Unwelcome guests

I had an unwelcome intrusion over the weekend. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…’ goes the classic poem, except in my case, unfortunately, there was a stirring, and it was a mouse. Or mice.

I take some poetic licence – it actually began a week before Christmas Eve. I reckon it was all the rain we got. My yard tends to inundate, and I figure it drove the mice to higher ground. Somewhere they found a way into the dry of the house – my best guess is through alongside the pipes of the hot water service leading into the laundry. Once they got in the house they found it quite pleasant and invited their mates. It helped that right there in the laundry was a big 20-kilo bag of dry dog food for them to feast on.

That’s how I figured out I had mice. I’d heard scratches and scurrying noises and had a major suspicion I had guests, but then when I saw the plastic on the bag of unopened dog food chewed through I knew it. Not long after I caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye.

It’s not pleasant knowing that you have vermin lurking in the shadows. I was afraid that once I had one, then more would come. I set traps and caught them regularly, but so many that it only increased my apprehension. On one occasion, I caught two in the same trap. The noise grew louder and more widespread – it seemed they were in all the walls, and an odour grew stronger.

I found how they were getting in – just a crack really in the base of the laundry basin unit. Presumably, there’s a hole in the floor leading outside. I blocked that up with bricks, but I’m uncertain if that’s their only way in.

It was pretty hairy for a while, but it seems to have settled down now. I suspect I’ve most, if not all, of the mice that were in the house, and having blocked their egress hopefully, that means no more can enter. On top of that, I removed the dog food from temptation – it’s now sitting in a plastic container in the bathtub.

My real estate agent is closed to the new year, but I’ll be calling them then to get an exterminator in, and a more permanent solution to stacked bricks.

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