“There’s a tear in my beer
Cause I’m cryin for you, dear
You are on my lonely mind”
(a sack of bat deterrent, aka mothballs, Julie Cook / 2017)
When mothballs make me cry…
No, I’m not writing a new country song, not about mothballs anyway…
I’m literally talking about real mothballs.
You may recall that I’ve had problems before with bats wanting to roost under
the awning on my back deck…
and since this is where my cat Percy spends most of his daylight hours…
well, I can’t have bats hanging out where we and the cats hang out.
I tried stuffing dryer sheets up in their little crevices,
I tried squirting them with hornet spray…
I tried poking them with a broom…
but they kept coming back—
So I had a brilliant idea.
I’d hang up mothballs.
Well, I suppose I can’t take full credit, I think I read somewhere on
a critter catcher’s website that mothballs were a low tech deterrent.
I wanted to try something humane as I know and appreciate how beneficial bats
are in the yard and poking them with a broom just made them squeak at me and
spraying them with hornet spray is probably not
exactly good for them.
Back early in the Spring, I ventured to Home Depot and bought a box of mothballs.
Once home I hung up two bags on opposite ends of the deck, just under each corner
of the awning, where the bats had hunkered down to spend their days napping.
(my little neighbor who needed to move / Julie Cook / 2016)
Here it is late July and I’ve had nary a bat.
the mothballs work.
Mothballs are meant to be in sealed-up containers where things like old books
or sweaters are stored as they are actually a pesticide for what else…
sweater eating moths and paper eating silverfish.
The smell is, well, toxic.
Hence why they’re suppose to be in bins and boxes and not necessarily
out for breathing.
But I figure we’re safe as I’ve hung the bags up high and downwind from where we sit.
and in just the right spot to fumigate the hiding nooks of bats.
Mothballs, like dry ice, dissipate over time when exposed to air.
So yesterday I noticed my little mothball sacks were now empty.
Meaning my mothballs had evaporated and I needed some refills.
Another trip to Home Depot and I returned ready to rehang bags of balls.
As I opened the box I was suddenly hit with an overwhelmingly pungent and
most familiar odor.
They say that scent, odor or smell is one of the most powerful triggers for memory.
Suddenly, I was a little girl rummaging back into the deep recesses of my
She had mothballs strewn all on the floor, in the way back, of her old cavernous
closet. I was immediately informed right fast not to touch the poisonous mothballs.
This being in the home where my mom and her sister Martha had grown up.
My mom and Martha.
Seems I can’t even hang up some mothballs without remembering this heavy
heart of mine.
(Mother,the not so happy bride along with her not so happy 13 year old maid of honor..
seems Martha had been obnoxiously silly, embarrassing Mother the night before at the rehearsal dinner, so they weren’t speaking this otherwise joyous June day 1953…sisters….)
Time to que the country music…..
Lord, I’ve tried and I’ve tried
But my tears I can’t hide
You are on my lonely mind.
All these blues that I’ve found
Have really got me down
You are on my lonely mind
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away.