The Good Life in Austin Texas


When the Pitter-Patter of Little Feet is NOT a Welcome Sound!

assorted mouse trapsWake Up...I feel something jabbing my ribs and the words...WAKE UP, whispered loudly. Wait, what? My wife whispers louder and tells me she hears "something" downstairs! I groggily get out of bed and as she motions for me to "get a move on", I listen and realize she is right, something IS moving around downstairs. I nod and whisper, "I hope I did not leave the sliding doors ajar". Slowly leaving the bedroom, I say, "Maybe I should take a stick or something" to which my wife replies, " need to, "Man Up"and get down there and take care of the intruder in my kitchen!" Now, I have to tell you, a challenge like that is pretty harsh especially coming from a West Texas girl. Rolling my eyes (luckily this was in the dark) I tell her that it's probably some animal from the valley behind our home but I don't want to startle a raccoon with nothing but a look of concern on my face.

Taking a broom from the upstairs closet, I make my way downstairs and warily approach the kitchen noting that the sliding doors to the deck are secured. Standing at the entrance to the kitchen, I hear the sound of cook ware moving about in a corner cabinet. I ease the door open and shove the broom handle into the space wildly flailing it within the cabinet and hear some tiny feet scurrying away. I shout upstairs that "the coast is clear and it was just a mouse". To which my wife replies, "A mouse? Well, kill it, I do NOT want any critters wandering about our home." Yeah, she actually said, "critters". As I return to bed my wife tells me to call Lawrence Benford, our friend who owns and operates Blue Light Exterminators a local pest control business that has been servicing many of my clients throughout Austin for years!

Lawrence BenfordWe have lived on a beautiful valley in our Lost Creek Neighborhood since 1992 and have seen a veritable Noah's Ark of "critters" making their way across our back yard but we have NEVER had a mouse! The following day (ignoring my wife's suggestion) I purchased an assortment of mouse traps from a big box store and set them around the house with all the confidence guaranteed on the packages of each trap. Two days later we hear the sound of scurrying feet in the ceiling and I realize (as my wife is adamantly pointing it out) that the guaranteed traps are NOT working. So...back to the store for several more including a particularly promising one that is supposed to "shock" the rodents.

Arriving from my second trip to the store, I happily spread the new traps about thinking that the pestilence in our home would soon be coming to an end.That very evening my son motions to me that he hears a noise in the pantry. I grab a broom and tell him to open the door and as he does a tiny field mouse rushes out causing my son (the rough & tumble football running back, Rugby Player) to leap in the air and let out a cry of distress. Swinging wildly I miss and the critter escapes beneath the stove and to parts unknown. We both look at each other incredulously and I immediately start in on him for his reaction! At that point my wife walks in and announces that we are "not much help when it comes to defending our home from unwanted intruders". As we stare at her open mouthed, she walks to the phone and calls Lawrence Benford  while laughingly deriding our skills as hunters and protectors of the cave =0

Okay, you know where this is going. Lawrence showed up promptly and as we walked around the house announced to me that with the colder weather we have had this year it has been quite common for assorted rodents to try and "move in" to more comfortable and well stocked quarters.Austin is evidently going through something of an invasion of sorts at every type of property from mansions to condos to commercial spaces feeling the onslaught of the aggressive rodents! As we walked around our home, Lawrence pointed out some tiny worn spots in the little bit of siding we have on the back of our home that was an avenue where a mouse could gain entry. After scouting the area he filled any spots that could be used and set out some traps of his own. Long story short, mice gone and have not returned and all at a cost LESS than the amount of money I spent on all those traps!. So, if you have any sort of "pest" problems,I highly recommend calling  Blue Light Exterminators. If you are not in the Austin area, call a LOCAL pest control business and stay with a company in your town!


Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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141 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • February 15 2010 10:01PM


Good for you for getting up and checking!!  A couple of months ago, a very loud noise woke me up.  My husband stirred. I'm like, "Did you hear that?" He says, "yeah". I say, "Go check it out!"  He says, "It's probably nothing."  I say, "Probably?  We could get killed right here in bed if it's an intruder!!"  He turns over...

I saw the next morning that it was a shampoo bottle that fell down.

Posted by Donna Harris, REALTOR® & ASP - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes (RE/MAX Austin Skyline) 5 days ago

Russell~  Those little things are so disgusting!  There is no way I could sleep knowing they were still there!  My huband and all four of my children have no fear of them and are not intimidated in the least.  I know it is a silly phobia, but I can't even stand the thoughts of mice or snakes for that matter! 

Posted by Owensboro KY Real Estate Specialist Vickie McCartney, Broker, ABR (Maverick Realty) 5 days ago

Nice spotlight on Lawrence and Blue Light Exterminators !

Sorry about your new tenants ....

Hope the pitter patters have ceased !!!!

Posted by Sheldon Neal -- That British Agent -- (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) 5 days ago

Russell, I cannot believe that Margaret let you tell about "critters" in the house! Funny story and it's a good thing that Lawrence saved the day! Have a good time at the Rain Conference!

Posted by Carol 5 days ago

Wow...That was quick, I'll be back soon to reply and yes all rodents are now GONE!! 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 4 days ago

Russell - You're a brave man! LOL

Great testimonial. Have you thought about a cat?


Posted by Jeff Dowler ~ Carlsbad Real Estate ~ 760-840-1360 (RE/MAX Moonlight Beach (CA DRE Lic. # 01490977)) 4 days ago

Russell, I'm with your wife.  We have a problem here of rats and they are great big rats.  Luckily we have not had any get in our house but they have been in our outdoor kitchen and in our garage.  I always let my husband take care of them!

