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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Friday
Oct262012

I Prefer To Pay Others To Do The Killing For Me (Sponsored Post)

This post is sponsored by the good folks at National Pest Management Association. Thanks for doing the dirty work for us!

A decade ago. I had just arrived home from a ten hour shift producing the evening news in Salt Lake City. I tiredly shoved my key in the lock of my apartment, turned it and shoved open the door. Within seconds I sized up the scenario underway in my living room and immediately closed the door, sat down heavily on my porch and started to cry.

An adorable little mouse (I mean, he could've been Stuart Little, you guys, he was so sweet and he haunts me still!) was dragging across the hardwood floor, exhausted, hauling his mangled little leg and the mousetrap it was stuck in behind him. I swear to God, I can still hear the scrabbles of his little paws flailing at the floor and the horrible scrape of the mousetrap as it scratched along behind him.

It's not that I'm a squeamish person. I'm not. I'm not afraid of spiders or rodents. Snakes are another story entirely. Mostly it's just that killing stuff is not my thing. Even murdering flies with our swatter makes me feel like a violent serial killer. One second they're zooming along happily and the next second they're deader than dead. Or worse, flailing around on the floor. Oh how I hate when I have to swat them a second time to put them out of their misery! Murderous me! Just last week I trapped a spider the size of my hand (okay, not really that big but it seemed like it!) under a glass Mason jar and released him back into the wild. Sure he'll probably crawl back into my house, creep inside my ear and set up shop while I'm sleeping but I'll be damned if I can kill him.

Anyway, I was horrified to witness the dying mouse. I had allowed my boyfriend to place mousetraps in my apartment without really thinking of the end result. I had seen the mouse peeping at me a couple times before dashing under the fridge whenever I walked into my kitchen and so the boyfriend bought the traps and set them up when I wasn't there. I called the boyfriend that night and made him come put the mouse out of its misery and I haven't used a mousetrap since. If I can't guarantee the trap will kill the poor thing, that the mouse could spend hours dragging its little body all around in search of help, then mousetraps aren't my thing.

I was so anti-mousetrap that a week after the tragic death of the little mouse I convinced myself that I could catch a cousin of his by hovering on a chair above the fridge with a cup. The little mouse had become so brazen he would often hang out in the kitchen for several seconds even after I walked in to get a snack. And laugh if you want but I'll tell you what, I almost caught the little sucker too. Sure I wasted several hours of my life perched on a chair until my limbs were all numb but after aiding and abetting in the murder of his cousin I desperately wanted to redeem myself by catching this one and letting him go somewhere outside.

Another time, just after I met Serge while living in this old townhouse in Salt Lake City, my roommate and I found Max nosing a pinkish something around the kitchen floor. Aw cute, he's playing with a little toy, we thought. And then the toy squeaked and no, it wasn't a squeaker toy. Turns out, it was a baby rat. Yes. A squirming, squeaking brand spankin' new baby rat.

Well aware that there was no way this scenario could end happily, I locked myself in my bedroom with Max and left it to my roommate and my future husband to dispose of the five baby rats we ended up finding beneath the kitchen sink.

What I'm struggling to impart to y'all with tales of mice, spiders, flies and baby rats (oh and hey! cockroaches! viva la NYC cucaracha!) is that it's always better to pay others to do your dirty work. If you're needing something dead, put a hit on it by calling in a professional, don't do it yourself. Just ask anyone on death row. They're probably wishing they'd called a pro right about now.

Listen though, I can't help you if you're looking for someone to kill your annoying cousin but I can hook you up if you've got a couple mice or spiders all up in your hizzy. You can find the best pest pro in your hood by entering your zip code on PestWorld.org. Or, if you like to get down and dirty yourself the site has a ton of much-needed info on how to deal with whatever creepy-crawly something you got going on (again, your gross cousin Edgar who came to visit last year and never left doesn't count.) The website is pretty much the best place to go on the web if you're looking to deal with any kind of spidery, rodenty shenanigans underway in your home. Or you can turn into a raging Cat Lady like yours truly (GET OFF MY LAWN YOU GOOD-FOR-NOTHING KIDS!) and never have to worry about mice again. Except the mutilated ones that are left on your doorstep as a gift, apparently?

So tell me, what's the worst pest scenario you've ever had to deal with? Did you handle it yourself or did you call a professional?

