Death of a Bathtub
Our home in our new retirement community came with a whirlpool tub. We never would have bought such a thing, and in fact had intended to order a home with only a shower, but someone had specced this out for their ideal home, their mortgage fell through, the location was perfect, so we bought it.
The tub became a place for a wet towel rack. I’d clean it once in a while, but we never used it. I wished that the would be owner had ordered a larger garage instead of a useless tub, but we made do.
Twelve years later, the mice arrived.
I’d dealt with mice in our former home and in our vacation trailer. We are a few yards away from conservation land, so I knew we’d have curious critters. I also knew from bitter experience that plumbers and electricians make large holes for their pipes and wires, but seldom bother to consider that they are providing easy access for rodents.
So I searched out the holes, inside and out, filling them with steel wool and expanding foam. We had no mice for many years. I’d check every year and spruce up any decaying foam; I thought I had beaten the mice for once.
The Mouse Tub Hotel
There was an odor in the bathroom. We knew what it was: once you have experienced a dead mouse, you recognize it immediately. But where was it?
We soon realized it was coming from the tub, so I opened the tub access panels and there was the rotting carcass. There were also mouse droppings everywhere, so obviously this mouse hadn’t been the only visitor. I scraped the remains off the floor, vacuumed up what droppings I could reach, and closed it all up again.
We called an exterminator. In hindsight, that was a bad idea. They came and put bait traps outside our house and inside the tub. That only accelerated the problem: we had dead mice in the tub every few months.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t always possible to extract them. The access panels are for plumbers and electricians; they don’t give access to the full underside of the…