I knew from the very beginning that when you live in the city, the rodent question is not “if” but “when.” We the number of dead and alive mice and rats I saw on the streets, I knew there would be no way to escape.
I used to hear mice invading the kitchen in my old house because my office space was very close to it. Here, my office is on the opposite end of the apartment from the kitchen, and I never noticed anything. I made this unpleasant discovery in mid-January when I decided to use some of the remaining sweet potatoes. I was staring at a couple of potatoes which I pulled from the bottom of the box, trying to figure out what happened to them, and then I finally realized that somebody was gnawing them! It felt disgusting! I looked inside the box, and so some droppings and some crums. It looked very much like mice, and I knew that mice are a building problem in the city-dwelling, not an individual apartment problem.
The building management told me that I needed to contact the same extermination company that services our building twice a year, but I would still have to pay my bill myself. You can imagine that while I was waiting for them, I was nervously listening to all the noises. I put both boxes with potatoes on the top above the fridge, where I do not want to have anything at all, but in this case, I needed to isolate the potential rodent point of interest 🙂
An exterminator examined all the walls and the kitchen floor and said that he did not see any holes for the mice to get in “unless they sneaked in from the balcony when the door was open.” He left two mechanical traps and a bait with poison, which made me even more nervous because I am afraid of mice, live or dead!
Meanwhile, a board member was questioning everybody from my tier, and a neighbor right under me told her that a couple of weeks prior, he spotted a mouse, killed it, and threw a corps away. Can you imagine that?! He didn’t tell anybody, didn’t call an exterminator – I guess he didn’t know what to do when you a facing mice invasion?!
What made me particularly resentful was that I saw earlier that he was keeping after-parties leftovers on the balcony. When I saw that for the first time, I thought that somebody was calling for trouble and then, the trouble came to me!
I was leaving for Helsinki two days after the exterminator visit, and I had fears that I would return to the battlefield of dead mice. I asked Igor to check on the situation during my absence, and he did and saw none. It looks like mice are gone, but recalling my previous rodent encounters, I am afraid it was just “part one.”