Saturday, October 3, 2009


Some of you may remember my post of 8/20/09 and the trauma I have felt over finding scorpions in my house. It has gotten better. Really it has. Richard, my pest control guy who I have on speed dial, has become my best friend (whether he wants to be or not). We chat all the time now. He comes by my house or calls quite regularly and I have not seen a scorpion in weeks. I have given Richard gifts of homemade strawberry freezer jam for his kind attention and he has been ever so gracious.

Living with our backyard next to a desert has had it's challenges. We have a pool and all the critters consider us their ideal water source.
Consequently, we have also had a mouse problem too. Richard put mouse traps all over the house, caught a few, and we thought everything was Okey-Dokey.

One of the reasons we have been mouse free is because Richard has placed Bait Stations all around the perimeter of our house. Yeah Bait Stations. You are my best friend too.
(*If you get queasy at the sight of rodents, you may want to click off right now.)
Today I was sitting at my sewing room and casually looked out the door to the courtyard by my front door.

Past me ran this BIG GUY with a section of one of our plants in his paw. He went into the flower bed and started gnawing away. This was not a little field mouse. In fact, I'm still not sure if he's a mouse or a rat. I don't EVEN CARE. He was big. Too big.
You know that Bait Station? He had his tail draped across it as he chewed away.
Fortunately Mr. Cactus was in his office and became my Knight In Shining Armor.

Mr. Cactus grabbed a cage he keeps in the garage and placed it by the front door with a few cashews inside.
I stayed behind the safety of closed glass door of my sewing room and took pictures.

Within minutes we had him.
I quickly picked up my phone, hit speed dial and called Richard.
I really don't mean to be high maintenance, but I was kind of hoping Richard would be the one to of the BIG GUY.
Richard answered the phone, and informed me he was in Salt Lake for the weekend. Oh no.
He loves his job and found our conversation exciting.
He asked me "Do you think it's a mouse or a rat?"
Me: "I have no idea."
Richard: "Go look at his feet. A rat has bigger feet than a mouse."
Me: "Uh, I'd rather not look at his feet, if that's OK with you."
I'm sure Richard was a little disappointed in not being able to solve the mystery, but he understood.
(I guess I could have grabbed my quilting ruler off the table and went out for a measure, but I'm not sure if the BIG GUY would be nice enough to hold still while I placed his paw on the yellow grid marks.)

In fact, the BIG GUY was rude enough to start pooping and peeing all over our courtyard.
Richard called one of his co-workers who came over immediately to help us out.
Meanwhile, I think I'd better get back in the kitchen and start making more jam. Do you think Richard and his crew would like raspberry or peach?


Jana said...

I'm thinking you may have to invest in an outdoors cat besides being best friends with the rodent guy.

I'm afraid I would be freaking out everyday wondering what the next creature would be that I was going to find around my home! I hated going outside in Texas because of the geckos on our house. What would I do if I had scorpions to contend with IN the house?!

You are a brave woman.

Lurline said...

Hey Nedra, Google's got the answer this popped up under your post '' can't believe what I am seeing - they must hear you talking!
Hugs - Lurline♥
PS - maybe the rat doesn't want to be exterminated, so has sent the message far, far, away!

Ruth B said...

Ya know, I have looked at pictures of your yard and envied your gorgeous home and pool. After reading this post, I am no longer jealous. You have my sympathy on the critter issue. The fact that you haven't moved out is a testament to your courage. You might want to start buying your pest guy some Christmas presents and encourage this best friend thing some more. You are very brave. I am not. I shouldn't have read the entire post and looked at all those pictures. Eeeeuuuuuu. I should have heeded your kind warning to avert my gaze. If the critters get any bigger, get a gun. I'll be sitting here with my feet up....just in case.

Carin said...

That is terrifying! That has to be some weird desert mouse or something, it has a rat tail but defiantly a mouse face. EWWWWW

I am so sorry!

Mel said...


Actually to me, ANYTHING is better than SNAKES!!!

Aubrey said...

Am I the only one who thinks he's kind of cute? He's like Ratatouille!

Latane Barton said...

Glad those critters are gone!! I can't think of anything I dread worst unless it is a snake.

Unknown said...

You certainly have a critter problem. Maybe the critters like your homemade preserves? I have the perfect solution... cats! Our cats are only indoor, but they are good mousers. In the winter mice tend to come indoors to keep warm, well not in our home. If they do make it in, they are quickly caught by our 3 cats. In all the 12 + years we have lived here we haven't had many mice at all. But they have caught them.

Carol said...

I'm thinking that you better keep a good supply of both kinds of jam for Richard and his crew. YIKES!

Lori Holt said...

WOW! Do you ever need a cat or maybe won't even need to make them jam...just grow some catnip as a special treat!

Live Well With Judi said...

Oh Nedra: That is sooo funny! I thought your 'big guy' was kind of cute, but I certainly wouldn't want him in the house. I like the idea of an outside cat. I actually have wondered why you don't have stray cats running around on the hills behind you as my field behind my house seems to attract lots of stray cats. Maybe it's the heat that keeps them off of yours. Right now I have a momma deer and her two babies (born very late in the season) playing on my hillside. They're cute but they eat the garden like CRAZY. That's what we get for living on their property I guess!!

Sharleen said...

Ummmm maybe a little of both kinds of jam for Richard and his crew. Hopefully you won't be seeing any more critters with the help of the exterminator!

Doreen K. said...

I think he is a kangaroo rat. My Mom used to have them when she lived in Saugus, CA. I think he's kinda cute. Much better than the scorpion.

Micki said...

I used to live in the desert of Arizona, so I do know what you are talking about. Oh God, i would have freaked if I saw that rat! You do live in a beautiful place, but bugs and rats, I could not take.

Cathy @ CabbageQuilts said...

Ooh raspberry jam sounds fabulous...but then, so does peach!! What pests you have in your backyard. I certainly don't envy you the scorpions. We get mice in the house every winter, what a pain! xo

Nanette Merrill said...

Ugh. Oh my gosh. That mouse is huge and I don't really think it is a rat. I hate to say this but Dave used to drown the ones we trapped like this. Sad, but he just submerged it in a hole where the ditch used to be in our back yard. We never had mice until a few years ago when the last lot in our culdesac was built. Then it was bad. Fortunately we were able to get to the end of it and plug all the holes. Now when I clean my house I'm so glad I don't find the most vile evidence of any intruders. that is the worst to me. The EVIDENCE! ick. We have cleaned our house from top to bottom for this wedding and I mean deep clean and I found zero mouse leavings. That was so nice. I wish you the same thing. I know that the barriers are the way to go. Incredible that they are invading you despite your efforts!

Purple Quilter Queen said...

I am in NO WAY a fan of any rodent, but he does look a little cute in that last picture standing on his hind legs holding onto the cage. Like a little prisoner in jail waiting for his one call. Glad you caught him though. Jenn

The Ashtons said...

That's a kangaroo rat. I know this from my Santa Clara/St. George days.

I'm glad you got it taken care of!