Reader Comments (8)

Know what's worse? Those sticky things that just keep the mouse stuck until it finally dies. I've come across more live mice than I care to mention. Yuck.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Monica, years ago, I had a complete mouse infestation! I mean dozens of the little buggers moved inside to escape what seemed like never ending rains. To make matters worse, I had a house full of cats that could have seemingly cared less!! Fat bastards! So, traps it was! They make new ones that are kind of like the old ones with a cover over it and the mouse pretty much as to get entirely inside of the cover to trigger it. It very efficient! I did catch one under a glass and kept it in a terrarium for several months until it finally died of old age or something. They don't frighten me and, like you, I hate killing things, but mice are particularly dirty and carry scary diseases like hanta virus. I just can't tolerate them in the house.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I'm the same way about killing things. I will catch and release just about anything and my husband is the same way - except with roaches. Texas roaches are HUGE and one place we lived kept getting invaded by two different kinds - both supposedly outdoor types (one kind flies) but apparently they preferred our indoors. One night there were FIVE of the huge nasty flying kind in various places and I just about lost it. If we had lived there much longer I'm sure we would have asked the landlord to call a professional, but we moved soon after that to a thankfully roach-free place.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth B

oh gosh...the worst bug thing that ever happened involved something called Cave Crickets which are silent but scary looking grasshoppers whose bodies resemble jumbo shrimp ( before cooking) . They have long antennae and are ever so quiet so as to scare the bugeezus out of me. I'd pull back the shower curtain and SURPRISE! These had a whole settlement under the crawl space and would come up from the "yankee" basement which was located directly under the kitchen/bathroom. Because this hovel had no closets, i would use this space to store certain items, like paint cans. To access this 'basement' you'd have to pry up a trap door in the kitchen which was sitting on a ledge without a hinge to attach it. I used butter knives and screw drivers to do this. Once the door was pried up you'd have to be careful not to drop the heavy floor/door down in the hole which was about 12 feet to the cold damp musty floor. You would also have to remember step carefully over the hole so as not to fall into it. The basement was a creepy place. The stuff of Steven King's nightmares. There was a metal ladder going down there. Scary. Anyway, I discovered the cave crickets one day while climbing down the ladder, there was one sitting about a foot away on a workbench down there...who the heck would wanna spend time down there I don;t know. All I knew was that if I ever went missing, my family knew to check under the kitchen floor. Brrr.....anyway, from that first blood curdling scream, the creatures began to appear upstairs in the kitchen and bath. I did not want them to win, but like you, have a hard time killing things so I would steel my nerves whenever i entered these areas..., pull back the shower curtain, and every night was terrifying...you just didn't know when or where one of these giant hopping shrimps would turn up. That's it...alot of words. Not that bad. My sister has a terrifying bat story.

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergina

When we were doing construction on our house (we added a second floor), we had to move into my parents' house for 3 months until we could get the heating system installed. In his infinite brilliance, my husband had boxed all the food from the kitchen and out it onto our bed. When we came back to the house, rats had moved in. They were living in my dresser drawers, under our bed and in our walls. Needless to say EVERYTHING went into the garbage, and the exterminator was called immediately!

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I live in the Oklahoma countryside and could tell you some stories about snakes... But I won't. Trust me, though, mice would be a picnic compared to these guys.

October 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Since I've lived in the northern woods my whole life, I could tell you some serious pest stories! I'll spare you those, though, and just say that this year is the mouse year from hell. I realized we were in trouble when I had to go out to the chicken coop (it's not very far from the house) one night a month or two ago and saw no less than 20 mice scatter when I turned on the light. A couple nearly ran over my sockless feet - ugh! I've been setting traps in the house and coop since then (including the Alaskan mouse trap, which utilizes a bucket) and have caught at least 20-30 since then. And we're still catching them...yuck.

PS Last fall I caught two mice in a bucket (accidentally) in my car after leaving chicken food in there overnight. They were cute little deer mice (the ones with the white tummies) and are now living in an aquarium in my kitchen. We all - especially the dogs - love them...very entertaining!

October 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

One word... FLEAS! I was 8 months pregnant and we had just moved into a new apartment, 2 weeks after we moved in I opened our front door to see fleas jumping like popcorn on our entry way tile. I grabbed the handle, shut the door, and then cried my eyes out on the stairs till my husband came home to deal with them. He ended up setting off double the amount of flea bombs in our apartment that night while we slept at a hotel down the street. I kept making him drive down to the apartment to see if we had blown it up accidentally. He made the trip 7 times just to appease his pregnant wife, and I am sure to get away from my hormonal crying and bitchiness.

Now we live in Texas and I am sure you will get tons of replies about the bugs here, but the pest for me in our yard is rabbits, especially the babies ( so sad!). We have a huge garden and those cute little suckers will eat it all!! Unfortunately our black lab Bella has developed a taste for bunnies. In fact she "welcomed" the Easter bunny for us this year!

October 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole B

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