Friday, July 20, 2012

Of Mice and Spiders

If you know me personally you know that the two things in life that I'm afraid of are mice and spiders.  A few months ago I would have insisted that I'm not really afraid of mice, they just annoy me, but that was before my house seemed to be overrun with them.  Okay, so maybe overrun is a strong word, but we have had 6 mice here this summer.  For the first run we set out sticky traps.  We caught one and thought maybe that was all, until one night I was playing the piano and one ran out of the laundry room and stopped.  He just stood there, looking at me.  Out went the traps again.  We caught him the next night.  Surely this was the last one!  But a few nights later I sat in the living room and I heard a sound in the kitchen.  I walked in slowly and saw him dart out of the trash can and up a cord on the wall.  Another mouse, another sticky trap.  Sure enough, about a hour later I went back in the kitchen and he was stuck!  I happily went back to whatever task was occupying me that night.  A little while later, I heard a sound again, and curiously went back into the kitchen.  Believe it or not there were now two mice stuck on the sticky trap!  I was so exicted!  Surely this was the end of the mouse plague.  But then I noticed something else.  The second mouse was only stuck by his hind legs on the trap and was using his two front legs to try to pull himself free.  A long battle ensued, involving a broom, a refrigerator and several plastic bags.  I regret to say, he won in the end and got away.  That was the last we saw of the mice for a while, but the other day I saw some evidence again.  Unfortunately we were out of those ingenious sticky traps.  We did have some others in the cabinet, so Billy got them out and set them up.  We've had these traps for a long time and I guess we didn't realize when we bought them that they are "humane" traps.  They catch the mouse alive and then you can take it to "the desired area" and let it go.  So Billy set the traps and then we both forgot about them, until late that night when I heard a strange scratching sound coming from somewhere in the house.  I knew there was a mouse in the trap, but I didn't know where they were set at.  After about thirty minutes of scratching and looking, I found the trap in the spare room.  Sure enough, it was occupied.  I personally do not mess with mouse traps, so I left it for Billy when he got home.  By the next morning when we were ready to release them into the wild, there were two mice in two traps.  I have no idea how they're getting in, but we've got to find it and put a stop to it.
Mice do scare me, but they don't terrify me like spiders.  I have been known to call male family members--and the odd landlord's son--while Billy was at work to come to my house to kill big spiders.  My cousin, Dwight, is my hero in that aspect.  But the other day no one was available to come to my rescue, and I was forced to take matters into my own hands.  It was not pretty.  I was working in the kitchen, and as I leaned against the counter, something caught my eye as it ran across the floor.  My first thought was, "Not another mouse!"  I could see it, just under the edge of the cabinet.  It wasn't a mouse, but a HUGE spider.  I knew that I had to kill it myself, so I put on Billy's workboots and tried to smash it.  But I absolutely cannot bring myself to step on large bugs.  I'm always afraid I'll miss and they'll run up my leg and I will die!  So I decided to attack it with a fly swatter.  This did not go as planned.  I hit the spider so hard that it flew up in the air and hit me in the face!  I screamed, threw the fly swatter across the room, and slapped myself in the face.  After the horror passed, I realized that the spider was dead and had never meant me any harm, so I threw him away.  A few days later, I saw another spider that was just about as big.  This time I took no chances and just squashed him with a shoe.  That turned out much better.
Oh, the joys of my sweet home!


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