Monday, March 21, 2011

Thanks to all the birdseed

When we first moved to New Mexico, some friends of ours recommended a place to live that were some older townhomes in the part of town we wanted to be in. They consisted of one little pseudo-cul-de-sac, so there were only a handful of them. At one end were one bedroom units, and at the other were two bedroom units. They were pretty popular, our friend told us, and we would be lucky if they had a two bedroom available. They had little yards and attached one car garages. We got lucky, I guess, because someone had just bought the three end units, all two bedrooms, done a basic rehab on them, and was looking for tenants. The price was right, and we loved the end unit, with its extra parking and larger yard. We had two dogs at the time, so a larger, fenced yard was something that not many apartments in area could offer. We had a few issues during the almost four years we lived there, not the smallest was being overrun with crickets a few times of the year. But we'd clear out with the dogs for a day and bug bomb, then spend the next few months disposing of cricket carcasses wherever we would find them.

We certainly never had problems with any actual vermin, like mice or rats or anything. We did discover that somehow, our little townhome "community" was in a pocket of ghetto, located in a rather nice, older neighborhood. We made some really great friends there that were neighbors, and we enjoyed many summers of end-of-block cookouts, parties, and just having friends nearby to chat with. We are still friends with those folks, even though most of us have moved away.

But we never had mice, or rats. We moved when we bought our house at the west end of Albuquerque, and had our fair share of fat, healthy spiders, wind spiders, and an occasional baby cricket, having had the house built. So we dutifully took the baby and the dogs, and got out, and bug bombed.

Imagine our surprise when Brian peaked out of our patio door last night and discovered, horror of horrors, baby MICE running around our patio! We are on the second floor! How do mice even get up here?! We figure the previous tenant here must have had something in their storage closet that had mice, and they took up residence in the hot water heater, located off of our deck. Can I get an "EW, gross" right about now? We figure they've been kept alive on a steady diet of birdseed and never seen any reason to attempt to jump ship. Or, you know, die. I had some serious creepy crawlies last night, let me tell you! I called our complex's emergency number, got a call back, and was informed that while they definitely want to handle our vermin issue, it does not constitute an emergency. Try falling asleep when you know that all that stands between you and violent, Hanta virus death is a sliding glass door and a wall. Not easy, my friends.

They're coming out this morning to address the issue by pulling everything out of our storage closet and killing the mice. I don't want to be around for that, so Chevy, Gage, and I will spend the morhing at my parent's house. 

Then I will go home, and never trust that anything coming out of our storage isn't mice and/or Hanta virus (hantavirus?) infected. I just got a call from maintenance informing me that (surprise) they didn't find any mice. Uh... yeah. Mice are nocturnal and they hide when there's commotion. So you wouldn't see them, genius. He said they pulled all of our stuff out, cleaned behind everything, and didn't find any bite marks. He suggested that they would leave everything out so "my husband" could look in all the boxes and make sure no mice had gotten in. Lucky for Brian, he really wanted some Hanta virus today. He also informed me that pest control comes Thursdays, so that's when they'll be here. I told him that isn't acceptable and he basically told me take it up with the office if I don't like it. UGH!!! Really feeling disappointed with the apartment. We thought we picked really well. Starting to wonder if we foster unrealistic expectations for our living environments. You know, like they be built well or have toilets that flush or showers that don't scald, then freeze, then scald you. Or, you know, a home free of disease ridden, destructive vermin. Perhaps it is all just too much to ask.

My dad recommended that we get some of those sticky paper traps to put down all along where they were running, and see how that goes. I can tell you who'll be clearing the mice off the papers when we catch 'em... and it won't be Brian or me. Gross. My dad thought he had some, but he doesn't so I guess I'll be making a trip to the hardware store. I hear they're cheap. I'm just irritated and grossed out, and a little sad.

And so appreciative of the mouse, er, bird food falling from the balcony above us.

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