Snakes on a Yellow House
March 16, 2016
This morning I successfully shooed a tiny baby snake off my front porch with a snow shovel.
This afternoon I successfully gazed upon a squirming heaving pile of tiny baby snakes without losing my shit.
Really growing as a person, over here, guys. I predict full-scale capable adulthood by the age of 55.
So I never told this story, as it seemed unwise to write about at the time, but a couple weeks before we listed the townhouse for sale, I was straightening up the basement (AKA OBSESSIVELY DECLUTTERING AND FAKE STAGING) and discovered a huge wet spot on one of the futons.
My first thought was CEIBA YOU ASSHOLE, until I felt something dripping on my head.
I looked up at the ceiling and the stucco-textured ceiling was wet, bulging, and actively dripping water.
HOUSE YOU ASSHOLE.
It was coming from the dishwasher, specifically (as discovered by the emergency plumber we immediately called in) from a plastic water reservoir that had been CHEWED THROUGH. BY MICE.
Now, we had not seen any evidence of any mice since Jason's Great Ethical Catch & Release Crusade of 2010, which coincidentally ended around the same time I spotted a big-ass garter snake disappear under our neighbor's front steps. No poop, no late-night crunching from the cat food bowl, and of course, no walking into the kitchen to find Max patiently contemplating the mouse actively in his food bowl, eating his food right in front of him, like "it's okay, take your time, I'll eat after you've had enough."
So of course, OF COURSE, the mice decided to come back right after we decided to move. And destroy our dishwasher. And basement ceiling. And the tenuous final strands of my sanity.
(Between the mice, squirrels, hornets nest and Open House Morning PLAGUE OF MYSTERY WASPS, I am seriously surprised we got out before the closets started bleeding.)
This time, I was not going to mess around and informed Jason that he was also not allowed to mess around; we were putting out kill traps and poison and I don't know, a plague of frogs with laser beams attached to their heads.
Jason agreed, and we put (kid-and-pet-safe) poison stations outside and an array of peanut-butter-baited plastic snap traps under the dishwasher. I shoved steel wool into the new little chew-hole we discovered in the wall and just for kicks we put out one of the old humane traps out too, as a LET'S SEE WHO CHOOSES WISELY experiment.
And then Jason promptly left for a week-long business trip.
SNAP. SNAP SNAP. SNAP. All damn week, signalling another mouse's doom and another hideous corpse that I, Amy Corbett Storch, Not Yet A Capable Adult, had to personally deal with. (And not let any of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n see.)
The first mouse was a pretty obviously pregnant female. (I have consensus on that opinion from every unfortunate friend/frenemy whom I sent a picture to, accompanied by all-caps text-based screaming.)
Every mouse after that was a baby.
A few of the babies actually did end up in the humane trap, and I dutifully drove them a few miles away and provided a nice snack to local wildlife released them.
By the time Jason got home we were no longer catching any mice inside or finding new poop under the appliances, a new water reservoir was installed in the dishwasher, and the basement ceiling dried, repaired and repainted. We pointedly left a couple snap and humane traps on the storage room shelves as bit of warning/disclosure, along with the balance of our pest service contract.
(The previous owners of Yellow House did the same damn thing, minus the humane traps. We found a stash of old-school wooden traps and a bag o' mouse poison in the garage, because they likewise did not mess around.)
So I guess, point is, I actually welcome our new tiny snake overlords and hope that at least one of them will not get eaten by the stupid birds that live in a nearby tree and fly into our front window a dozen times a day, and grow up to become our own personal mouse snap-trap.
Just stay the fuck off my porch.