baby snake slithered up my son’s leg into his bathing suit. They both lived.)
I simply do not do rodents.
Ugh…I get shivers just typing that word.
Yet rodents have invaded MY domain.
Okay, so they probably look more like:
After nights of torment, weeks of hearing those creatures squatting in MY home, I sent the hubby into the attic to do something. He squeezed through the hot crawlspace like a caver and found…nothing. Well, an area that may have been a nest (I couldn’t handle the details) so he sealed up any holes in the eaves and we crossed our fingers they wouldn’t return.
Banished from the attic, they took over the yard.
We have a lovely little backyard, and the Sunshine State’s balmy weather allows us to make use of it year round. Unless there are rodents.
I saw the first one scurrying along the beam on the edge of the hedge. Was that a squirrel with a birth defect? A baby possum? A ginormous insect? (Seriously possible— we have roaches/palmetto bugs the size of kittens here.) Each evening, right before dusk, I’d spot a dark blur jetting across the periphery of the yard before it disappeared into the thick tropical elephant ear philodendrons. As they leaped atop the retaining wall I spied that long, hairless tail.
Chills crawled up my neck. I wondered if I could buy snakes wholesale.
Hubby investigated and unearthed a warren of holes under our greenery. I tried not to puke. We thinned out the plants, filled in the tunnels with dirt, and bought rodent bait. Guilt weighed me down. I don’t kill wasps when they get trapped inside. I cry when the cats mangle an innocent lizard. And here I was ordering the deaths if a family of . . .eeewww, nasty creatures that could NOT get back inside my home. This was war. There would be casualties.
The poison package informed us that our problem critters would be soaring though the big cheese in the sky within about a week. Each morning hubby patrolled the yard, checking for bodies. He never found any.
I found each one.
Snipped some herbs. Dead mouse. Watered a plant. Dead mouse. I flung the watering can aside, ran indoors, and drew the blinds. Not my job. Hubby could have some presents when he arrived home.
I should have just stayed inside for the rest of the week, but like the chick in slasher movies who HAS to go into the dark basement when there’s a killer/monster/giant rodent on the loose, I tempted fate. I went back into the garden alone.
My anniversary fell on a lovey spring day. I ventured outside to check on my tomato seedlings and see if any of my peppers had sprouted. Hubby swore the coast was clear. I waltzed by the pool, enjoying the perfect weather and crossed to my veggie garden. Something soft, pliant, and NOT a stepping stone mushed under my foot. I screamed as if I had just fallen into a pit of knife-wielding evil clowns. I’m surprised the cops didn’t show up, guns drawn.
My husband, at least, came running. (If we hadn’t been dealing with a rodent problem, he probably would have come armed.) He knew not much could make me bellow such blood-curdling scream. Happy Anniversary.
The shoes were thrown away, the mouse dealt with, and I hid inside for a few weeks. The rodents were eradicated—for a while.
I think they’re back, but we’ve agreed to an uneasy truce. They stay outside, attempt to be stealthy, and stay out of my line of sight. I pretend they don’t exist and send the cats on patrol . . . for now . . .
Which creepy crawlies make you swat, shiver, or scream? What are you afraid of? Come on, share your story so I don’t feel like such a wimp, please?
PestWorld.org is your go-to resource for everything you need to know about bugs, rodents and other household pests. You can identify your infestation, find helpful prevention tips, pest photography and videos, educational articles on a variety of pest topics, and more.
In the fall, pests often enter our homes seeking shelter from colder weather, so it’s important to take steps to pest-proof your home. Pest issues are better handled by licensed pest professionals. They have the knowledge, training and tools to properly identify a pest species and recommend ways to safely remedy an infestation before it becomes a serious problem.
You can find a pest professional in your area by entering your zip code in the Find a Pro database on PestWorld.org: http://www.pestworld.org/find-a-pest-control-professional/.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Pest Management Association. The opinions and text are all mine.