But this mouse was different. Not content to feast on cereal and biscuits from the shelves, he decided to take up residence, and have his own personal en-suite, in the door of the dishwasher. Whenever we were loading the machine, he would suddenly drop down as the door swung closed, hear us shriek and escape back to his hidey hole out of reach behind the kitchen cupboards. No amount of prodding, poking or abuse could encourage him to leave the five star accommodation he had at his disposal.
If that wasn’t frustrating enough, one sunny day I ventured out into the garden to be bombarded by an army of flies: on the grass, patio furniture, nearby hedge in fact any surface they could find, including us. Like in Hitchcock’s The Birds, for a week our lives were transformed as we watched the flies conquer the outside of our house.
So I telephoned the East Sussex Environmental Department for advice. Sadly, that was not what I got. Instead I was disappointed with the dismissive tone administered by a man who obviously didn’t think my enquiry worth his time. After being used as a public bench by all the flies, and their relatives yet again as I tried to take advantage of the weather, I decided I needed help and I needed it fast. So I contacted a local pest agency. Without further ado, traps were set up to catch the lodger in the dishwasher and some flies were caught and identified as Autumn or Face Fly, which apparently, just like us, like our south-facing garden in which to sunbathe. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until they leave of their own volition and hope that the females will be attracted next time to someone’s dung pile far, far away to lay their eggs. Alternatively, during the renovations we could strip the back of the house of its white cladding which the flies like so much in the hope that it will encourage them to pester someone else.
Our furry friend was easier to deal with - fed up with the wash cycle entertainment one evening, and feeling a little unsteady on his feet from dodging the traps, he decided to venture into the living roomto watch TV. Big mistake. The mixing bowls were ready!