Monday, October 6, 2014

THE EPIC BATHROOM BATTLE OF 2014

OK...fair warning, long post and graphic content.  If you are weirded/grossed out by snakes and mice and scat and other creepy things, CLICK HERE for something warm and fuzzy.  Otherwise continue on...

So I get to the farm early Saturday morning.  The weather was stunning...our first true Fall weather day.  Visions of garden cleaning, a nap, planting trees and bushes, a glass of tea on the porch, windows opened to cool air, were all dancing around in my head...well that was all shot to Hell when I opened the door and walked into this:


By way of location explanation...the only bathroom that the house has is what they call a "Jack and Jill" bath (Jack and Jack in our case, LOL)...it connects the guest room with the master bedroom.  Since we've figured that our mouse problem could be from the space behind the sink in the bathroom, we keep the doors shut when we aren't there.  We also came up the idea to get one of those under the door draft dodger things for each door.  Here's what they look like intact: Twin Draft Guard Brown.  The system has worked great...until now.

The photo above is the side from the guest room.  Here is the side from the master bedroom:


Notice the door slightly ajar...

My heart now racing at probably an unhealthy level for a man of my age, I frantically calmly ran backed out of the room and returned to the safety of the house in town car porch.

My mind began to wander...never a good thing on a regular day, especially not a good thing after seeing this.  I could only imagine what I might find inside the bathroom.  Something alive?  Dead?  Lurking?  Hiding?  Ready to attack?

What to do, what to do...

*not me
Thank goodness for The Walking Dead...I headed to the mudroom where I have a machete hanging next to the broom and mop (don't judge).  I made sure my phone was in my pocket and the machete was up and at the ready.  Looking not unlike this, shirt sweaty but hair looking fairly good, I reached for the doorknob.  I unlatched it and slowly pushed it open...


It was obvious that some sort of epic battle had taken place.  


Whatever was inside, wanted out...there was dried blood on the floor, bits of fur, and over in the corner...(look away now...you've been warned)...

Snake scat
...poop!  And this ain't mouse poop, THAT'S for sure.  I looked on Google (while safely ensconced on the couch back in town) and it's almost certainly snake scat.  Without going into too much detail, there were bits of bone and fur and it smelled strongly of ammonia. (hmm, maybe that was too much detail...)

Slowly I pulled back the shower curtain...all clear.  I checked the water heater area...all clear.  The last thing to check was the cabinet under the sink.


I pulled the cabinet door open and found this:


MORE freakin' snake skin!
And mouse poop!

It was a relief when I realized that nothing was in the bathroom...but then I remembered that the door to the master bedroom was ajar.  If something had gotten out, it was now somewhere else in the house.  CRAP!!  I had to check under the beds, the couches, the closets and all the kitchen cabinets...


Great, just great...remind me again why we bought an old, rural, farmhouse?

*still not me
Time to step back into Walking Dead mode.  I proceeded to clear the house, room by room.  Yep, I had a machete up and ready in one hand and a flashlight in the other.  I walked gently but deliberately, opening cabinets and closets using the tip of the machete and shining the light inside.  I will admit, the hardest part was kneeling down, face first, to look under the beds.

Thank God, it was all was clear...

Back to the bathroom.
Check this out:


Whatever happened inside the bathroom, it was intense.  Something wanted out so badly, it chewed/scratched up the linoleum and tried gnawing a hole, yes, a HOLE, in the wood subfloor!  It didn't succeed.  We can't even imagine what transpired in that bathroom but it couldn't have been pleasant.  We figure it was a snake and at least a couple of mice.  Alas, it will remain a mystery forever as the battlefield has been cleaned up and sanitized...the open borders have been closed and filled with expanding foam and steel wool and wood security walls have been screwed into place.

It doesn't look so pretty but we can only hope it works.

2nd Man said "can you imagine if we were asleep at night, and heard a commotion like that going on in the bathroom?"

Yes, I can...

"Hello, Mariott?  Yes, we need to book a room..."

Just more of our lives, learning the unique ways of rural living.


55 comments:

Quinn said...

Snakes are really hungry right after they shed. That's about all I can contribute to this topic! And I can imagine the gulp before looking under the beds...phew.

Anonymous said...

Yipes!!!
If you get the mice/rats out of the house the snake will find another place to hunt/live.. Right now he/she is your rodent control -- too bad you (or I) can't live with it..
Btw,I'm anonymous becaues the thingy tells me I don't own any of my ids *shrug* I'm Peg

jaz@octoberfarm said...

that's some big poop! i would have died! you need one of those plug in things that emits a low sound that keeps mice and other things away.

Daphne Gould said...

The worst I ever had growing up in the mountains of Colorado was a black widow spider in my bathtub. We did have a lot of mice there, but I never saw a snake in the house. Good luck!

Jane and Chris said...

I discovered that snakes don't like the sound of the vacuum cleaner...perhaps next time you could grab the vacuum along with the machete!
Jane x

Tewshooz said...

