We keep our dogs’ food in the garage in a covered 5-gallon bucket. It is my son’s job to feed the dogs and he is not the neatest person. He usually leaves a trail of dog food from the bucket to the house. Sometimes he picks it up; sometimes not. My husband complains about it all the time, usually after he has stepped on it and smashed it into dust. He yells, to no one in particular, that we are going to get mice.

A month ago, I opened the door in my basement that leads to the crawlspace and storage area. Sure enough, there was a mouse running along the rafters. He was probably running to get away from the loud scream that came out of my mouth, followed by a slamming door. I ran up the stairs and told my husband we have a mouse. As you can imagine, he had a fine time saying “I told you so” to me, the kids and whoever else could hear him rant. I quickly called Orkin because I was afraid that my husband’s prediction was true and the mice came into the house via the trail of dog food. It was February and we had just had a large snow storm here. I’m sure the mouse and (God forbid) his family were coming in to keep warm.

Orkin came out within a few hours. In the meantime, everyone was on cleaning duty. No more food in any room except the kitchen. Clean up the dog food. Move all the food stored in the basement pantry. When Orkin got here, he listened to our story and searched the house inside and out. He asked us if we had had any doors opened for a long time. Why yes, we just had our kitchen remodeled and the doors were open for the contractors as they hauled cabinets in and out. The exterminator could not find any sign of the mouse – no droppings and no holes. He said that the mouse probably came in with the cabinets and worked his way down to the basement via the open heating vent in the kitchen. Wow! I saw the mouse almost exactly below that vent in the basement! We all looked at my husband with raised eyebrows.

Weeks have gone by and even after setting traps, we have never seen the mouse again. There are still no sign of droppings. The kids are still freaked out because we never caught him and won’t go into the basement pantry alone. I guess we are all a little curious as to where he went.

Yesterday, I was doing laundry. I piled up a bunch of cloth napkins, towels and tablecloths from the night before. The pile was getting high so I pushed them down into the basket on the dryer. All of a sudden, I heard a fluttering sound next to the dryer. Apparently, I still had this mouse on the brain. When I was a kid, a mouse got in via the dryer vent. So when the black oven mitt landed on floor and was sticking out a few inches past the dryer, I screamed as if it was another mouse. It took me a minute to calm my racing heart and laugh at myself. Thankfully, no one heard my scream so they didn’t come to rescue me from the oven mitt.