A couple of months ago, we had a mouse problem. It turned into a saga of epic proportions (or, at least, Snoopy-vs-The-Red-Baron proportions). Before it was all over, there were numerous (unsuccessful) traps, over-turned furniture, a heart-rending speech about animal cruelty from the six-year-old neighbor girl, and a few late nights in which I nearly fell asleep sitting next to the fridge, broom in hand.
The drama was heightened by the realization that we had not a mouse, but a family of mice.
Well, of course.
All across this country, the family unit is imploding upon itself in a vast case of moral decay, but WE get mice with a stubborn devotion to family values.
The whole thing ended (I thought) just before Christmas. The last mouse met his fate in a trap next to my fridge, while I, a previously humane soul, danced around my kitchen with glee. Our rodent friends seem to have left me with a touch of crazy.
It turns out that's not the only thing they left.
When I started noticing a strange, midlew-ish smell in my laundry room, I began looking around for the culprit. I couldn't find a thing, but the smell got worse. And then worse. Finally, a friend with experience in these matters (bless her heart) stopped by yesterday, took one whiff, and said, "I hate to tell you this, but you have a dead mouse."
We sniffed and searched and found that the smell is strongest just on either side of the wall that connects my kitchen to my laundry room. We looked and looked for a logical entrance to the wall, but we couldn't find one, leading us to assume that (Yum! Enjoy your breakfast!) the mouse must have died actually IN the wall. My friend told me that an open can of coffee grounds will help absorb the bad smell, but guess what one of my least favorite smells is? Yep. Coffee. And now that I've smelled it mingled with dead mouse (Yum! Enjoy your breakfast!), I may never be able to step foot in a coffee shop again.
It is an occupational hazard of motherhood that you leave behind the diaper days with a wickedly strong sensitivity to smell. As a result, I'm going a little crazy, resisting the urge to completely torch my laundry room (which I may yet do, considering I'm burning so many candles in there it looks like a Tibetan monastery).
This is where I'm hoping the vast, random wealth of information on the Internet will come in handy. I've done some Googling on the subject, and I'm hearing a wide range of suggestions and warnings. Some people say the smell sticks around for months; others say it's gone in a few days. If you have any knowledge or experience on the subject, I would be forever indebted to you for your best advice. (And if you want to remain anonymous as you admit your experience in dealing with rotting animal flesh–Yum! Enjoy your breakfast!–I completely understand.)