Posted by Marchel Peterson Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro ABR (Results Realty) 4 days ago

Haha, that reminds me of my parents' cabin we go to in NM.  The original log cabin was it for years (since years before 1964 when they bought it), and every summer Mom would set about 30 mouse traps all around inside the day we arrived.  At bedtime, about 10 seconds after the lights went out, it was like fireworks! Snap! Snap! Snap!  Sad to me now, but back then exciting and just the way things were.  They built a new home out there about 8 years ago, and now no more mouse attack that first night.  Still lots of critters to see.  Glad yours are gone! 

Posted by Lisa Delzompo (PRW Lending (loans) and Sand to Sea Properties, Inc. (homes)) 4 days ago


What a well-written post.  The suspense was killing I had to read to the end!!  Glad Lawrence saved the day, and that you are rodent free!!  We have a "rodent" in our home...a guinea pig.  It is my daughter's. My son says, I can't believe we have a rodent for a pet!! LOL!

Posted by Sonja Patterson REALTOR for Cypress, Houston, Katy, TX (RE/MAX Realty Center) 4 days ago

LOL Russell, now when will you learn to listen to your wise wife from the git go? Good testimonial for Mr. Lawrence Benford, and my my look how photogenic this gentleman is too!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch ~ Redesigned Spaces ~ Georgia Home Stager/Property Stylist (N. Atlanta, GA) 4 days ago

Love this. What a great way to highlight Mr. Benford and his company. Great job and great job Mr. Benford.

Posted by Martha Brown Annapolis and Anne Arundel County RE (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) 4 days ago

Russell - I could have let you borrowed our cat - the one that ate our gerbil - LOL. He's cheap and enjoys the hunt - LOL. ~Rita

Posted by Kenna Real Estate ~ Denver Real Estate 4 days ago

Russell, I've had field mice in the walls and also hanging out in the garage. If you ever kill them and they die in the walls that is a whole other problem for you. Well written post.

Posted by Gary Woltal - Associate Broker REALTOR® Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) 4 days ago

ROFL! Man up! I love your wife! Just do your job. Wjhy do you think we get married anyway? =P

Posted by Lisa Hill (Daytona Beach Real Estate) (Florida Property Experts) 4 days ago

Thankfully, we have not had that problem. Now if I can do something about those darn chipmunks. But that's another story...

Helping you help others live their American dream...

Posted by Michael Thornton - Nashville, TN area Home Inspector (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) 4 days ago

With a few cats inside, I surely do not have those problems...:)

Posted by Catherine "Cathy" Chaudemanche Team - Central Jersey Homes & Real Estate (Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ) 4 days ago

I've had two invasions of mice in my home in the past 2 years.  The first time I caught 3 mice and that was the end of it.  The last time, they kept coming.  I hate traps and the sticky paper from the hardware store just doesn't do the job.  You can see where they have gotten on it and escaped.

So, I called the pest control company I refer for buyers and put my home under contract.  He comes out every 3 months and refreshes the industrial strength sticky paper, poison feeders and makes sure the nests in the ground around my house are diminishing. 

No more mice in my kitchen.  We catch them in the garage.  I've caught a few in the basement too. 

Not gone completely and probably never will be, but under control and out of my kitchen.

Posted by Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 4 days ago

I just wrote a post last week about an amazing company that helped us out a few weeks ago when we had an uninvited guest in our kitchen. Ughhhhhh nothing makes my skin crawl like a mouse in the house!!! Good luck.

Posted by Betsy Schuman Dodek Potomac Luxury Homes (Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate) 4 days ago

Get a cat.  My parents lived out in the country for a number of years and had a horrible, horrible battle with mice.  I don't know why they never got a cat... well they had cats when they moved there. My childhood cat and then my illegal college cat ... apartment with no pet rule, but my room mates and I got a cat.  My parents  traded that cat for a dog ... Not cat people, I guess. I had to sleep with the lights on when I visited because it sounded like there were herds of mice running in the ceiling at night.   They tried everything.  A cat would have been the answer... or an exterminator.  Cats are cuter than exterminators though and they sometimes will cuddle. 

Posted by Maureen McCabe Columbus OH (Real Living HER Worthington) 4 days ago

Great post and good story. Contgrats on finding a great company to help. 

Posted by Tony Grego with American Bank Mortgage Group - 317-714-8080 4 days ago

Russell nice job with your feature on Bluelight Exterminators. It is a good thing it was only a little fella and not something worse.

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) 4 days ago

Our unwanted visitor didn't pitter patter - it slid around the kitchen floor - ugh.  Congrat on the feature Russell!

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter Raleigh NC, Realtors®, GRI,CRS,ABR,ePro (Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realty) 4 days ago


Sometimes we get a little too close to Mother Nature! Those little guys get inti everything!

Posted by Richard Weisser Coweta Fayette Real Estate 4 days ago

Great local feature, I love the story!

Rodents in the house are no fun. My mother, like some others here, had an unnatural fear of mice. When my girls were little and she was visiting there was a baby mouse, smallest thing I ever saw, walking across the living room floor. She screamed so loud, grabbed the girls, ran to the bathroom and locked the door. She stuffed a towel under the door and demanded I call a "man" to get rid of the mouse. Guess she didn't trust me. Called my brother in law over to assist. We found the poor confused thing and put it outside. Of course he told my mom that he killed it, but we didn't. She was actually in the bathtub the whole time with the girls, about an hour in total, praying. Mom was not a regular church going type, but boy those Our Fathers and Hail Marys were flowing freely!

