My beloved Budge is going to stroke out when she reads this post because she is certain we will be labeled nasty people in the eyes of the world. Let me assure you we are certainly NOT nasty people. I am descended from grandmothers who ironed towels and sheets. My precious Papa Wham vacuumed the entire house EVERY Saturday morning including window sills, drapes, baseboards and any other surface his Electrolux canister vacuum wouldn’t suck up. Until COPD brought my sweet Mama low, I would not have hesitated to drink a cup of water from the toilet in my Mama’s home because she kept house THAT spotlessly. I don’t keep a nasty house.
Now I told you all that to tell you this . . .
For three months, we’ve been finding mouse poo in our drawers and cabinets. This put Budge into 100% flip-out mode. Me? Not so much. I’m a very easy-going guy. I really don’t like to kill anything I don’t absolutely have to including spiders, snakes, and mice. We’re all just trying to get on with our lives. They got little mouths to feed just like we do. I’m big on live and let live, even in the animal world. I just made sure to clean a little harder and keep as much mouse offal out of Budge’s sight as possible. That was my plan and it was working well until yesterday.
Yesterday I opened the silverware drawer to get a fork for my two Buttermilk Eggo Waffles when I spied a puddle of mouse pee in the fork slot. Okay, like I said, I’m an easy-going, even-tempered man. I don’t wish any ill will on God’s creatures, great or small. Mice got to have a life just like we do. HOWEVER, I don’t go all up in their nests and pee all over their kitchen utensils and I really would appreciate the courtesy being returned. I will tolerate a great deal. I will even do some extra cleaning just to keep the peace and balance of nature, but let all rodents hear this and tremble: Put mouse pee in my drawers? It is ON like Donkey Kong.
I didn’t want to kill the little boogers though. I just can’t bear the sight of their little broken bodies in spring traps or the way their dead eyes stare at me from glue traps. I didn’t want anyone dead; I just wanted them to pack up the little Mouse U-Haul rented from the little Mouse Exxon Station and head next door or something. Like the Supersonic song says, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!”
So, I went to Lowes and stood gaping at the myriad ways man has devised to kill his small furry neighbors. First I picked up three sonic rodent-runner-outer devices. At this point, I probably should have left, but I saw this spray “Designed to Repel ALL Rodents and Unwanted Animals. Triggers the Animal’s Flight Instinct.” I figured, cool, I’ll take one of these as well and put it around the spots I think they are using to get into the house. Once I got home, Operation Mouse Eviction began in earnest.
First, I plugged the sonic doo-dads into the outlets nearest the biggest problem areas. Then . . . I started to use the spray. I spritzed a big ol’ glob of it at the back of the pantry when — sweet mother of mayhem — the smell hit me. I now realized WHY Repel-ALL “Triggers the Animal’s Flight Instinct.” I’ve smelled some stuff in my day, but this was hideous! No wonder a mouse wouldn’t come near it! I doubt a BUZZARD would come near it. This concoction would gag a maggot down off a gut wagon.
I read the REST of the label — specifically the part where it said “IMPORTANT: For Outdoor Use Only!” In the warnings it said “May trigger mild nausea.” Sure, if projectile vomiting like you’ve got a fatal case of Mekong Delta Stomach Flu is considered “mild nausea” this stuff will do the trick. It was so bad, the four cats RAN out of the kitchen like they had stolen something and jumped up on the back of the couch. Then they just stood and stared wide-eyed at me with this look that said, “Daddy, we love you, but you have really screwed the pooch this time.” All I could do was cover my nose and get out the Pine-Sol and air freshener.
By the time Budge got home, the stench had greatly abated. Actually, she complained that the Brazilian Carnaval Febreze Air Freshener I used to mask the smell was worse than the lingering undertones of the Repel-ALL. (Just so you know, Brazilian Carnaval Febreze ALSO reeks, just in a different, sickeningly sweet “whorehouse in Rio perfumey” way) I just looked at her and said, “You don’t like the smell of the air freshener? Take a whiff of the straight stuff from the spray bottle!” Of course, when she moved to actually pick up the bottle and squirt a bit, I grabbed her hand and said, “Whoa, Budge, you remember the vertigo baked spaghetti?” She turned pale. I said, “Worse.” The bottle stayed where it was.
I ended up dipping cotton balls in the noxious brew and dropping them down the holes next to the drain pipes where the critters were getting in and immediately plugged those holes with Brillo Scented Steel Wool Soap Pads. I don’t know if it’s the soap powder or what, but it keeps the fumes out of the cabinets. Most importantly, when I checked all the little mouse haunts this morning pee nor poo was anywhere to be found, so apparently the stuff works as advertised. I’m calling it a win anyway. Budge ordered me to get the mice out of the house. The mice are out of the house. Case closed. War won.
Love y’all and keep those feet clean because you don’t want them smelling like Repel-ALL!
Yeah, I am like you. I can take the dry little turds, but the tinkle is where I draw the line. We have a puppy and I bought a bottle of this stuff you spray on the house training pads to make the dog use them and then spray it outside to encourage the dog to go outside to potty. That stuff stinks something awful! We could only use it once it smelled so bad.
Love your writing. Don’t stop.
I see I am not the only one who caught the “4 cats” but let me tell you from personal experience that not all cats are mousers! We once rented a house “in the country” and it always had critters creeping in and out. One evening I couldn’t find my cat anywhere but did see a mouse scurrying across the floor. When I found my cat, she was huddled in the litter box staring wildly around. You just can’t trust a mouse!
Just had a thought. I know, dangerous right? You have 4 cats?? I’m truly surprised that you would have any mice at all! But I’m glad that you fixed the problem. Personally I have noooo trouble killing the little buggers, or ANYTHING that invades my home, BUT, that is just me. 😀