Monday, October 14, 2013

On the Wild Side

Image from T. Hardwicke's Illustrations 
of Indian Zoology (via Wikimedia Commons)
I love wildlife. I just don’t like it in my walls or attic. When I first heard the pitter-patter of little footsteps scurrying along the other (unseen) side of my ceiling I suspected I had a small uninvited guest with a pointed nose and long thin tail.

After careful research I discovered that one of the best ways to get rid of a rodent, short of getting a mongoose or a deadly snap trap, is to douse your house with peppermint oil. Apparently what kryptonite is to Superman, peppermint is to mice.

So I’ve drenched the place in peppermint oil, and loaded the crawlspaces with containers of commercial peppermint-scented rat and mouse repellent. Take one whiff while walking past my front door and you would think I was running a candy cane factory. If the floors weren’t so dirty, I might be tempted to lick them. The place smells absolutely delicious except to a mouse I hope.

In fact I’ve been doing more than hoping my furry friend leaves, I’ve been praying it goes. One night this past week while my thoughts were deep in prayer and peppermint fumes filled my head I saw a vision. It was the vision of a rat jumping from my rooftop to my neighbor’s next door. Only on closer inspection I realized it was more of a cat than a rat. In fact it was civet, a masked palm civet to be exact, which sounds a lot more exciting and exotic than a mouse, except when it’s running around your attic. 

The good thing is civets are natural predators of rodents, which it turns out aren’t living with me after all. I’ve got civets in my attic instead and the bad thing is that they are repelled by the scent of garlic. I just don't know how that's going to pair with the peppermint.


  1. Glad to see you back. Reread this post, bc I have a baby opposum which sneaks into the garage to eat cat food. So little & cute, think the mother might be deceased, so put sardines out for it. And at the same time, doused the garage with clove oil, cedar oil. Peppermint & garlic might be next. Co-blogger KH had civets in her attic when she lived in Kichijoji. On a different note, found peace photojournalist Takashi Morizumi on FB; following him. Many thanks for the head's up. Wishing you & all in TV a good late autumn! JD

    1. Thanks! The creatures inhabiting my attic turned out to be less exotic than a civet and a lot less cute than a baby opposum. I'm glad they're gone (I hope) and I hope you figure out what to do with your critter. It sounds like your sending it mixed messages.