Archive for de-skunking your dog

This is getting ridiculous…

Posted in Adventures and Interludes, Animal Stuff, Pest Control, The meaning of life, Therapy, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by Admin

This blog is turning into a pest control rant. First mice, and then skunkings outside my window and now.. Brown Recluse spiders. I am turning into a spa of sorts for various pests of escalating danger. DANGER, I tell you.

BTW, I am trying peppermint spray for the mice. I brewed peppermint tea and added drops of peppermint oil and I obsessively-compulsively spray every few minutes around my whole space. It smells, and this is shocking, like peppermint. A lot. Chokingly. Knocking on wood… no mice. No mice in the luxury mice hotel traps I set with huge chunks of Gouda.

The spider in my tub this morning; asshole spider from hell.

The spider in my tub this morning; asshole poisonous killer malicious dangerous hunting spider from hell.

Anyway, this morning I killed a Brown Recluse. It wasn’t easy. it was a battle. I found him (surely it was a him, his name tag said “Mr. Spider”) in my tub. The fruit flies like to go into my tub every day and die.  I have fruit fly hotels scattered everywhere and they are full of dozens of dead fruit flies. Fruit fly hotels are merely recycled plastic hummus containers with vinegar in them and a few tiny holes in the lid. They climb in and can’t get out and die of obesity and entrapment.Brown Recluse spiders are not web spinners; they are hunters and they are lazy. They hunt insects and such and are happiest when they find dead ones, like prepared foodstuffs.

So, I sprayed scalding water and Mr. Brown Recluse Spider dropped and rolled. He kept springing back to life. I had to try to crush him with the soap dish. Even down to one last leg he still ran, dropped and rolled. I recognized his kind; I was bitten by one back in a day – somewhere about 1992. It was after my broken leg and before my snapped neck episode. I measure time in calamities. I was often called Calamity Jane as a child.

So back in that day I woke up to find a bite. I scratched it, as I am wont to do, and it got bigger. And bigger. Soon it was a mass, about which I will spare you the details. Finally I went to the ER at Beth Israel Hospital. They said it looked like a Brown Recluse bite. I had seen him then – monochromatic brown, violin shaped, markings on the back, 8 legs, smirky face of evil intent. I forget what they gave me. Antivenom perhaps. And valium. They cleaned up the nasty mess on my ankle and bandaged it and informed me that I’d have to have my apartment exterminated specifically for the Brown Recluse. I’d also have to sleep somewhere else till it was fully and professionally exterminated.

So I called Mrs. Brown, my landlord. Mrs. Brown always wore a navy blue suit. It looked like the same suit but surely it could not be. Mrs. Brown owned 12 apartment buildings in Boston. Mrs. Brown laughed – she had a jolly laugh – when I explained my situation and need of utmost urgence for brave people in tyvek suits with poison to make a house call. But she called, and the exterminator came, and I lived. I had to wear a suit to work back in that day and slacks were frowned upon for the women in this office (men could wear slacks) so I skipped off to work each day with a little suit and a big bandage around my ankle. I still remember picking shoes to match my bandage and then choosing an outfit to go with the shoes. Fortunately it was summer, for how ridiculous would it look to have stockings on over a bulky bandage?

My internet research about getting rid of this particular spider does not turn up peppermint oil variety remedies. It seems I’ll have to either call an exterminator, leave, spread powdered poison, or set glue traps. “Be careful when removing the traps for the spider may still be alive, wear gloves” they warn. Sigh. “Many times during those months the brown recluse will go without any food or water. It is nearly impossible to fully get rid of brown recluse spiders once they have become established in these areas of the home. The brown recluse does not spin a web either to catch their food; instead they hunt their prey which usually consists of insects, either dead or alive.”

Super Sigh.

Years later and after many moves I called up Mrs. Brown to see if she had any apartments available and when I said my name she laughed jollily and said, “Oh! The Brown Recluse lady!”

Mice and Skunks and wreckages and solutions

Posted in Animal Stuff, Pest Control with tags , , , on August 28, 2008 by Admin

Lately I have been hosting mice. I don’t much want to host mice. Once mice get the notion that a place is lovely to live in, they are reticent to move. And by reticent I mean tenacious. So I have been cleaning with bleach more often than I’d like, and trying to drive them out. There is no food here, hardly, and what little I have is kept in those super thick plastic bins with locking tops. No matter. They have chewed through the cardboard backing of the motor on the back of my fridge and moved in to keep warm. Seeing mouse droppings makes me want to sob, and sob some more. It seems futile.

So because of the bleach and all that I left a window open last night. But the skunks in the garden evidently got in a tizzy and sprayed. This morning my place REEKS of skunk. Reeks so bad it gives me a headache and makes my sinuses feel afire, and has me running for the can of febreze, something I’d not choose to use but which the mice seem to find a deterrent. But my burning sinuses gave me an idea: bonfire! So at 4:30 this morning I built a bonfire in the garden outside. And opened the 2 windows that actually open (my windows were installed improperly and most don’t open). Now, at 7:30 am the bonfire has been going for hours and my studio smells like a bonfire. I like it. Comparatively.

But what to do about mice? I have done some research. The main thing is to get mice out rather than kill them. At least that’s my objective. They seem to hate febreze (and so do I, so I can see why) so I sprayed it everywhere. No new droppings. Then I read that they hate mint. So I am going to get some peppermint oil and make peppermint tea and put it all in a spray bottle and spray everywhere. For now the bleach seems to have driven them out and I think the peppermint will keep them out. Till it gets even colder…

When I had a dog he would often get sprayed. And I found the perfect solution in the New York Times. That tomato juice thing is not the shit, this is. So here ya go – what to do if your dog gets sprayed; the miracle cure: do not wet the dog. it gets the scent deeper into their glands and will stay there for a long time. Mix some baking soda with dish detergent. Mix a lot. In a very large bowl. This is no time to get all frugal. The exact amounts don’t much matter. You are in a hurry. You need to get this mixture onto your dog ASAP. So make a nice big bowl of the dish detergent and baking soda so it’s all soupy. Now pour in vinegar. The vinegar will make it foam like a fun science experiment. Balsamic will make it smell even better but any vinegar will do. Take handfuls of the foam and put them all over the dog. Let it sit for a few minutes, as long as you can. Then wash it off. Voila! Nice clean smellable, hugable dog!

If skunks move into your yard here’s how to get rid of them: take a radio and put it in a waterproof bag and place it near their home. Turn the volume up halfway. Not so loud that the neighbors will hear it but loud enough so the skunks will. They don’t like the constant noise and after a few days they will move away. This also works for other rodents. I think i’ll try it for the mice. I’ll let you know how it works out.

%d bloggers like this: