Talk Back: pest control

There is a terrorist in my home. Well, not technically in my home, but in my garage. But, it is still very much a part of my home. We have a small house, and that space is precious space for us. It is my kids' play room, and it is obviously where we store all the stuff that doesn't need to be inside the house.

About 2 weeks ago we were about to go for a family hike. I went into the garage to grab a few granola bars as the rest of the fam was loading up in the car. As I reached into the box of granola bars (the big, giant green box from Costco that I could not fit in my cupboards if my life depended on it), a grey mouse went running down my arm and disappeared into the storage shelves.

Let me just pause while I scream and shimmy across the room all over again.

Seriously, if I could have pealed my skin off, I probably would have. A mouse ran down my arm. I felt its scratchy nails cruise all the way down my flesh. I went screaming out of the garage and down our walkway to my driveway where my husband was standing very peacefully staring at me, probably expecting blood based on the sound track action. Picture me jumping up and down and screaming for about 30 seconds in front of my hubby and 2 kids while they just stare at me. Then, picture me trying to talk but I cannot quite get the words out fluidly while I am doing this weird, uncontrollable shivering-chicken-dance-walk. And, then shivering residually for a few minutes after.

He went into the garage and in a very manly way hit some boxes with a broom. Nothing happened. So, he put the broom down and walked out.

He can live a normal life with the mouse there.

I, however, cannot.

I am tormented everytime I walk in the garage. And, I am finding mouse droppings everywhere. I went through the shelves and removed any food items that he could get into. He had eaten his way through graham crackers (our beach campfire s'mores stash), an entire costco box of granola bars, pirates booty, and some other cardboard boxes that did not have food in them at all. It was so disturbing to see poop from a creature in odd places, where there is no trace of food at all.

"Oh, here kids, here are the sand toys." Throw the box of sand toys across the room because there are a few mouse droppings on the top of the box.

"Hmmm... I knew there was another box of tissues here somewhere." Scream and throw the tissues into the trash because there are mouse droppings on top of the box. And possibly a little nibble of the box for good measure.

We recently went camping and when we returned home I packed all our extra supplies away. I had a large bag of paper plates that I twisted the plastic around very tightly and placed on my clean, poop free shelf. I went out there tonight to grab some plates to use for a craft, and the plastic bag was eaten through and there was poop INSIDE the bag on the top of the plates.

I have named the mouse. We call him "Ralph". I am hoping that if I talk to him while I sort laundry, or speak to him in a calm manner as I approach the shelves that he will not jump on me or maybe even take pity and leave. But, I think he is messing with me. I can just see him pooping with a big smile on his face and then hiding out in a safe spot and waiting to see me walk out, notice the poop, get my shivers and start to twitch. He probably heads back to the local hang spot with his buddies and tells them about the weird lady he's messing with. Yesterday, I went to grab a package of napkins off the shelf and he darted over them, ran the long way around the shelving unit, to the space behind the water heater. Believe me, I approached the shelves slowly. I scanned the area thoroughly looking for Ralph. He was nowhere to be found. But, then he appeared and nearly ran over my hand, once again.

Ralph needs to leave. What do I do? I just cannot bring myself to put poison in my garage where my kids hang out. I need some help, ladies.

How do you handle pests like mice in your home/garage? And, while we are on the subject of "pests", what are your tips to handle pests in the garden without using pesticides and nasty chemicals?

This just might be me soon ...

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