A significant part of my life is spent engaged in a constant war against nature. Over the past couple of years, our house has been infested with:
- more moths
- more mice
- more bloody moths
This week saw the opening sortie in the next round of hostilities – I spotted a moth on the wall of the upstairs landing. This enemy must be crushed, literally and metaphorically.
The little bastards have already made substantial inroads into eating the carpet in my bedroom (though I’m as surprised as anyone to find that the nasty carpet in my rented house is actually made of wool). And as a knitter, finding them in my yarn stash is my worst nightmare. I’ve suffered a couple of nasty moth attacks on precious knitted items, and a beautiful hand-knit fair-isle bag was sent to the Gulag (i.e. the freezer) for a long spell in solitary, plastic-wrapped confinement.
My repsonse has been swift, aggressive and brutal. Pesticide sprayed into the air and on the carpet, strips of paper impregnated with chemicals laid under chests and in drawers. And I have resumed my intense, beady-eyed inspection of the walls and carpet, to the point where Ricky slightly worries about my mental health.
The ants have also invaded this week, marshalling their icky little ranks under the kitchen bin. Again, chemical warfare is the only solution. I will not live as one with nature on my turf. At least the little buggers don’t fly, unlike the moths.
The slugs are a weird invader – an occasional nocturnal slithering invasion across the kitchen floor. More than once, we’ve been woken in the night by a horrific yelp as a bare-footed (and drunk) housemate steps on one. I’m a bit nicer to the slugs – if I spot one before it’s been squished by accident, I pick it up in kitchen paper and throw it out of the door.
No such mercy is shown to the mice. Squeamish readers may wish to look away now. Mice are incontinent, they spread disease and dirt, and they have been running rampant in our crockery cupboard. This will not do.
I’m sorry to say that I believe the only humane solution to mice is this:
Awesomely – and instantly – effective. I personally believe that the allegedly more humane ‘live’ traps cause a lot of distress to the animals, and the little buggers just come straight back in your house anyway. Poison is grusesome, and they just die under your floorboards somewhere and stink the place out. And please don’t ever talk to me about glue traps – an ex-housemate of mine used them once and I firmly think they should be illegal. Horrid.
Currently we have two traps in the kitchen, Doug and Dinsdale, following the retirement of stalwarts Ronnie and Reggie (whose springs eventually gave out). Between them, they’ve notched up a fair number of kills over the winter, laced with peanut butter and placed in strategic locations in the cupboards.
A surprising amount of my time, money and energy goes into this war on nature, being waged on multiple fronts. I’m all for the natural world in all its glory – just not in my house!
Are you happy to live as one with the natural world? Or is your house a pestilence-free zone – and how on earth do you keep it that way?