My girls were more freaked out by her behavior than by the mouse, and my dogs were scared to death when she let out a blood curdling scream, the cat ran and hid upstairs because she made so much noise.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler - REALTOR - Greater New Milford CT (Prudential Adams & Associates, REALTORS, New Milford CT) 4 days ago

Russel, you have a way of telling an important story that draws me in :-)  This one didn't fail to do that.  I'm still cracking up!

Posted by Kris Wales - Macomb County MI real estate blog & homes for sale search site (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) 4 days ago

Good morning Russell,

I'm proud of you for getting up and taking control..even if you had to relinquish it to "Blue Light." They are a great company and have forgotten about them since we use someone else. I will put a note to remember them..I'd recommended them in the past and they do a great job!

Posted by Dorie Dillard: Canyon Creek & NW Austin Living (Coldwell Banker United) 4 days ago

Hey Russel, sorry about your problem.  I hired a cat to keep my home free of un-wanted visitors and he does just that.  The problem is that sometimes he brings them in from the back yard to show me his work.

Posted by Jennifer K Giraldi, Atlanta REALTOR® Atlanta Real Estate Expert (Solid Source Realty Atlanta) 4 days ago

Great story Russ. I needed a laugh this morning.

Posted by Randy Ostrander-Realtor® (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC) 4 days ago

Russel, I needed a good chuckle this morning. I can pretty much visualize the whole thing. It happens in almost every house sooner or later! :)

Posted by Connie Harvey Realtor Nashville TN Real Estate (Prudential Woodmont Realty) 4 days ago
Good morning! Just now leaving for the Rain Camp meeting here in Dallas, Texas and will check in when I can. Have a great day!
Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 4 days ago


What is it about mice that can absolutely turn a home into chaos? I have only had that problem once and it was unnerving to say the least. If Lawrence were in my area, I would call him immediately for such a problem.

Fabulous post and a great story.


Posted by Claudette Millette - Metrowest Mass Buyer Broker (The Buyers' Counsel) 4 days ago

Ewwwww!!!!!!!!!!  Russell!!!!!!!!!!  A Mouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Yikes!  I love animals but mice and snakes do me in!!!!  I had a mole in my house once.... I think I carried it in with some summer bulbs and I stood on a chair and screamed while calling a neighbor to catch it for me!  I had trapped it in the pantry and it slid out from under the door.  I put a small trash can over it but when the trash can started moving across the floor I became unglued and called a neighbor!  

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) 4 days ago

Russel - have a great time at rain camp. And get a cat when you get home lol.  Very nice hyper local and very interestingly written.  Loved it!

Posted by Anna 'Banana' Kruchten, Phoenix Property Shoppe 4 days ago

I can sympathize with your story. When we moved into this house we had a mouse problem that the seller forgot to mention. We spent 2 years fighting these things. In the end after we added a new garage door that stopped access and now have a cat who has yet to be tested in the field of battle. I have used snap traps with peanut butter bait and they have worked well

Posted by Charlie- All Mountain Realty 4 days ago

man... that's one BIG mouse, if he's able to move pots and pans around loudly enough to be heard upstairs.  I'd carry a big stick, too.

so... did Larry catch him yet?

(and by "Larry" I mean "Lawrence",
and by "catch" I mean kill,
and by "him"... I mean "them"... cause where ever there's ONE...
there's more than one)

Posted by Alan May, Coldwell Banker Evanston Realtor, North Shore Realtor (Evanston Real Estate, Evanston, IL) 4 days ago

You ought to hear a raccoon trying to scratch his way into your roof! Sounds like a tank crossing overhead. 

Posted by Sarah & John Rummage (American Realty Resources, Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin TN) 4 days ago

Glad it was only mice..    Brave soul....

Reminds me of a time when my husband was working out of town, and this loud noise woke me in the middle of the night,  I was so darned scared,, I lay there scared stiff for hours , then fell asleep.. to scared to get up....  the next morning I arise to find my closet pole of clothes, fell to the floor... I had to laugh... wasn't funny most of the night tho.....

                     Marlene Shelton Giles, RE/MAX 1st Olympic, Lynchburg, Va.

Posted by Marlene Shelton-Giles 4 days ago

We used to live in a home that backed up to a forest.  Small field mice were a problem in the area (we didn't know until after we lived there a year).  Bought one of those battery powered traps from Rite-Aid and laced it with peanut butter.  Green light flashes on top for 24hrs when it captures one.  We put it under the sink by garbage can.

That evening, while watching TV, I heard a rustle in kitchen cabinets, and then silence.  I checked the trap, and we caught one!  I reset it, and an hour later, another one, and so on.  Caught 9 in the next 24hrs.  The last was the smallest.  Found out later they are usually in "families" of 5-10.  We got 'em all.  And by the way - using the spray foam to seal all cabinet cracks & seams on the inside DOESN'T WORK.  They will eat right through it.

Then about 2 years later my daughter saw one upstairs in the bonus room.  I set a trap in the attic space.  Within days, we had caught a bunch and then had no more problems in the home.


Posted by Eric Newman (Mortgage Banker) (Summit Mortgage Corporation) 4 days ago

@eric - if you fill the cracks with a combination of aluminum foil and steel wool... (jam it in there good)... they won't eat through that...

and btw, Russell.... from the Rogue's Gallery of traps in your photo... the most effective one is stll that simply Victor Snap-Trap (at the bottom left), but it's not for the squeamish.

