The enemy moved swiftly and stealth like through rug terrain, keeping to the perimeters along the baseboards. He was small, a body length about two inches long. He was all gray: the common house mouse.
I thought I had seen his relatives before in the cold, damp underground caverns of the Brooklyn - Manhattan subway system. The gray Norway Rat, as large as a Yorkie, plowed through the crowds on subway platforms, spreading fear in its wake.
The mouse was small, quick, and light on his feet, but I did not take him lightly. I watched the door carefully, slept with the radio on, was startled awake and kept ever alert by sudden movements in the environment. For three nights I barely slept. I feared the enemy might attack me in my sleep.
I turned to the World Wide Web for assistance.
Previous soldiers in the war against rodents reported successful missions on their web pages and I took note.
Again and again, my research indicated two weapons were successfully utilized: the common house cat, and peppermint oil.
On Friday, payday, I visited WalMart and my local health food store to stockpile ammo. At WalMart I purchased cotton balls. At Peter's, the health food store, a sign said essential oils were kept "behind the counter." I approached the counter, asked the clerk for a bottle of peppermint oil.
"We sell a lot of this," he said.
Really, what do people use it for?"
"Mice," said the clerk.
Friday, at 8:35 PM EST I entered the war zone, my room. The rug terrain had previously been vacuumed. All food supplies had been cut off. Piles of unnecessary papers that could provide a safe nesting spot for the enemy had been eliminated. I opened the bottle of peppermint, carefully.
It was strong. Pungent. I shook a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball, and placed the cotton ball next to the baseboard. I repeated this several times, until the perimeter of the room was dotted with peppermint soaked cotton balls, spaced about three feet apart. I placed a few peppermint cotton balls outside the room, as well.
Monday, the rodent has not been seen in the peppermint treated area since last Thursday. I remain ever vigilant. Remaining peppermint oil is securely stored for possible future need.
I have made inquiries regarding availability of the Big Gun--a house cat-- as this tactic might be utilized in the future as a firewall against future attacks.
The war zone appears to have been liberated from rodent terrorists. I am pleased to report no living creatures were killed or injured in this war game.