Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Recap: The Intruder

This is a little snapshot of our apt!

As I walked in the door Wednesday morning after a red-eye flight home from San Francisco, something didn't feel right. Something in the house was off. In the kitchen the towel which usually hangs on the stove was slumped on the floor and some crackers and chocolate looked as if they fell off the shelf but were unopened. I thought it was strange as Gman would never leave things out of order like that. My heart skipped a beat. It couldn't be. There's just no way. I can't deal with this.

Everyone living in New York City gets mice. Its a fact of life. It doesn't matter how much money you have or which floor you live on. It's the experience that brings all New Yorkers together. People have different theories on how to deal with it too.

In case you aren't from NYC here's a quick overview: Most exterminators will survey the space, plug any holes with steel wool, and then set out sticky traps. This is the surest way to contain the problem as no new mice can enter, they cannot chew the steel wool, and any remaining in the space will likely walk across the sticky trap (which is basically a VERY sticky sheet of paper you place on the floor). However,  a lot of people find the sticky traps inhumane (you can hear them crying when they slowly die and try to chew their own legs off), so opt for a rainbow of other devices (some just capture them Cinderella style).

I had mice in NYC. There were three over three and a half years, so pretty good compared to others. It's hard to describe the feeling you get when you feel their presence. I feel it in my spine. I can hear them, rustling plastic, scampering around. Then I see it. Reaching for the garbage or hiding under the table. And terror pumps through my veins.

No mice in Washington D.C. though or other pests for that matter. I lived the good life and after more than a year being mouse-free, my paranoia started to subside.

So on Wednesday, I didn't see anything. I just knew. But I was tired and decided to take a nap on the couch before unpacking, eating, investigating. I woke up with a gasping breath to the sound of pattering feet scrambling across the carpet towards the kitchen. Was that a dream? Is there a mouse in the house? I tried to relax but after a few hours of hearing it walking across the ceiling tiles I was certain. Son-of-a-bitch. Gman was still out of town. Days of cleaning, searching, calling the exterminator, and setting mouse traps go by until Saturday. Saturday, the fateful moment when I came face to face with the terror.

I was again home alone and made the mistake of opening the door to the under the sink area, its new home. It wasn't a mouse. It was a huge street rat staring at me. After a moment of shock I hysterically jumped, screamed, and clapped in an attempt to scare it off. It stared at me and casually crawled back into the wall. Then I basically had a nervous breakdown.

Very kind men assisted me at the hardware store, which always has the best selection of poisons and traps. As I was choosing steel wool to plug the hole, another patron said, "Oh is that for rats? Rats eat steel wool for breakfast." My nerves were shot and I started crying in the store. This kind man took me around the store and advised me how to deal with the rats. By the time I got home, so did Gman. He found me squatting on a stool, drinking bourbon, and still crying - angry that the bastard got the best of me.

We set out almost every trap known to man (not the sticky ones, I just can't get on that train), and some poison too just in case and haven't heard him since. But two days later and the traps are still empty. What happened to him? Did he move out? Eat the poison? Is he waiting patiently for us to keep garbage in the house again? I will not rest until I know for certain the rat is dead and the holes are fixed.

So unfortunately there is no conclusion to this story... yet.

How was your weekend?



  1. oh no! that is pretty much my worst nightmare. i hope you find that sucker!

  2. OMG. that is my nightmare. I've had several fights with mice in our dc row house. and obviously seen my fair share of rats in the back alley, but OMG... in the house. that's terrifying.

    Good luck!

  3. OMG! This story has terrified me so much! I cannot even imagine. I am deathly afraid of mice and will probably drop dead at the sight of a rat in my home. I am so sorry this is happening to you. I hope you catch and kill (as ruthless as it sounds).

  4. On a positive note: your apt. is adorbs!!!


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