Posted by Alan May, Coldwell Banker Evanston Realtor, North Shore Realtor (Evanston Real Estate, Evanston, IL) 4 days ago

Russell  Every year we check the caulking on the possible entrances and use air conditioning caulk to close them - it works like a charm

Posted by Karen Kruschka - Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (RE/MAX Olympic Realty) 4 days ago

A sad story from Utah about improper application of rodent pesticide here about two little girls who died from exposure to strong chemicals improperly applied by a licensed pest control company. [Three days after 4-year-old Rebecca Toone, of Layton, died from apparent exposure to a pesticide, her 15-month-old sister, Rachel, passed away. Both girls died after having similar symptoms just days after their home was treated to get rid of rodents]

Posted by Kathy Fuhriman (Bear River Valley Realty) 4 days ago

Russell, we used to live on the edge of woods in Pennsylvania.  Every, single Fall, when the temp. outside turned chilly, mice would move to their winter digs--our basement.  For years we trapped them ourselves, but the year we trapped 13 mice, we decided it was time to call in the Big Guns.  It was well worth the small expense.  The job was accomplished quickly and thoroughly.  The problem is, no one ever has just one mouse in the house!

Posted by Dianne Deming (RE/MAX Realty Group) 4 days ago


Hi Russell:

Sooooo....the wife was right huh???

Great story and great post.

Now, being a animal lover I need to ask, catch and release?


Posted by Toula Rosebrock -Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, Ocean County, (NJ, Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) 4 days ago

Hilarious! Well written...I could actually picture you, with broom in hand, gawking at your athletic son, amazed at his lack of composure. Thanks for a good laugh!

Posted by Jamie King, Realtor/Manager Sandusky, OH (Realty Executives Strayer Group) 4 days ago

Russell, you are one brave man!  Your wife must feel very safe with you around.


This was fun.

Posted by Marian Goetzinger Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) 4 days ago

Hi Russell, I enjoyed your hunting story and the shout out for Lawrence Benford and Blue Light Exterminators. As much as I hate killing critters, once they become trespassers - they will be kilt! LOL  We had a chipmunk invite himself in last year, luckily I was able to get him back outside alive.

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR ®, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty) 4 days ago

I had a good laugh especially since I just went through the same thing.  I believe I got all of them and will be searching for entrances as soon as it warms up. 

These are not the type of little feet that I want to hear in the night.  Thanks for a great story!


Posted by Dynamic Real Estate Network, Inc. 4 days ago

At least you only wielded a broom!  My Dad shot a mouse in the middle of the living room floor with a GUN!  Then spent two weeks trying to repair the damage!  MEN!

Posted by Jenna Dixon, Assoc. Broker (Dixon Realty Advisors (Atlanta, GA)) 4 days ago

Russell, that is hysterical, thank you for sharing! Yes, leave it to the experts. We tend to get mice on a regular basis, and an expert is the only way to go. That, or a few cats...but I think they would have issues with my 3 dogs! :-)

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Keller Williams Excellence Realty) 4 days ago

Rats in the kitchen?  Maybe he was just whipping up a mid-night snack a la Remy from Ratatouille.  :)

(The DotLoop Team

Posted by DotLoop Company (The DotLoop Company) 4 days ago

We deal with mice in the garage. It's so upsetting when the traps don't 'quite' kill them. Because a part of me really does think they're cute.

Posted by Joetta Fort - Realtor Denver Colorado Real Estate (The DiGiorgio Group) 4 days ago
Having an incredible time here at Raincamp in Dallas! I'll be back later!!
Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 4 days ago

Umm, I am pretty sure I would have a heart attack. I had a gecko in the house last summer and I had a conniption fit...I'm not much of a "critter" lover. ;)

Posted by Jami Asanovich (Ashby Realty Group) 4 days ago

Russell - Just curious - any decomposing field mouse smell wafting about the house?


Glad you got it taken care of.  :)

Posted by Coleen DeGroff, MBA -- Your Gainesville FL Realtor (Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish ) 4 days ago

My wife has done the middle of the night poke, usually nothing but it does interupt a really good snore, maybe that is the reason. Glad the great hunter figured out what it was and got the experts.

Posted by Clark Hitchcock Fraser Valley Realtor (Re/Max Nyda Realty Inc) 4 days ago

Good thing Blue Light Exterminators was there to save the day!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Relocations & Real Estate (Century 21 Liberty Homes) 4 days ago

Russell:  My wife's a farm girl.  Now you would think that she would be used to "critters" of all shapes and sizes.  She fed pigs, worked in dairy barns, hunted ... but what sends her jumping onto a chair screaming her lungs out?  Yep ., mice.  She says if she ever sees one in our house .. she's moving.  No discussion about it.  Keeping the Mrs. happy is what it's all about.  You're a brave man and tried valiantly to protect your family, but next time ... dial more quickly!  I know I would ...    


Posted by Gene Mundt (Chicago Bancorp) 4 days ago


What a fun post, as I was reading it, our cat brought us an enormous rat, he had just caught on his morning constitutional...something is in the air.  All the best, thanks for bringing a smile to my face.  All the best!


Posted by Ron & Alexandra Seigel (Luxury Real Estate Marketing) ( 4 days ago

I used to have a bedroom in our basement when I was a teenager growing up.  There was a drop ceiling and the mice would come around every couple months, so I got good at setting up mousetraps.  Annoying at 5am!  At least you don't have bears pitter-pattering like we do in Colorado!

Posted by RJ Baxter (First Mortgage Corp) 4 days ago

Nice going Russell. Now how am I going to explain Mickey's absence when I take my little girl to Disney later on this year?!!!

All kidding aside, this was a great post featuring your buddy Lawrence and Blue Light Exterminating.

Well done my fearless mouse hunting friend!!!

