Kennedy’s mouse or no mouse post reminds me of the “mouse in the house” incident we once had, many, many years ago when I still lived in the parental home. Although not as funny as Ollie’s creative residential pest control blog post, my experience still brings home (pardon the pun) the need for vigilance at home against unwanted intruders.
My stepdad and neighbour worked hard one summer/autumn to build a joint extension for our two semi-detached homes. Early on in the building process, I can distinctly remember playing in the semi-built foundations, jumping over the low walls with my sister and the family pet, our beloved German Shepherd… Anyway, once the first floor walls were up, the roof attached and doors and windows installed – the infestation began.
In the mornings, my mum would come downstairs and find evidence of a mice problem in the form of tiny droppings all over the kitchen work surface and various dish cloths chewed up. So out would come the Dettol. Now, my mum is a bit of a Dettol freak fan but that’s another story…
Mice are known for having weak bladders and so they literally wee as they walk, speading their urine all over the surfaces they visit. So each morning a thorough clean up of the food preparation surface areas was carried out with military precision. Instructions were issued to all family members: no food to be left out overnight, all crockery to be placed in the dishwasher, and without exception every single miniscule crumb was to be removed.
At the time I thought it was the sign of a dirty home, having mice come indoors that is. But now I know better – it was just bad timing on our part, and great timing on the part of the mouse family. The mice must have crept in before the extension was finished and they then made themselves a new home. Let’s face it, with the amount of Dettol action my mum’s kitchen saw – and still see’s – being unclean is the last thing you can accuse it/her of!
In vain my parents would try and catch the little critter causing the problem, but to no avail. Mouse traps were laid and laced with the traditional lump of cheese (if only I had known then about peanut butter tasting nice to mice) – but nothing. It even got to the point where my stepdad would sit in the kitchen in the dark for hours on end trying to catch a glimpse and then trap the suspected mouse/mice – but nothing.
So daily cleaning and evening non-sightings continued for several weeks. Kitchen cupboards were cleaned out each weekend and Dettol was purchased in bulk. Then suddenly one evening before dinner, the oven was on (cooking I forget what) when it expelled the loudest most enormous bomb-like explosion which was promptly followed by smoke pouring out the back… After the air had cleared, my Stepdad went to investigate and found a family of mice curled up in the back of the cooker in among the insulation material. They had obviously come in to protect themselves from the oncoming cold weather and made themselves a warm, comfy nest – then short-circuited the oven causing the explosion and their untimely demise. Mystery solved, pest problem eradicated, case closed.