We shoved steel wool around the pipes that come out of the wall under the sink cabinet. Stops the mice. We once had a king snake in the house. You expect those things living out in the rurals. Did you determine what kind if a snake it was?

belleau kitchen said...

I think I fainted after snake skat...

Texas Rose said...

That looks like a scene from a horror movie - and that ominous ajar door! Just thinking about what creatures were involved makes my skin crawl! (Oh, an unintended pun!) With the amount of body parts and the damage, it looks like a rat(s) rather than a mouse was involved in this fight-to-the-death - which is even scarier. What a weekend!

JW said...

SMH. I'm just so not ready for these rural adventures. You did a good impression of bravery chasing that thing down. Thank goodness you didn't find it LOL.

Meg said...

I like that you keep a machete handy with the regular cleaning tools LOL

Hopefully the work you've done to repair entrances for the mice and snakes does the trick...pretty sure if I came home to this, I'd be walking around, armed with a machete too!

Tombstone Livestock said...

First picture, tall cabinet on the right ........ go get some Victor sticky rat traps, heavy duty, and put them under the cabinet, they last a long time and will catch rats, mice or cockroaches. I would get several and put around baseboard areas when you are not there. I have seen mice go thru an opening the size of a number 2 pencil, they are nothing but a ball of fur and can get in anywhere. I was a a yard sale this weekend and owner opened a sealed plastic bin of clothes, one dress was completely shredded and mouse poop everywhere.

ladyhawthorne said...

I guess the good side is the snake probably got rid of the mice, at least some of them. Can you tell from the skin what kind of snake it was?

MaryJo said...

I am speechless! You even beat John Gray with this one!!

FionaG said...

What an adventure!! We enter snake breeding season at the end of our summer and this is when they are numerous, very active and aggressive. I wonder if it's the same over there. Do you sleep with one eye open now?

Gail said...

I'm sorry. I'm confessing I laughed and smiled and laughed some more.

You are a brave one. I suspect snakes don't chew but I'm no expert. You may have had multiple intrusions...that's good news, isn't it? I'd say a mouse or two and the snake came in to dine. The mice had done the damage. Dining required that he, the snake, went up a size after he pooped. Looks like a black snake to me. Harmless....and I'm laughing again. I'm so sorry but, hey, it's a small price to pay for the beauty of the country.

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Time to call the professionals?? Or are you going to go through the entire house and under the house to find these critters?

1st Man said...

Well I guess this one had an all you can eat buffet, ha. Yes, thankfully the beds are up high and there is nothing under them to make hiding spaces. But still.....

1st Man said...

Well hello Peg! It's ok, the google id thing doesn't always work right. t know, I was torn because I know it is probably keeping the mice down but I just can't have a snake creeping around, ha.

1st Man said...

I thought it was something like a raccoon or something but then we realize there is NO way something that big could get in, ha. We do have those plug in things. There is actually one IN the bathroom plug. ;-)

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Uh...me too

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

EWWWW!!! Why, WHY did I keep reading after you warned me? (shudders)

Anonymous said...

I was curious enough to keep scrolling down. Ugh! And then I just had to google "snake scat". That little exercise creeped me out for the rest of the afternoon! Who knew? I commend you on having the courage to clean it all up. And I'm waiting till the dead of winter to clean out my attic.
Kathy - Sealy

1st Man said...

Yikes! I found a black widow in town once in an overturned clay pot. And I stuck my finger in the hole to flip it over. Very scary. The mice I think I could live with, the snake(s) not so much, ha.

1st Man said...

Well, that's good to know, thank you! Now that I think about it, as I was vacuuming up the bathroom mess, I was hoping the noise would scare off anything under the sink, etc.

1st Man said...

Not sure what kind of snake, 2nd Family (who live out there and have for 20 years) said it was probably a rat snake (they call them down these parts). Yes, I shoved steel wool all around the leftover gaps. Fingers crossed...

1st Man said...

Sorry!!!! You should have been there in person, LOL!

1st Man said...

Now that I think about it, I did have ominous music playing in my head, ha. It could have been a rat, that's very possible. Yikes. Definitely a weekend to remember.

1st Man said...

Or thank goodness it didn't fine ME? LOL! Hey, that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger right? No worries!!

1st Man said...

It hangs right on a peg hook next to the mop and the broom! Yep, fingers (and toes!) definitely crossed. We'll see this coming weekend...

1st Man said...

I have not found any other little holes but you're right, they could be coming in anywhere. About a year or so ago, we had a cardboard box (learned the first lesson there!) in the closet that hadn't been opened in awhile. I opened it and there were baby mice in there (dead) and shredded fabric from somewhere (never did figure that out). We've got some good traps around, ten of them actually. Haven't had any sprung in awhile so I had hopes for a bit...maybe the snake chased them IN, ha.

1st Man said...