Posted by Craig Rutman North Carolina (Raleigh Area) Realtor (Home Buyer and Seller Specialist) 4 days ago

If you want to stay married, disregard the suggestions about the cat.  When your wife finds the dead mouse under her pillow you will REALLY be in deep doo-doo.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen - Sonoma County Real Estate, CA (Safe Haven Realty) 4 days ago

Russell, I'm with your wife all critters stay out of the house. I don't like any kind of "rodent" in my living space. I don't like being late feeding the horses because they are right there in the haystack. Rather deal with a 1200 pound horse than a mouse anyday! My family teases me about it cause I do not think they are cute like my daughters do.

Best of luck keeping them away!

Posted by Debby Langford-Puckett (Altitude Designs) 4 days ago

We had a cat catch a mouse for us when we lived in a rental in Canada some years ago.  When my husband realized what the cat had, he took off his shoe to kill the mouse.......whacked the cat instead!  Poor thing!  Found out later the basement was infested with field mice and the cat was having a party down there chasing the little critters! 

Posted by Susan Lehmkuhl (New Venture Realty, LLC) 4 days ago

You totally caught me with the title, lol.  It's surprising how many homes do have mice.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, York Maine Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) 4 days ago

There's a lesson learned.  (Listen to your wife!)  :-)

Posted by Mary Wilcox (Reece & Nichols) 4 days ago

My cat Tux won't let a mouse in our house....unless he brings it in.  (That's only happened once and will NEVER happen again!)  Quarterly pest inspections are the way to go.

Posted by Kirsten Lindquist (Sotheby's International Realty-Wine Country Brokerage) 4 days ago

Mice are actually rather common in newer homes as the developer has moved into their neighborhood.  I have found when I had a problem the live traps work the best, then I flush them.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider East Contra Costa Home Sales 01492725 (Area Pro Realty People's Choice) 4 days ago

I love this story. I laughed out loud picturing your son's reaction.  Next time, listen to your wife early on :-)  Glad they are finally all gone.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh (EOP Real Estate, LLC) 4 days ago

Laughing... great entertainment. I am on your wife's side only I would not have let days pass. I hate any critter that enters my house.. be it spiders, ants, flies and a mouse is totally NOT okay. They can have their lives and live happily ever after as long as they stay OUTSIDE!!! when they come in to my home... It's all over!!! lol thanks for sharing!

Posted by Dianne Hicks (Tarbell, Realtors) 4 days ago

Just to show you what softies my husband and I are...when I spotted a cute little mouse in the family room watching me read the paper one morning, I knew I couldn't let him stay in the house, but could not bear to hurt him. So we bought a humane "capture" trap and set it up. It took a week or so, but we finally got the little critter and my husband did the "catch and release" number in a nearby (but not TOO nearby) field. We've been rodent-free ever since.

We had cats for years, and I would heartily second the idea of having at least one on the premises if you have mice, rats, gophers, etc. And keep them well-fed! It may seem counterintuitive, but a half-starved cat is NOT a good hunter. You want your kitty to be healthy, happy, and eager to "play" with little furry beasts.

Posted by Sonsie Conroy (Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate) 4 days ago

Love the part about how your son jumped back from the mouse. I have had mice in my house before as well, and no matter what - we all scream.

Posted by Sharon Paxson Newport Beach Real Estate (Prudential California Realty, DRE License 01501912) 4 days ago

I guess those little critters go everywhere in the world.  Ever wonder what attracted them to your home?

Good to meet you today at rain camp.

Posted by Sun City Grand Real Estate Surprise AZ Leolinda Bowers, Associate Broker, CRS (Ken Meade Realty) 4 days ago

Russell, you are a good storey teller. I had a good idea where you were going from the beginning but your excellent adjectives and style kept me reading. Very enjoyable. My personal experience in similar situations was: First I agreed with her that I would handle all critters 15 lbs and greater. Surprise, the first instance she whispered it sounds like a 15 lb mouse. I kept my word and went down to handle it making  deliberate sounds of struggle. Upon returning to bed I answered the obvious question that it was a struggle with that 15 lb mouse but it is done. The next morning I was soundly ridiculed for the broken vase and kitchen table leg. I resolved the issue with, "What do you expect while fighting a 15 lb mouse." From that point on we had no more 15 lb critters.


Posted by William D. Queen, Real Estate Broker, Richmond, Virginia 4 days ago

Mice are one of those things that always make me scream.  Glad you had your trusty Blue Light Exterminators to bail you out. Great local post.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern, Realtor Rockland County Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 4 days ago

Hi Russel,  The cold weather makes them even more aggressive and they can get in most anywhere they take a liking to.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy Fort Myers Beach Realtor (Century 21 Tripower Realty) 4 days ago

Have Mercy...Miss Percy (as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top would say) I am having a ball at Raincamp in Dallas and am so busy learning taking in all of this great information, I will have to return later to reply. Thank to everyone who is adding to this discussion!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 4 days ago

Have Mercy...Miss Percy (as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top would say) I am having a ball at Raincamp in Dallas and am so busy  taking in all of this great information, I will have to return later to reply. Thank to everyone who is adding to this discussion! 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 4 days ago

We have a hard time killing any animal - even mice, so when we have had the occasional mouse (yes, I know we have a houseful of cats, but apparently they are too well-fed to bother killing mice) we have found where they gained entry and closed it off. 

We did have one of our cats bring a mouse into the house, gently and carefully so as not to hurt it, and let it go.  It promptly ran under the refrigerator, got up inside of the works and would not come out.  I finally put some dry cat food pieces near the fridge, then a little further out, and right by the back door, and the mouse moved closer to the door and finally went outside.  He had a great adventure to tell his friends, and no more mice have been in the house since.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA Real Estate Broker (Century 21 Noel David Realty) 4 days ago

And the moral of the story is: ALWAYS hire a professional.  A.K.A. Always listen to your wife. LOL -- Tanya in Montreal

Posted by Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Agent (JJ Jacobs Realty Inc/Ready, Set...Sold! Inc, Montreal Canada) 4 days ago

Sweet Jesus. Great highlight for your extermination company of choice, Russell.

