28 October 2008

Varmint showdown: Rodent vs. Roach

We recently discovered, much to my husband’s amusement, that I scream like a girl when I see a mouse in my kitchen. Well, I am a girl, so there! Really, it’s the anticipation that is my undoing. I mean, I’m in my kitchen—a sacred space, also a space formed of myriad nooks and crannies—knowing that a mouse (or more!) is lurking, lurking, watching, waiting…shadows twitch on the outer edge of peripheral vision…the tension builds….[cue dramatic music]…EEK!

My story, and I’m sticking to it, is that I occasionally do something uber-helpless-feminine (e.g. “the mouse scream”) to give him the opportunity to be the Protective, Problem-Solving Man.

So I was trying to decide whether it’s more disturbing to share a home with rodents or roaches. We found more than our fair share of the latter (any at all being more than our share, in my book) when we moved into our first St. Louis apartment.

Generally, I find small mammals less disgusting than large insects. But while I tend to think of roaches as being inherently grosser than mice, I don’t think a roach ever elicited a scream from me. Those nasty bugs caused me great unhappiness, to be sure, and once I actually fled the apartment, tracked down my husband of two months, and informed him that I would not be returning to our apartment until he could present me with the death certificate of a certain mouse-sized (no joke!) roach.

Fortunately, thanks to my Protective and Problem-Solving Man (and the fact that we don’t live in a climate where the crunchy bugs flourish), our kitchen is a sacred, scream-free zone once again. (Well, at least it’s free of mouse-screams.)

13 comments:

Dakotapam said...

Mary,

When the Rev and I were in STL we too had yucky roaches...and before that we lived in Atlanta where they tried to make them more palatable by calling them Palmetto bugs, but they sure looked like roaches to me!

I'll never forget that we had members from our first congregation come to St. Louis to move us and since the kitchen was empty, the roaches did not know what to do, so they scurried back and forth across the kitchen floor. I was mortified!

I am thankful that Minnesota and North Dakota both seem to be too cold for cockroaches, but mice tend to do fine...but I've not seen any here...yet.

MooreMama said...

Mine are ants. I can handle just about anything but ants. In the summer, I have a spray bottle of bleach water (Ant Killer) next to the kitchen sink and I will Hunt. Them. Down.

Rebekah said...

Our cat briefly ingratiated himself to me by killing three mice a few winters back. Last year I had to toss a bunch of gnawed-up stuff in my pantry while the wretched feline lay on the floor and watched me, so we're back to not being friends.

Incidentally, if you think a room in your house has a misplaced dirty diaper hiding in it somewhere, and you complain about it to your husband, and he says you're a crazy pregnant lady and no one else smells anything, don't move the couch to look under it until he's home to see that dead mouse smell just like a dirty diaper after a few days.

Reb. Mary said...

*shudder, shudder* I'm rather sorry I brought up the roach subject :O

Mooremama, for some reason the ants don't get to me as much--maybe because they don't "scurry"? Though their is something rather terrifying about their methodical marching.

Rebekah, ewwww.

Joy said...

From one mouse-screamer to another, I can cohabitate with insects and arachnids, but not rodents or reptiles. My friend was sitting in her recliner nursing her sweet little princess when lizard squirmed from under the cushion and ran over the arm rest. I think I'd have fainted!

Pam said...

You asked for it....

Reb. Mary, btdt, big time!

When we moved into the parsonage here, we found that a family of mice had moved in while it was vacant. With boxes and all, that was taken care of quickly.

We also have wood roaches. And I HATE crunchy bugs, too!

No, my worst was when I noticed nibbled-on bread in the bread drawer. The two-year-old at the time had a habit of getting up quietly and sneaking food in the kitchen, so I assumed it was him. I made the kids eat the bread, 'cause it kept happening and I couln't figure out how he was doing it. Then I found dirty toddler spoons up on the track of the stove drawer. (Don't recall just why I had to pull the drawer out to notice... I try not to do that too often, as it reminds me of one more dirty place in my house.)Okay, get this-- I said up inside the track of the drawer. Strong mouse, right? And yes, there were droppings, and I stopped making the kids eat the nibbled bread I kept finding...oooops, that one turned my stomach.

I set traps everywhere, especially when we started being kept up at night by a grinding noise in the floor. (We have a garage under the house, which happens to be under our bedroom.)

After being assured that mice really ARE that loud when the house is quiet by a local, I set MORE traps. No luck. This went on for at least two months. The blasted thing(s) were too smart for me!! So after something ran across the living room floor in front of me, and dh refused to sit on the couch where the thing had been gnawing, I got serious and resorted to the poisoned baits.

Shock of shocks, WHOLE bright green baits turned up missing, over and over. I was freaked!! The thing must be immune-- monster mouse was HUNGRY too.

Before long I found bright green droppings, and dried blood puddles on my half-eaten insulation around the dishwasher.... but still no bodies. OOOOOh, creepy.

Lo and behold, one day some men put a load of firewood in the basement, using the garage door, and our dogs came in during that time. Later in the day, as I went down to stoke the woostove, IT was lying there, I guess the dogs had found it down there and dragged it out.

Seventeen disgusting inches from nose to tail (yes, I measured, so I could tell dh who was NOT interested in coming down to look)... our very own,


***RAT!!***

AAAAAGGGGHHHH, the thing whose sampled bread loaves I ignorantly fed to my children, the creature who ate my couch, who stole my little one's food-encrusted tableware, who inhabited my cupboards and floor, and the places under my appliances. YUCK!

Pam said...

Since you mentioned it, Joy,

I suppose you'll all be thankful NOT to be living in the parsonage my parents and their five childrn inhabited for over a decade. (Fifteen years, for poor Mom and Dad)

Imagine my mother, in the UPstairs bathroom, washing her hair in the sink, and lifting her head to see a SNAKE peeking at her from the drain.

Alas, the parsonage in question poorly enough maintained that for the entire time of my family's occupance, there were garter snakes in the house. When we got there, they were in the basement, but got bolder as time went on. Don't ask me why the congregation, who knew this full well, didn't do anything about it.

Just be thankful this wasn't you... I sure am. :)

Pam said...

Since you mentioned it, Joy,

I suppose you'll all be thankful NOT to be living in the parsonage my parents and their five childrn inhabited for over a decade. (Fifteen years, for poor Mom and Dad)

Imagine my mother, in the UPstairs bathroom, washing her hair in the sink, and lifting her head to see a SNAKE peeking at her from the drain.

Alas, the parsonage in question poorly enough maintained that for the entire time of my family's occupance, there were garter snakes in the house. When we got there, they were in the basement, but got bolder as time went on. Don't ask me why the congregation, who knew this full well, didn't do anything about it.

Just be thankful this wasn't you... I sure am. :)

Pam said...

oops, sorry about that. didn't see that it took.

Reb. Mary said...

Seventeen inches?!?!?!?!?!? AIEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love the part about you unwittingly making the kids eat its leftovers :D

Rebekah said...

Pam, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Joy said...

I'm nearly 41 weeks pregnant and I think I may puke.

MooreMama said...

I would rather deal with ants than a 17 inch rat, thankyouverymuch. Ew. Or snakes. I forgot about those. We're in water moccasin territory and they are the reason that, if it doesn't have clear water and a blue concrete bottom, I don't swim in it.