a year of pestilence

It actually started last year while we were away for Christmas. A family of 3 ginormous mice decided that our garage would make a lovely home. After one got squished by a toolbox Scott knocked over, the others ran up into a hole in the garage to hide. Apparently, mice are stupid, though, so they ate the grass seed that was on a low shelf in the garage and also ate some fertilizer. And that’s why we found one underneath a shelf in the garage. And very stinky. We cleaned out the entire garage (thanks for the help Nana and Granddad!) and tore up part of the wall in search of the third mouse. My theory is that he died outside of the house. There was a time when a pile of landscaping rocks was really stinky. Then the dog went outside in the middle of the night and Scott had to work really hard to get the dog to come back in because the dog was digging in the pile of rocks. Ew. I don’t really want to think about what went on there.

And that was the end of the mouse problem.

Then there were the fruit flies. I think they came in on the flowers that Scott and the kids bought me for Mother’s Day. And they stayed and stayed and stayed until I found their favorite brand of red wine and they finally all went in for a drink and drowned. Buh-bye flies! I hope you were happy when you died!

And then there were the meal moths. They likely came in on some of our groceries. I spent a whole Sunday cleaning out the pantry and found their baby larvae in the spouts of the kids’ water bottles, inside packages of crackers – everywhere! It was SO disgusting! I threw out tons of food and loaded up the freezers with everything that was in the pantry that didn’t seem to have been touched by the moths but might have eggs that I couldn’t see. And then put out sticky traps. It probably took about a month for those buggers to go away but I think they might actually be gone. In the meantime, everything grain-like in the pantry is now in plastic or glass storage containers. Take that, you pests!

And now it’s the wasps. One buzzed me in the master bath this weekend and then was kind enough to hang out on a countertop long enough for Scott to get it with a magazine. I gave it a second whack for good measure. No sense having a wasp fly out of the trash can at me if I can take out some pent-up frustration and whack him completely dead, right?

We thought that was it, but NO – it wasn’t. As I finished my shower this morning, I got buzzed. I grabbed my towel and ran out of the room. I cowered in the bedroom for half an hour or so, waiting for the guy to land someplace convenient. But he obviously didn’t like my bathroom (can’t blame him – the green color the previous owners picked is really wearing on me). He buzzed around the ceiling, trying to find his way out. I would have just closed the door and been done with it, but I was naked (well, I had a towel) and all my clothes were in the closet. On the other side of the bathroom. I would have to go through the realm of the wasp. I first clothed myself in Scott’s Captain America shirt (gotta be a wasp-fighting superhero, right?) and then prepared a weapon: a swiffer taped up so that it wouldn’t swivel anymore. Otherwise known as a wasp-on-the-wall-squisher. And then I decided that I was too vulnerable in my Captain America shirt, so I added one of Scott’s jackets on top for extra protection.

I waited until the wasp seem to be just resting near the ceiling and slowly walked through the bathroom and into the closet with my weapon at the ready. I started changing clothes and that’s when I got buzzed by a wasp IN THE CLOSET!! I screamed like a schoolgirl and ran from the room and promptly called Scott to tell him we had a big problem. And then eventually sucked it up and slowly went back in to grab my clothes and get dressed elsewhere. I closed the bathroom door and bedroom door and locked it up so that no one could accidentally open it.

And now Jack the exterminator (and my hero – swoon!) has saved the day by pumping nasty powder into all the crevices on that side of my house and killing the one wasp that he found in my bathroom (using my handy dandy swiffer weapon). Thank you Jack!

I’m hoping that there is no more pestilence to come. But I’m thinking I need to arm myself for what’s next. Will it be squirrels in the attic? Possums in the garage? Mice in the car? No, can’t be mice – we already had those. Termites?

Or will the remainder of the year be peaceful?

I’m hoping for peace.

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