Saturday, August 04, 2007

Do as I say, not as I do

Our opossum is gone. A neighbor caught him in a trap while trying to catch the feral cats in the area. She said he was huge. I kinda miss him. So does the dog.

Anyway, since the "basement" tenant was gone, I thought this would be a good time to evict the noisy squatters in the attic. We read somewhere that mothballs would rid an area of squirrels and keep them out of the house.

Yeah, squirrels and any other living, breathing thing within several hundred feet.


I threw, by the handfuls, a large box of mothballs all around the attic crawlspaces.

The box said to use 16 ounces in a small closet. I figured the attic was larger than a small closet so the whole 24 ounce box should do the job.

Uh-huh. Yeah.

Within minutes, the smell of mothballs permeated the entire house. And it won't go away.

EVERY THING now smells like a maw-maw. WE SMELL LIKE MAW-MAWS. Which is ok for my mom, because, well, she is a "maw-maw." And speaking of my mom, she doesn't smell a thing. So therefore, there is no problem as far as she's concerned.

Then again, I keep reminding her that she insists the bathroom doesn't smell after she uses it when it really REEKS TO HIGH HEAVEN. She must truly be the one person on earth whose shit does not stink. So her opinion really doesn't count here.

Now I have to admit, that once you become accustomed to the odor, you no longer smell it. It hits you when you walk in the door but within minutes, the stench is seemingly gone. However when you leave the house, it's a different matter. My friends immediately sniff the air and grimace when I arrive and I say "Yes, it's my new cologne, eau du mothballs."

It's funny, my doctor noticed the mothball smell too. I told him the story and he said, "Yeah, it was strong at first but now I hardly notice it. I like the smell. Reminds me of my grandmother."

Gee. Thanks. I think.

To make matters worse, I had even sprayed on my usual perfume as I normally do when I dressed that morning. What a waste.

Since that fateful day, I've tried to find some advice on the internet to help clear this up quickly. Since ~K~ and I have attic bedrooms, I've found that my eyes and nose are burning when I awake. It can't be healthy to breathe in that much vapor.

Many suggestions were for spraying odor removing stuff which in reality is only temporary. Like 5 minutes temporary. The odors continue to return as long as the mothballs are here.

Since squeezing into the attic crawlspace to remove them, and perhaps coming face-to-face with a creepy-crawley of some sort and panicking and thereby falling through the ceiling and breaking my legs if not my neck, is completely out of the question, I've had to resort to some other remedies.

So far, I've purchased several containers of activated charcoal and sprinkled some into small shallow dishes and placed at least one in every room. I also used knee high stockings to make some charcoal sachets and hung them around each room as well. And for good measure, I bought several large activated charcoal containers specifically made for use in closets and other closed-in spaces and placed them near the crawlspace door.

For the upstairs bathroom, which I had forgotten has an open vent to the attic area and now wreaks of Naphthalene, I temporarily sealed the vent and purchased an "odor remover" type of deodorizer. And in every other room I plugged in heavy duty air fresheners.

If the mothball smell doesn't kill us, these spring fresh fragrances will. I don't bother with my perfume any more, I've accepted the fact that I smell like mothballs found in freshly rained on fields of spring linen. So attractive, huh?

I do plan on renting a shop vac and sticking the hose through the crawlspace door as far as I can reach. I know it will not remove too many of the mothballs as I really pitched them across the attic, but it will be that many less trying to poison us.

I've since read that squirrels hate men's aftershave lotion. I certainly wish I had had that information before I bought the mothballs. It's much preferable going around smelling like some man's been rubbing all over me than smelling like I've been sleeping with maw-maw.

Live and Learn. Live and Learn.

P.S. The squirrels are gone.

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  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Last Minute Lyn said…

    I read once if you lay shallow bowls of ammonia around it soaks up the odors.
    I tried it once for about 3 pet rabbit tried to drink it and had to be nursed back to health and we never did that again.
    We tried the moth ball thing in the crawl space under the trailer once. The smell went away after a few days tho.


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