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?