Monday, February 18, 2008

The perils of living in the country

I have bugs on my floor.  Sounds creepy, doesn't it?  And it is!  Oh, I vaccum almost daily to get rid of them, but next day there are always more.  It's those pesky Asian lady beetles.  Our government imported them to help control some sort of aphids on soybean crops.  As long as there are soybean plants around, we don't see many of the beetles.

I realize this little guy bears a strong resemblance to the gentle ladybugs we all know and love (ladybug, ladybug, fly away home), but this is a different creature.  This one can bite.  And if you squash him, he stinks.

Because we have an old house, there are lots of cracks and crevices where these little pests can hide for the winter after the soybean crops have been harvested.  When they feel the warmth of our propane heat, they come out of hiding, fly around awhile, and fall to the floor.  Or into my bowl of cereal.  Whatever. 

Trouble is, there's no way to get rid of them.  If you live in farm country, and especially if you have an old house, your stuck with them.

Now to my other country problem:  mice.

Yesterday morning bright and early I went into the bathroom to get one of my crockpots.  Yes, I keep a crockpot in the bathroom.  I had some unused space there, and not enough space in my kitchen.

When I opened the door to get the crockpot, there were chunks of Sadie's dog food scattered around the thing.  My first thought was "mice", since I've seen them hide dog food before, back in my cabin.  Funny thing is, though, there wasn't any mouse doo-doo around, and they always leave that in abundance. 

OK, so I removed the crockpot and saw more chunks of Science Diet behind it.  Still no mouse-poop in sight, so I felt pretty secure in reaching back to get the dog food out of there. 


Because when I stretched back into the far recesses of that cabinet, I scared up the mouse, and he came straight at me, making his escape.  I'm not sure who was more scared, Mousey or me.

He ran toward the kitchen, and who knows where he ended up.

I put a little tub of mouse poison in that cabinet and left the door ajar a bit, hoping the wandering mouse might find his way back. 

This morning I heard little tell-tale noises coming from that bathroom cabinet, so I know for sure that either Mousy found his way back, or his family has joined him.  I decided to add a mousetrap to the arsenal, since poison works rather slowly.  I baited it up with peanut butter (mice like PB much better than cheese) and put it inside with the poison.

So far, I haven't heard that satisfying "snap" that would mean a dead mouse.  But this is war, and I intend to win.  I may not be able to get rid of the Asian lady beetles, but I do know how to rid the house of mice.

It's a battle I've won before.


mutualaide said...

Oh Donna, I'm sitting here having a chuckle about your mousey friend(s).  I can just see the startled jump ... and then the resolve on your face when you made up your mind to 'get him'!

The beetles are a real nuisance, but I've no doubt that when you wage war you win your battles one by one.

suzypwr said...

I hate those beetles too!


breakaway1968 said...

OH YES I have those annoying beetles too being out in the country although I had them in the city too...just not THIS bad!  I HATE them with a passion!  They DO stink so badly if you even vacuum them up so I vacuum them and and then empty my bag and throw it out.  
I don't have mice in here YET! *looking for wood*  I would just die!  I am so afraid of mice. I got tremendous shivers reading your story here! lol  OH MAN, I would have hit the road!!! lol    I'm hoping my animals will keep them out of here.  We have never had mice yet in any house we ever lived in.  My MIL has mice in her brand new house across the field but I think it's only because her cat drags them in through their cat door. lol  

madcobug said...

Ladybugs were brought here in the south to control the aphids on pecan trees. In some places they have become a nuisance. Those stink also. Could be the same bug you are talking about and people just call them ladybugs. I hate mice also. Helen

rollinghillsides said...

We've never had mice in the house but probably because we've never been without a live-in cat or two or three .. right now two.  Last year we had a little 'flea' problem though, and the vet suggested putting a few small pieces of a flea collar into our vacuum bag .. kills the fleas as you vacuum them up.   Just wondering if this may also work for those of you vacuuming up the beetles?  I bought the largest dog flea collar available .. and just put 3 or 4 inch-long pcs in each vac, the rest went into a ziplock baggy for future bags.

gen0507 said...

