Our house has a problem...chronic infestation. Of the pest kind.
The house T and I are living in right now is actually a rental home through a local real estate company in the town where we live. It's a cute ranch house, 3 bedrooms, really big living room and an awesome deck for cookouts. Just big enough for our family to start off. The problem? It hasn't really been kept very well. The landlord is a very hands off kind of guy, and the tenants before us were just slobs. Really dirty people. I guess if you're renting a house, there's no real obligation to keep the place clean and looking nice, but T and I want to take pride in where we live so we put a lot of work into the home. Dirty living is just not the way we roll. When we moved in, though, a ton of cleaning needed to be done. It was sooo disgusting. My sister and I spent hours in the kitchen wiping everything down, bleaching everything and cleaning the oven. I re-did the contact paper on the shelves, which in and of itself takes a huge amount of patience, and while I was doing this, I noticed a few small black pellets. A brief moment of panic set in....is this mouse poop? Surely not. How old is it? We only found a little bit so we decided to just brush it off that it was old and not to worry.
So that was mid-November. Flash forward to February 2010....we got hit with a bad snow storm, so both T and I were working from home. It was about lunchtime, I open the pantry to get some soup out to make for us, and I notice that there were saltine crumbs on the bottom shelf. I look closer and see that not only were there crumbs, but there was a small hole that looked like it was bitten by a small creature. Then I see it. Mouse poop and pee everywhere. On every single shelf. So I scream, and T comes running in thinking I was hurt or we were getting robbed. Of course, I tell him that he's the man, he has all the man parts, so he has to clean the shelf. I get out a huge Rubbermaid tub, and stand back at a five feet distance as he slowly takes items out of the pantry and hands to me to wipe down with Clorox wipes. Why five feet, I'm not sure...I think part of me thought the thing would come jumping out at me like the squirrel in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and claw my face off. Anything that was boxed or not in a can went in the tub which sat on our kitchen table for 3 weeks. We quickly bought traps and set those but also called Terminex just to be on the safe side. I mean, this is enemy territory this mouse was entering. And we didn't know if there was just one. I don't care how cute they are from afar. If the thing isn't making dresses like in Cinderella or cooking me dinner like in Ratatouille, it must die. Sorry, PETA. So Terminex came out, did the whole putting wire mesh stuff in holes, but this little bugger was still smart. He was still in the house after two weeks. We found more evidence on Valentine's Day that he came in from behind the stove and under the pantry, so we pulled the stove out, bleached behind there and set another trap. I mean, nothing is more romantic to me than cleaning mouse poop and bleaching the floor behind your stove, right? Yep, pretty sexy.
I became extremely paranoid for weeks into months. I named the little monster Damian, because I swear the thing was the devil, and I religiously updated my Facebook status with "Mousegate 2010 updates." We haven't seen evidence of it in a long long time, but then we quickly had another problem about a month later. A bird flew into our chimney and got caught there. Our landlord (being the hands off dude he is) had never gotten around to putting a chimney cap on our chimney, so apparently, birds had been flying and in and out of there for a long time. But one got caught, and as T was heading to work one Thursday morning, he heard it scratching up the inside of the chimney. So we had to call a pest company because it didn't fall under our Terminex agreement (go figure) and we weren't about to catch the thing ourselves. Over $100 later, the thing was caught and set free. We complained to said landlord, and now have a rather ghetto looking chimney cap.
And then about three weeks later, I come home and find about 20-30 ants just crawling around our kitchen counter. Screaming again, I text T and ask "where are you???" He's at work. Can't come home. So I had to kill the ants. (If you can't tell, I'm a wuss.) But they kept coming. I was powerless against their numbers. So we call Terminex again (because what's the point of having a contract with them if you can't use their services, right?) The guy comes out and puts this powder stuff along our walls and outside. He tells us that this is poison apparently the ants take back to their colony. And then, get this, he says "if you see an ant, don't kill it, because it needs to take the food back to the Queen to kill the Queen." Um, excuse me? If I see a bug in my house, it is in my nature to want to kill it, especially if the thing is in my kitchen. Ant's gotta go. But we complied. And it seemed to be ok. And paying Terminex on a quarterly basis is a lot of money, so we thought, since we hadn't had any problems for a good long time, we'd be ok to cancel. So we did, and all seemed to be good in the household. Until last night...
T heads outside to grill our dinner and notices a bunch of ants crawling around the outside and into our living room. I won't type the curse words that came out of our mouths, but just think Sharon Osbourne. So we have this spray that Terminex gave us, but when you use it, it gives a really strong odor of ammonia. Really gross. But we sprayed, and unfortunately we had to spray inside. So our house smelled of ammonia all night. I tried to mask it with burning a vanilla candle and spraying Febreeze, but then our house just spelled like vanilla, Febreeze and ammonia. Gross. But it did kill the ants.
Until this morning...when I'm doing crunches on the floor in front of our TV and what do I see but a little ant making his way across our living room floor. Ugh. So either he's a survivor from the massacre yesterday, or they're trying to outsmart us. Needless to say, I feel like our house is a wild animal kingdom of the pest variety.
I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure once we cancelled our Terminex contract, they were all "oh, you want to cancel? You think you don't need our services? Well, let's see about that..." (All while twirling their moustaches and laughing manically, of course). I can't prove that they planted those ants, but the timing just seems a bit suspect. Hmmm....
Maybe I'm starting to lose my mind here...what do you think?