I scrubbed everything down with an ammonia solution in some places and a solution of oil of peppermint in others (per internet instructions). Then I went to the hardware store and bought some sort of pouch thingies that were supposed to repel and drive the little hummers away. I distributed them around in the place where I had seen the wee little gift it left on the kitchen counter and in several places downstairs in the finished basement. In so doing I discovered a long forgotten plastic bag of foil wrapped chocolates that I had used to decorate a Christmas cake two years ago. There had been maybe half a dozen pieces left in the package on the metal shelving unit. That had been shredded to nearly powder so I cleaned that up as well and made certain (I thought) that everything else was bagged, cannistered, and otherwise protected.
Off to New York went I.
Home again and all was well, mostly. No gifts on the kitchen counter and all else seemed normal. I have been in this house for four years and other than the cricket army that arrived two years ago (a new door fixed that), I have had no serious issues with any other critters. On with the the march toward Christmas! Did I imagine that noise in the attic?
After unpacking and taking the luggage to its place in a closet downstairs I happened to notice one of the packets designed to chase the meeces away had been nibbled. So much for repellant! Upon further investigation, there was a smattering of little gifts around the sink in the laundry room. I checked the shelving where I keep canned goods (and the previously mentioned but now gone chocolate) and nothing seemed amiss. ("SEEMED" - might that be a clue of continuing denial?)
OF COURSE the little creatures have been plotting in the attic! More gifts on the counter upstairs in the morning, more scrubbing and a call to the exterminator - which was actually me leaving a message for a return call. Christmas was approaching - family arriving at my sister's for the weekend before Christmas kept me running and busy for days ahead and during. It occurred to me on the Saturday before Christmas that I hadn't heard back from the vermin-ridder. But, no more counter gifts appeared after the again thorough cleaning and the faint creaking in the attic of course was just the wind. More busy-ness - films to see, dinners out to enjoy, the New Year was approaching.
On the 8th Day of Christmas the New Year brought to me, a new way of watching my tv! I had purchased several streaming devices and began to install them. The cost of cable service (mine is actually fiber optic) was growing in inverse proportion to my interest in and relevance of real time programming. With advice and demonstration from Favorite Oldest Son-in-Law in New York who has NO cable, only internet tv with an impressive but intimidating array of program options, I decided to follow suit - partially. It was also helpful of 8 year old granddaughter to explain and demonstrate how it all worked! I successfully installed said devices, though far from the breadth and depth of Favorite Oldest Daughter's house, and removed two of three cable boxes for return (and therefore reducing monthly costs). I am keeping one for those rare moments I want to watch broadcast tv. Except for completely cutting off all my internet service in the house for about two hours and scrambling to try different wire plug in configurations until I restored it, I managed to hook up all the devices with only a small cloud of #$%&@!!* for which, thankfully, no younger ears were available to experience. Ah, to settle in for a quiet evening of old UK tv episodes, a glass of wine, and the faintly discernible windy creaking in the attic which became significantly louder into the night. Hmmm, I think I have to now call it scurrying! THEN camest the morning...
LOTS of gifts in the kitchen and downstairs - oh, those two bags I meant to move off the shelving, one with adzuki beans and one with lentils - but then, they'd been there all this time and not bothered - it's quite fascinating to discover how far those beans can travel. OH NO - it appears that my little housemates were doing lines of coffee having discovered how to get at the coffee pods in the dispenser and nibble holes in the bottom. It is well past time to make another call! Found another company who answered the call quickly and
eviction proceedings commence early on the morrow. Color my housemates soon to be GONE. And by then, an Epiphany!