Posted by Andie on July 8, 2017
I've been petrified of mice since I was seven years old. It all started when I was helping my dad clean out the garage, looking for a mouse he had spotted. I was carrying my mom's snow boots out to the sidewalk, and BOOM- a mouse jumped out of one of them! It started running around on the ground, and my dad killed it with a shovel while I stood watching in horror. Ever since then, I've been scared. Actually, scared doesn't even begin to describe it. I think it could probably be considered a full blown phobia.
Fast forward twenty-five years. As a grown woman, I literally have my kids stick their hands in my rain and snow boots before I put them on. That's how paranoid I am! I also live in a dreamy neighborhood in the south that happens to be smack in the middle of THE WOODS. (What was I thinking??) You guys, it's pest city here. The snakes, cockroaches, spiders, frogs, and squirrels don't bother me one bit. But the thought of mice?? The exterminator and I are pretty much best friends at this point, simply on a preventative level.
A couple of weeks ago, my world was rocked. I FOUND MOUSE DROPPINGS ON MY KITCHEN TABLE!! You can imagine the screams that were heard two hours in every direction! Even typing this sends shivers up and down my spine. You might be thinking I'm disgusting, but I promise I'm kind of anal about keeping my house clean. I was baffled- I thought I had taken every measure to prevent this! We had been traveling for a few weeks and had just gotten home, so I have no idea how long this little friend had been shacking up in our house. Upon further inspection on my husband's part, my very worst fear in the whole world was realized: he found that said friend had been living in my RAIN BOOT in the hall closet. Eeeeeeeeekkkkk! I should really probably call a therapist.
Part of me feels kind of awesome. My worst fear actually happened, and I lived through it and, a week and a half later, I'm finally living back in my house! Hahah! So, now that I'm on the other end of this life-altering experience, here are my 10 things to do when a mouse gets in your house....
1. Vacate the scene immediately. And pack an overnight (or a week-long bag in my case) for all of your family members. RUN.
2. Sit in the car and bite your fingernails/wet your pants/pull out your hair while your husband proceeds to set not 1, not 2, but TWELVE traps around your house.
3. Call the exterminator and have him go check your house out ASAP to figure out what went wrong! How did the little critter get inside?? Lay poison in places your children can't access (back of the fireplace, behind the oven, under the kitchen sink, etc), and then wait it out.
4. Check into a hotel (if you can, make a trip out of it!).
5. After you're sick of paying for hotel rooms, stay at your friend's house who is on vacation! (Bless her soul!)
6. Once you've found the source of intrusion, fix it. In our case, we needed to sure up our fireplace (there was literally a huge hole from the back of our fireplace to the outside- we are lucky there was just one mouse!) with a better door. We also added wire netting, and laid steel wool all over just for good measure.
7. Once you haven't trapped a mouse or seen any new droppings for a WEEK (according to the CDC website), your problem is gone. It's safe to move back into your house (from a phobic perspective at least).
8. Hire a cleaning lady to come.
9. Once you muster enough courage to enter the premesis again, bleach EVERY SINGLE TOY THAT YOU OWN. And pretty much everything else too. Just to be safe.
10. Get a book about overcoming phobias. You guys, I'm making progress! Haha!
And there you have it.
Hope if nothing else, this experience is comical! Anyone have any animal phobia like mine they've been forced to deal with? Please share!