I had the unfortuate experience of having to deal with that problem myself two summers ago. I got the traps and poison bait...haven't seen or heard the creatures, or their evidence, since.

My wife does the same thing: "I hear something" which I usually reply, "It's all in your head"...and she keeps pestering me, while I am in my sleep, or trying to get my sleep on, and I wearily get up, visibly annoyed...

Posted by William James Walton, Sr. Greater Waterbury Real Estate (Century21 Access America) 4 days ago

funny story, I have one similar I won't tell and bore you with. In my case we had 2 mice that were have races side-by-side across the living room floor. I thought it funny, she didn't.

Thank you

Posted by Scott Baker, ABR e-Pro Realtor in Cincinnati, Ohio areas 513-403-5323 (Coldwell Banker West Shell) 4 days ago

Howdy and Afternoon Russell

Mighty fine testimonial for Mr. Benford!!!

My friend did you use peanut butter on those there traps? Mouse sure do love peanut butter. I sure wish it was mouse that I've a been fighten, instead of the black and white critters that I've been a fighten off for the pass few weeks.

Baker Home Energy Audit and Commercial Properties Inspections

Posted by Baker Home Energy Audit and Commercial Properties Inspections-Owner Dale Baker (Baker Home Energy Audit & Commercial Properties Inspections ) 4 days ago

Hey I live in seacoast New England in a older home and mice do come in now and then.  While I don't want them around on a daily routine basis , I don't want to kill them.  They have "have a heart mouse traps" this way you catch them and they are alive, not dead. You can then  release the little critter outside, a field, the woods, etc...where they can live.  I have trouble killing any living thing, except maybe a mosquito now and then.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Posted by Patricia Aulson, REALTOR Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (PRUDENTIAL VERANI REALTY - Portsmouth NH Real Estate ) 4 days ago

This is why I have cats in my house!!!  Just like the saying:  "When the cats away, the mice will play!"  Get a cat and you won't have any more problems...  ;>))

Posted by Ann-Marie Clements Luxury Homes REALTOR® Saint John, Quispamsis, & Grand Bay (Royal LePage Atlantic) 4 days ago


That's a great reminder why some things are best left to professionals!

Posted by Monique Ting, RA e-pro (Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, Waikiki Office) 4 days ago

Haha, great post.  Way to go Lawrence!

Posted by Trisha Pennington (Coldwell Banker Reilly & Sons) 4 days ago

Russell, I found through a friend that if you bait the traps with flour, you will have much better success. Mice are more grain eaters than cheese afficianados. Try that if you have the occasion to again and see what happens.

Posted by Guy Thomas (WR Starkey Mortgage) 4 days ago

Man up...and dial that there phone will ya!

Great true life adventure.  Great community business post.

Posted by Jim Hale - On the MOVE for You! Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) 4 days ago

A pest control or termite inspector/exterminator would be like the Maytag service man x one million quiet in Maine. Had a cousin who's wife made cookies, left just the screen door latched, main door open on a hot summer night and they heard a ruckus a few hours after beginning of log sawing sleep started. It was a Maine black bear who wandered thru the screen, had a plateful of cookies and was looking for a cold glass of honey when cousin came down stairs. What a mess the bear made and continued to hear a few more dozen bear bait warm cookies before high tailing it to the woods. You don't usually take your hunting rifle up stair to bed with you in these parts. And bagging a bear out of season in your own kitchen is a little too close to home for hunting for me.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | Northern Maine Real Estate / Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) 4 days ago

When my husband and I were first dating, he helped my cat catch a mouse. He had been sitting in the bathtub when I started screaming. Out he rushed, with a towel wrapped around his waist.  Brandon, the cat, had chased a mouse across the room, and the mouse darted under the sofa. I told my then boyfriend to get on top of the sofa and start jumping up and down to scare out the mouse. It was quite the sight, a grown man in a towel, bouncing on the sofa. But the mouse ran out, my cat caught it, and I said to myself, "This is the man I am going to marry."

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub, Sacramento Short Sale Agent, 916.233.6759, Lyon RE (Lyon Real Estate) 4 days ago

Raincamp is still rocking along! I may not get to all of the fun comments right away but will try later on. Thanks again for stopping by and contributing to the conversation!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 4 days ago



Luckily the little feet were not what was jabbing you in the ribs!  LOL



Posted by Wendy Rich-Soto (Keller Williams) 4 days ago

Russell --

Very nice entertaining hyperlocal post.

Mice give ne the creeps. I can't even look at them. I would have jumped MUCH higher than your son did.  I have never seen one in my house, but found 'evidence' in a garage crawlspace.  We used traps, I think, successfully.  I wanted them gone for good as I have two friends who had the wires in their garaged cars chewed up by mice resulting in hundreds of dollars in repairs.  


Posted by Barbara Altieri Connecticut Real Estate (RealtyQuest) 4 days ago

Russell, that's a great story, and great photo of Lawrence Benson of Blue Light Exterminators. He looks wise, like he's been called as back-up many a time.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, CA DRE#01215160 Seniors Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Today) 4 days ago

This story made me laugh, Russell!  Thanks for the fun!  No more Mighty Mouse in your house!

Posted by Emily Lowe - Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty) 4 days ago

This story made me laugh, Russell!  Thanks for the fun!  No more Mighty Mouse in your house!

