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Landry in West Linn (8.1.22) – MICE AND WILDLIFE – “Why Ghostbusters Was About Pest Control.”

by | Dec 8, 2021 | Season 2 | 0 comments



THE INTRODUCTION (10/15) – It wasn’t until the third service at Landry’s home that I realized that, maybe, mysterious happenings don’t only happen in the movies.

Day one, after a few moments of greeting, Landry gave me the backstory about her mouse infestation…

“We were away for a bit and came home to the field mice having taken over our home!” she wrote in a review sometime later. “They were everywhere. Nesting in our sheets, in the pantry, upstairs. They literally walked by us while we were in the house!”

Next I walked around the large home with her husband to try the keys for the door to one of the crawlspace doors. None of the keys worked, so we decided to walk around their home, chatting amiably, while inspecting for entry holes.

And sure enough, after almost completing a full lap around the house, I found a broken vent that led to the crawlspace.

“Game on,” I thought. “This should be straight forward.”

Then I spend the rest of the service talking about how novel it was that their crawlspace was all concrete, and how much I was looking forward to checking it out. To date, it’s still the only all concrete crawlspace I’ve been in.

CHAPTER ONE (10/23) – A week or so later, after the locksmith had done their work, I returned and set 30 plus traps in the crawlspace. I also tore out the broken vent screen and replaced it with a new expanded aluminum mesh screen.

CHAPTER TWO (10/5) – checked and cleared 6 mice from traps. There was no new activity reported in home, so I optimistically offered to make it my last service, put a few monitors in crawlspace, and then continue on a “as needed” basis. I presented the choose-your-own adventure options to Landry’s husband, and he decided to play it safe and see if there were more mice in the crawlspace. So I agreed to return after my adventure to Death Valley with Beautiful Farmer Emily.

As it turned out, as the old knight said in Indiana Jones, “You have chosen…wisely.”

CHAPTER THREE (12/7) – Landry left their home. We left our home. When we returned from Death Valley we were at least three pounds lighter from all our adventuring around The Wilderness. Unfortunately, when Landry return she found:

“There was a large dead chipmunk in the livingroom that got caught in a mouse trap. Also some creature pulled down all the toilet paper in the great room bathroom again. Still hearing something skittering in the livingroom walls! But, No mouse pee or poop in our beds or in the pantry so we are getting there!!”

When I returned to service, I listened to Landry’s story again…doing by best to account for the new information. She explained that their home has a number of unexplained anomalies. The idea that mice, or chipmunks, were going to make that list on a permanent basis made my blood boil. What the F was a chipmunk doing in the house? And what elusive creature had the discipline to wait not once, but twice, for Landry to leave the home before it unravelled their toilet paper?

My first guess, as always, is ghosts. But that answer never lasts long. The next thought after “It’s ghosts!” is always, “Nope, it’s just another day of pest control. And you’re the guy they hired to regain control of their Homefront!”


And then (after inspecting the exterior again and the attic space) I got my first real clue:

If you look closely at the black metal box on the right, you’ll see mouse tracks. There are also candy wrappers under the fire logs. I also found mouse droppings on the mantel of one of the other many chimneys in the home. That other one (which is nearest to the bathroom with the psychokinetic-toilet-paper-unrolling activity) is still a wonder…because the mantel is pretty high and I have no idea why mice would want to spend enough time to shit there.

What I didn’t see in the attic spaces was an chipmunk, rat, or squirrel droppings…only mice.

That information, taken together with other information, led me to the following working storylines:

A) Landry’s home has had a large house mouse infestation caused by the now fixed broken vent, and the 3 very dead dried out mice I cleared from the traps in the crawlspace today were the last “bandits in the forest.” And the dead chipmunk can be explained by the fact that there’s a very good chance that the home’s chimney’s are all open and uncapped. In this reality, the chipmunk simply feel through an easily accessible chimney and died trying not to starve by accessing the attractant I put in the mouse traps. I set traps in attic and reset traps in crawlspace to test if that storyline was true.

B) All of the mouse/wildlife activity can be explained by an entry hole I haven’t found yet.

CHAPTER FOUR (2/14) – Earlier that week I’d texted Landry the following message…



Hi Landry,

It’s been a month and we have some good roof exploring weather. Are you interested in continuing the hunt for entry holes? Or checking the many traps I set in the attic? I haven’t checked those yet. Or if you think we’re at an end I can collect my equipment free of charge.

LANDRY: Hey! Why don’t you check the attic traps and if we are good no need to do the roof. We are happy to pay you. We were away for a month and didn’t see any signs when we got back!

On the day of my trap checking scene, I discovered 2 fresh catches in the attic and 6 older catches in the crawl space. This was the diagnosis I reported to Landry…

STORYSOLD: My traps say that there’s definitely at least one undiscovered entry hole. Based on the freshness of my catches, I believe they’re moving top down, likely through the many chimney voids. My guess is that the entry holes are in the eves, or chimneys.

LANDRY: Ok let’s continue the search for entry holes next time.

STORYSOLD: Sounds good. I cleared all the old traps and I’m going to set fresh ones.

As I concluded my production of Landry’s chapter of pest control, I eyed the roof. Where was The Action coming from? I didn’t know, and the not knowing filled me with a feeling of mystery. The wilderness was haunting Landry’s small castle in the woods and I, errant knight of The Order of Pest Control, was powerless to stop the mice and critters from popping into Landry’s story uninvited and sudden as The Undead.

I mean, really, isn’t that why we’re afraid of ghosts? Like mice, they represent forces of nature beyond our control.

And apparently, Landry’s love toilet paper.

HOW IT ENDS? (8/1) – Next service, the ghostbustering continued. When I was done with my “deep dive” hunt for entry holes, I wrote Landry the following message: 

Successful hunt today for sure! If I were Dr. Holmes I would say, “The game is afoot!” And if I was Egon I’d probably use some kind of metaphoric prop to explain my theory. In any case, I was right. There is a mouse sized entry hole that leads from that side building to your crawlspace. Installing a door sweep will solve that one. I also found 3 entry holes under eves, which would explain the activity in attic. I’m feeling confident that your mystery chipmunk fell down one of the chimneys. All 6 of them are open, and the roof is super accessible. If fact, I watched a chipmunk scurrying around up there today. Aside from the inspection today, I marked all the entry holes (except the chimneys) with plastic bags, and cleared 4 mice from traps (2 in attic, 2 in crawl) and reset them. I suggest returning again in a month or so (on a nice day) to do the exclusion work and check traps. I won’t charge to check traps if I’m there to do the exclusion work.

And then I waited for a confirmation to go ahead with my exclusion plan. 

Instead I was asked to return to check the traps. After I reported only 2 mice caught since the service where I plugged the entry holes with plastic bags, I asked Landry if she wanted to go ahead with the exclusion. Her reply was, “No I think we’re good. The trapping service is working.” 

I can count on one hand the number of customers, rich and poor, who’ve decided to leave their entry holes open after I found them. Most people realize it’s an essential part of good rodent control, especially in a location that’s closer to the wilderness than the urban wilderness. 

Oh well. Who am I to judge? It’s not my story. 

Some people love their mysteries. 




The Dialogue


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