Mouse Mite Hell!
This is my candidate for the Worst Bug Stories page.
Last winter I went through Mouse Mite Hell. Picture a rural street with a few landed houses on one side and nothing but wild land, covered with blackberry bushes, on the other. I lived in a 150 yr-old farmhouse, the pride of my life.
In late summer and early autumn a developer started clearing the property across our small, rural street. Bushes were cut and land bulldozed flat, preparatory to building “upscale” housing.
The local field mice, having no where else to go, decided to become house mice and my 3 neighbors and I were overrun. My house, being old, had numerous “settling” places large enough for a mouse to enter and they overran everything! They even scratched and chewed the headboard of my waterbed, eating the books and chewing the wood. They destroyed my piano. My life became a nightmare of mouse hunting and hole-stopping, day and night. I spent tons of money on steel wool and wood putty and paint to cover it all up. One day my electronic trap killed 6 while my cat did away with 7. In one day!
The result of all of this mouse genocide was that the mites they carried turned to my dogs, my cat and myself for their daily bread. The bites tormented me day and night, first with a fiery burning sensation, immediately followed by intense itching. They woke me up all night long. My pets would jump and cry out and scratch themselves to death.
Despite my dislike of chemicals, I gave in and bombed…nothing changed. A day or two of rest and the mites were back in force. Then, I read on the Net that a strong bleach-and-water solution (1 cup bleach to a gallon of water) would kill the mites. IT WORKED! I’d put the pets out, open the windows and bleach the heck out of every surface that wouldn’t be damaged. I sprayed the cloth furniture with bug spray. Every day. Even dry, the bleach seemed to kill or deter the mites. Even before I plugged the last hole and killed the last mouse, the biting stopped.
I never want to go through anything like that again and I always make sure I have a gallon of bleach in the house…just in case.
I love this site and have recommended it to a lot of people. The work you do is superior and I agree with your liking for insects (except Mouse Mites). Please keep up the good work. (And thank you for the Net’s only intelligent CAPTCHA.)
We arent’ sure what a CAPTCHA is, but we thank you for the compliment. We will be posting your letter and tagging it with the Worst Bug Stories Ever.