Posted by Emily Lowe - Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group Sotheby's International Realty) 4 days ago

Ever have a fishercat outside your house at night, whining as it carries its prey into the woods.  The cityboy really came out in me that night.  Great post.

Posted by Ross Therrien (Prudential Verani Realty) 4 days ago

When we lived in Massachusetts, I can remember a handful of times when I could hear something scurrying in the eaves of the home. No fun, especially at 5:00 a.m.!

Posted by Melissa Zavala Realtor® North San Diego County Homes (Broadpoint Properties) 4 days ago

Russel:  Great post to inform your area of a great exterminator! 

Posted by Jane Grant - Southwest Real Estate - Riverside County, CA 4 days ago
Great post. Still laughing. Way to go Lawrence!
Posted by Trisha Pennington (Coldwell Banker Reilly & Sons) 4 days ago

LMBO, Russell! I'd like to meet your wife. I like her :)


Posted by Debi Boucher - "Realtor Showcase" Real Estate Slideshows/ Photographer (Memories DVDs - Realtor Showcase Slideshows) 4 days ago

We have a cabin in teh mountains of NC and the first year it was like"critter of the day".  Nothing surprised us after awhile.  We just figured they were there first.

Posted by Linda Lohman- Former Teacher/Broker (Fonville Morisey Realty) 4 days ago

Russell, i have to compliment you on checking. I have bad hearing and sometimes use that to my advantage.

Posted by Ted Tyndall- FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine (Davidson Realty Inc.) 4 days ago


Your story is hilarious and one many of us can relate to. Mine was a family of skunks in the garage.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Long and Foster® Real Estate, Inc.) 4 days ago

Russell - I'm glad that Lawrence at Blue Light Exterminators was able to take care of your "problem." 

Posted by Michelle Gibson Wellington Florida Real Estate (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc.) 4 days ago

Russel, what a hilarious way to lead us to your great Blue Light Exterminators! It was a fun ride with a great title :)

Posted by Frank & Sharon Alters, CDPE-Short Sales Jacksonville-Orange Park-Fleming Island (Watson Realty ) 4 days ago


This was definitely a classic. Thanks for making the end of my day one with laughter.


Posted by Cal Yoder (Keller Williams Homes & Land Realty) 4 days ago

Russel, what a great story and localism post for your area.  A very enjoyable read..

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot Lewisburg WV Realtor (Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate) 4 days ago

I enjoyed the play by play of you and your son cornering the elusive critter in the pantry but to no avail it still got away.

Posted by Morgan Evans-New York City Real Estate Expert (Prudential Douglas Elliman) 4 days ago

No substitute for a professional pest control person.  Even with traps these issues will continue to come back.  Get them exterminated and then a maintenance program.

Posted by Sajy Mathew (Prudential Homesale Services Group) 4 days ago

Hi Russell -- Very fun read.  It reminded me of my own story with a bat flying in my upstairs hall at 2am when I went to bed one night! 

Posted by Chris Olsen Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) 4 days ago

Russell, I had the same problem. I went to local pest control guy and he is my hero. He sold me some little packets of stuff called Talon-G. Great stuff $0.75 a pack. Great stuff. I just threw them out on the pantry floor and presto no more mice. I worried about my pets getting in it, but he told me not to worry. Turns out thi is basically a form of Coumadin. The pest man said if the dogs caught a sick mouse or got in the stuff just get them a shot of Vitamin K and they would be fine.

Posted by Tom Bailey (At Waves Edge Coastal Real Estate) 4 days ago

Another great suggestion for getting rid of mice is to use oil of peppermint - sprinkle the oil of peppermint on cotton balls and leave them wherever you have seen mice evidence - and it will chase the mice away.

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,Coldwell Banker (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Chevy Chase) 3 days ago

I live on 5 acres.  I know that critters abound outside but I don't want to see them in my house.  This has been a very cold winter here, as well.  My husband has spotted droppings in our garage but as of yet, no signs of anything in the house.  I hate these little buggers so I hope they stay clear of me or look out.

Posted by Tammie White (Keller Williams Realty) 3 days ago

Wow ... brave soul! Sometimes a mouse in the house will scare a spouse.

Posted by Agent Aaron @ 512-845-4204 for Kyle TX Buda TX Austin TX Real Estate (StepStone Realty, LLC) 3 days ago

*WHEW* I just got in from RainCamp and I am bushed so I plan to get back here tomorrow and reply to some very good comments her. Thanks!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 3 days ago

GREAT POST - thank you for sharing, I just put this post on one of my agents wall of facebook, she moved out to the country and well- she is not having the best of it, I shared this with her. Love the way you write!

Posted by Jodi Tussing (Century 21 Access America) 3 days ago

Thanks for the laugh Russell. Glad to hear you took care of the little critters.

Posted by Matthew Bartlett (Century 21 Masters/Lic. #01353034) 3 days ago

Your descriptions were so vivid that I could see everything as if it were a movie.

It's good that your wife knows when to call in help ; )

Posted by Christine Donovan Costa Mesa Real Estate Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 (Donovan Blatt Team - Donovan Group Realty) 3 days ago

Ah these little creatures.  I really would have nothing against them if they would just stay outside!  We live next to the woods and it's a constant battle plus my hubby hates to harm or more bluntly kill them.

After we paid a service contractor to find out what was wrong with our gas stove pilot lights not working and it was revealed that the connection had been chewed through he did develop a little different attitude on the matter.

