Last night I was lying on the couch, sucked in to the awfulness that is the Sex and the City movie- when out of the corner of my eye I suddenly saw something black scurry by which appeared to be a spider. Sincerely alarmed- I sat up and my husband quickly said ‘I saw it.’ Heart beating frantically, I looked at the couch and said ‘What the hell! OH MY GOD that was a spider, right?!’ No. It was a mouse and he wasn’t on the cushion but running along the wall underneath the fireplace. Oh. Well. A mouse. Big deal. I can handle mice. You see we’ve had them since… well.. probably forever.
This cavalier attitude hasn’t been acquired easily. The first time I saw a mouse in the house several months ago I nearly had a breakdown. Where I came from- you just did not have mice. And, if for some strange reason a straggler did find his way into your home- you called a professional. Someone who didn’t mess around with eco-friendly chemicals or humane traps. You called someone to get the job DONE.
So here we are- in a house which has at least 50-75 years on our SC one, enclosed by gardens and much, much more mature surroundings. Absolutely they’re beautiful- and I love the solid brick of our home, but the mice thing? Yeah it’s pretty creepy- but I have to say that since they’ve been contained to a) one invader at a time and b) ONLY in the kitchen/living room I can kind of deal with this. Simply put- we have traps.
Since we can’t have a cat (much to the disappointment of the boys) we roll the dice and hide traps here and there behind the tv, under the couch and back in the corner. We have a cleaning lady who comes once a week and cleans everything- so there’s no food to find, no stray cereal loops to entice. They’re coming in through an outside wall due to habit- and now that we know where it is, we blocked it with some cardboard and some bricks.
They aren’t making their way up to the bedrooms, and I haven’t seen a trail of turds- so my assumption is that we kill the ones we see and they’re quickly replaced. I find my attitude very interesting because if this was happening back home I would absolutely be flipping my lid over this and scolding the dogs for not doing their job whilst on the phone with a nearby hotel making plans to set up shop until this was over. Here- it’s just kind of like shrug shoulders/do what we can do and move on.
What I CANNOT handle here are the spiders. I would have my exterminator on speed dial if I could. Back in the US we had a company that I called at least once a month. Rogue scary looking spider on patio? Call. Crazy ass red cow-killer ant in the driveway? On the phone now. Something brown scurry by on hairy legs in the laundry room? You get it. He sprayed the inside and outside of our house every season and came with a guarantee that if we saw pests to call them up and they’d be right out. You know I took full advantage of that.
Here, I’d feel like an idiot asking around for a bug guy. Unfortunately for me- the spiders are everywhere. From under my bike seat to spinning on the patio swing- they are all over the place. I realize that sounds like an exaggeration but they really are everywhere. And these- well, these aren’t just your everyday spiders. They are black, yellow and orange- make elaborate webs and get bigger and bigger and bigger as the season goes on. We arrived late last fall and I wrote about them as the ‘locals’. They’re gross and HUGE and scary. Well, they’re huge by the time you get to winter. Right now they’re about the size of your pinky fingernail- so not as vile as they WILL BE.
I’m sick of doing the spiderweb dance every time we leave the house- they’re all over the patio and now the boys have found the joy in PLAYING with them. Oh save me. Just send me a rope ladder and a helicopter and get me the heck out of the spider-y mess.
And I know screens in Europe aren’t that common. We don’t have any- and I will gladly suffer every single night if it means keeping these creepy-crawlies out of my room. I can’t sleep at the thought of the spiders. I just cannot. When I reached out on Twitter for some moral support my local NL friend replied that they do have a purpose- and otherwise I’d be besieged by mosquitos. I agree. But my superpower is to be anti-mosquito bite. I’m not sweet enough, much to my lack of surprise.
I wish I could recruit the mice to help me with the spiders. I’d gladly keep them around for that.
How do you handle pests where you are- extreme like me, or live and let live?