Hey, don't think that didn't cross my mind. I couldn't tell from the skin, but I did some googling (isn't google wonderful? ha) and it looks like a rat snake.

1st Man said...

LOL! I'm surprised he hasn't added his words of wisdom yet. I'm hoping he stops by. I would love to get his take on things. :-)

1st Man said...

"Snake breeding season"....I hate that we even have that, ha. I'm not sure when ours is, but I know that our Fall is here, it's cooling down and I think they start looking for places to hibernate.

Didn't spend the night out there this weekend but next time, I will DEFINITELY have one eye open. And an ear..."what was that noise?" ha.

1st Man said...

It's totally ok, I understand and you know, later in the day after I calmed down and things were cleaned up and I was sitting on the porch in the cool breeze...I understand exactly what you said...

You know, I never thought about that...there could have been a couple mice pop in and then the snake came in looking and they were frantically trying to get out. I think a black snake is similar to what we call the rat snake.

1st Man said...

Crawling under the house is not bad, it sits up about 2 1/2 feet and it's dry and clean and during the day, brightly lit by sunlight, so it's not dark and scary. I've found all the under the house holes and blocked them. I've sealed up around the two sinks. We've sealed up doors and windows. If we still have 'interlopers', we just might have to call int he big guns...the pros.

1st Man said...

You were warned.....LOL! Click on he warm/fuzzy link to cleanse your mind with cute kitty love. :-)

1st Man said...

Yeah, I googled snake scat too, that gave me nightmares, ha.

The attic is something I haven't tackled, It's highly possible they are up there too. Ugh. I guess dead of Winter is a good idea huh? thanks for stopping by, I know right where Sealy is!

Hidden Valley Wales said...

Snake scat! I love how the internet teaches you things. I"m not even googling it, it's enough for me to know these things exist, but thankfully not near me. You ARE brave!

Amanda Pope said...

OMG knock on wood we haven't found any around here! Back online finally.Had to find a company with a reaching hand out this way. All we got were a few mice but I took real good care of them guys.Cooling down here too,you know we moved back home and got a place? Take a lookie at the blog.Cleaning up an older home isn't much fun,you find all the creepy stuff left behind LOL!

Alison said...

Yikes! What an adventure, and you tell it so well. You had Mom and me in stitches in between exclamations of "OMG!". Glad you're safe and able to tell the tale.

Delores said...

We had a snake in the basement years and years ago...that was the day I learned that snakes CAN climb stairs.

Old School said...

That's a pretty intense country experience. I like the part where you are ready, armed with the machete, shirt all sweaty but hair looking good. :)

1st Man said...

Sometimes it teaches us more than we want, right? Ha. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!!

1st Man said...

You are back!!! I will check it out. Yes, older homes are full of, shall we say, 'surprises', huh? :-)

1st Man said...

I can 'see' both of you laughing. Glad I made you smile. It was 'harrowing' to say the least (and you know me, ha!).

1st Man said...

What? "climb" stairs? Oh my gosh I had no idea....that's got to be a fright!!

1st Man said...

Hey, we have have to have a good hair day, right? Thanks for stopping by!

1st Man said...

I just added your new blog to our blog roll!

Gataki Moroulaki said...

If I was you, I would call someone to fix this. Its quite dangerous to have a snake in the house. Including all the snakes and the species that might be there, it is very dangerous. You should get a reptilian guy out there and see what kinds of snakes and other reptiles are out there. It is going to help you a lot in the future to determine if they are dangerous to you (venom, etc.) and what you can do to get rid of them. If you go on Google and type Ways to Get Rid of Snakes, maybe you can find a way to get rid of it without harming you or the snake. It's not the snake's fault that its in there. It is the survival instinct that allows them to do what they usually are not supposed to do. Think what you can primarily do for the mice (getting rid of them) since they are the ones who pulled the snake in the house in the first place. Good luck in your snake/mouse hunt! Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

yikes, you are one brave man! I would probably have run out to the car, sold the farm and moved to the 25th floor of a condo. "I don't like spiders and snakes and that ain't what it takes....". Ha, ha.

Suzan

Amanda Pope said...

Thankyou! Im excited about the luffas when they get done.

Sandra said...

what a horrible thing to happen, but it sure was a good read... came over from Gail at the farm.

1st Man said...

Well thank you for visiting first of all and thanks for such a thoughtful comment. You are right, we are going to see how it's gone this week and what it's like out there now that we've HOPEFULLY closed up the openings. I will definitely do the google thing, thanks. I definitely don't want to harm the snake (as long as it's not poisonous to us). Thank you again!!! Stay tuned!

1st Man said...

LOL! That's too funny!!! For a brief few seconds something similar flashed through my mind..... ;-)

1st Man said...

Well hi and thanks for stopping by!!! Don't be a stranger! Glad you enjoyed, it was stressful but hey, after it was over and clean I realized it was funny too. Thanks again!