He's now kinda joined with me that don't harm them in the wild but inside our territory is open war fare.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin and Sue REALTORs® Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate (Prudential Lifestyle Realty in Hendersonville, NC) 3 days ago

Russell, when I read the title, I thought you were going to say it was Jason Crouch at your doorstep.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton (210 Consulting~ Social Media Advisors) 3 days ago

Russell - I got home about 20 minutes after you did.  :)  Next time we go to an event out of town, we'll try to ride together and save some gas money.  Kudos to you for being brave enough to confront the critter.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) 3 days ago

That's a funny story with a great endorsement. I hope that he caught him.

Posted by Integrity Mortgage Funding 3 days ago

Great Story...  Sounds like something from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation:)):) 

Posted by Barbara Kornegay (REMAX Coastal Properties) 3 days ago

I'm the same way. I freak when it comes to the little critters.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff - Coldwell Banker Babylon Real Estate- (Lindenhurst West Babylon West Islip Islip East Islip) 3 days ago

Hi Russell  I have not yet read the comments but I will....I hope this doesn't end a beautiful friendship...but you have me laughing hysterically that I could not see the are such a visual writer.   I can just see you two big guys attacking that little field mouse... This so deserved a feature and the moral should be  " penny wise dollar foolish "

LOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEEEE  your blogs...Have a great mouse-less day

I sure am late 129 comments later...........

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) 3 days ago

Your post is great for a laugh!  Way to defend the cave!  Sometimes it's cheaper and easier to call a pro, but we all like to try to do it ourselves!

Posted by Nicole Donaghy (ERA Wilder Realty, Lexington SC) 3 days ago

Russell, How funny.  It was great meeting you at RainCamp yesterday.  Your so energetic!

Posted by Lisa Stafford (McGraw Realtors) 3 days ago

Russell, How funny.  It was great meeting you at RainCamp yesterday.  Your so energetic!

Posted by Lisa Stafford (McGraw Realtors) 3 days ago

Great post Russell! Though, your son might need to "man up" a little :-)

Posted by Nogui Aramburo - Bilingual Durham (The Amy Pomerantz Group, Coldwell Banker, HPW) 3 days ago

I live in the country and little critters are the cost you pay to live in the woods. The funniest one was a mouse that ran along our baseboard one night when we were watching tv.... and the mouse ran right in front of our cat. Useless cat.

Posted by Erica Ramus - Realty Executives / Pottsville PA Real Estate 3 days ago


Ewww!  I hate rodents.  Mice make me jump on tables and scream.  However, rats are a different story.  I want to get out my gun........  They are definitely bigger here in Texas.

Posted by Carol Pease ABR, CDPE, CRS, SFR (512) 721-6320 ( Keller Wiliams Realty - Cedar Park, TX ) 3 days ago

You know you need to actually BAIT those traps to catch them! Peanut butter works great!

Posted by Amy Steele (Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty) 3 days ago

Just got home a little while ago and didn't get a chance to let you know what a TREAT it was to meet you!  Sorry you had to go home to little pitter patters but, I hope you've got it under control!

Hugs your way--can't wait for the next get-together!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, Realtor® - Charlotte NC MLS - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) 2 days ago

As a single Mom, I've had to kill all of the "Critters".  My favorite story was my oldest daughter, 16 at the time, calling me on my cellphone, screaming hysterically!

While rafting in the pool on a hot summer day, seems a creature got entangled in her 10,000 pounds of curly hair.

While she was sitting on the patio, talking on the phone to a friend, she was futzing with her hair twirling it around her fingers, when to her dismay and utter SHOCK, she pulled out a garden snake!

Just a little one that had come through the skim line.

She called me screaming that we had to move IMMEDIATELY and she could not live in this house anymore.

I still can't stop laughing every time I tell the story!  Snakes don't bother me....I just get a shovel and slice them if they aren't too big.  I don't like getting rid of creatures, but someone has to do it.  Wish I had a Lawrence Benford.  Joy

Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team (Prudential Florida Realty) 2 days ago

Maybe you should just have gottensome traps and a mouse chili recipe for a delicious win.

Posted by Phineaus Poe 2 days ago

Wow!  Margaret must have super-sensitive hearing!  Or that little critter was making an awfully big racket - which I know they can.

Once at Brownwood in the 1950s, we were there as kids when the dog started barking madly.  (Remember Happy?)  Turns out a raccoon - not a mouse - had actually made it to the attic space while we were sleeping.  It got in through the opening in the kitchen where the old wood stove pipe vented to to the outside through the stone wall.  (That's why there's a tin plate over that hole now.)

After lots of yelling and screaming by everyone, Daddy finally herded the raccoon out the back door with a broom.  It was a memorable adventure in the middle of the night.  Too bad we didn't take pictures.


Posted by merriet lewis 2 days ago

Russell  Russell  Russell   This was even more hilarious than the last post! You are on a roll my friend and I am just glad you did not reveal another place where Lawrence came to the rescue! Too funny!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) 2 days ago

I have 2 critter chasing dogs anyone can borrow. But I get it, here in Maine the field mice and squerrels run up our outside walls trying to get in.

They do make those plug in electronic signal senders that do work. I use them all winter, keeps the rodents from running up the walls as much.

Posted by Sarah Pearce (Keller Williams Greater Portland) 2 days ago

Russell, you can take a few mice and turn it into an adventure and a pretty damn funny one at that! I am glad you finally listened to your wife. You got lucky my freind she has looks and brains!

Posted by Mike 1 day ago

Russell,  Not even a fly survives in my house with THREE main coons just waiting for something to play with. But your blog was enjoyable to read. Especially giving props to Lawrence. Will your son be alright?

Posted by Terri Poehler Parkland & Coral Springs Real Estate (Re/Max Professionals Real Estate) 1 day ago


What does the graphic say?