Isn't country livin' WONDERFUL!!!!  I wouldn't have it any other way!!!!  Good luck waging your war!!


ickivic said...

Can you bring the barn cat in to help you?  Bring Rachaels cats over for a sleepover?  Good luck, I"ve had a few mice, where there's one, ther's more.  Let us know how you make out.   Vicki

magran42 said...

Oh man, have I been in that WAR lately.  The mice (and I do mean plural) became so sophisticated that they could lick the PB off the trap and not trip it.  I tried every trap on the market but didn't resort to poison (didn't want little dead mice decaying in places I could'nt find them).  I finally left chunks of cookie on the floor several nights in a row and then SURPRISE the cookie was in a trap.  This actually worked.  I searched everywhere for the rubber boots for my kitchen chairs and when I found them....threw away the rug under the table since it was a great hiding place for crumbs.  There is so much to this story...I think I'll journal about it.  

fowfies said...

When Ians Aunt Linda lived in Chatsworth Ga she had them. They came in through the ceiling around the light fixtures and everywhere! Once when we looked at a house near here when we were looking to buy and move, there was a million dead lady bugs in that bathroom! So I understand your aggravation.

anjelblaze said...

mo, go to your local Lowes, Home Depot, or Wal Mart and get some stuff called Home Defense, works real well. We have sugar ants and earwigs, keeps them at bay!!

helmswondermom said...

We get those beetles from time to time, and I have been bitten by them.  We get mice about every three years.  Then we get rid of them and they stay away for a while.

robinngabster said...

I've heard if you get a bucket and put some food in it they will get to it and can't get out.  Now I'm not sure if you did that yet but it would be interesting to see pics of the CAUGHT vermin.  Take pics for us!

I hate mice and you may recall we had them when we lived in CA.  We were totally in the country there...when we finally moved and I saw all the dead ones behind stuff in the garage I almost they sure did.  But it was gross.

robinngabster said...

p.s.  I was always told it was good luck to find a lady bug in your house...not sure about the Asian beetle.

jctopaz55 said...

Mosie ... I guess we all have a mouse story to Every time one finds its way in my house  I nearly bout panic... we usually always catch it the first night with a little chocolate candy on a trap when ever that happens .. and of course I will not touch it ... my hubby has to take it away. I am so afraid of them . I have three outside kittys , but they are not house cats . I have two chihuahuas in the house though and a parakeet. I also have times in the year when the ladybug things get in the house too. They like to gather up in the light fixtures for one place,  or I just see them around the house for awhile then they are gone ...but always come back every year . Strange isnt it.


tendernoggle said...

Okay.where are the cats???
love ya,

ryanagi said...

Heh. Ah the memories...we once lived in a cottage that was built around the turn of the century on a foundation of river rocks and mortar. Pretty...but with loads of cracks. And where you have foundation cracks, you have critters.

loisontheweb said...

  ASIAN BEETLES: I have shovels-ful of them ... but, not in the summer when "they are munching on bad bugs".  I have hundreds of ancient apple trees & no apple bugs; I tell myself it's because of the beetles. They are in the light fixtures, window sills, coffee cups, etc.
   MICE: You think you have problems!  I have some tiny, absolutely adorable red squirrels.  I can be in the next room, & come back & have to vacuum off the cupboards & bleach everything AGAIN!  If I forget to shut the microwave, I have toasted turds.  THEY WILL NOT EAT THEIR EXPENSIVE POISON BAIT, EVEN WITH P. BUTTER OR APPLESAUCE!

csandhollow said...

My mama had those bugs too. No mice here. They are scared to death to come near my house! LOL

lanurseprn said...

I hope you catch the mice! Keep us updated.