Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It’s A (Flea) Circus Around Here

As a girl who grew up on a farm, always had lots of siblings around and critters underfoot, there are a lot of things I can tolerate that send others running away screaming.

But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s fleas, ants, and mice.

Ok, so that’s three things.

But I think you understand what I’m talking about.

Fleas have never been an issue for us and we’ve had dogs since 6 months after we were married. That’s a grand total of almost 11 years. Never a flea problem.

Until now.

And it’s really not our problem. It’s our neighbor’s problem that we are suffering the consequences of.

You see, our back neighbors, the ones that bought NESN’s house, got a fluffy white dog a few months ago. Nevermind that they are never outside, nor seem to be capable of mowing their yard (what is it with the people who live in that house that they can’t mow?). The poor dog is completely unsocialized and probably very lonely.

And now he has fleas, which he passes to Oz, who brings them in the house only for them to promptly bail and find someone who hasn’t been treated for fleas (me).

We have seen a flea on occasion the past few months, immediately after Oz would come inside. We’ve been able to capture and kill the infiltrators pretty quickly. But not without giving me the heebie-jeebies. Have I mentioned that I can’t stand fleas? We thought that once the weather got cold (and it has been super cold), the flea situation would remedy itself.

We were wrong.

Thursday night, Husband was staying up late, I went on to bed and let Oz up on the bed with me. I thought I saw/felt a flea, but wasn’t sure and wasn’t able to capture it. So I gave Oz the boot and became paranoid about every tingle, twitch, and tickle. All. night. long.

Friday, we had a lazy morning and as I was sitting on the couch in my white, fluffy robe, I saw a flea. On me. On my white, fluffy robe. Oz was nowhere around. And I wasn’t able to catch the flea before it sprung off to lay millions of eggs and cause me to lose my sanity.

That was it. The last straw. The last nail in the coffin. I went on an anti-flea tirade.

If it fit in the washer, it got washed. I even crammed my king size comforter into the washer. (It took a sweet forever to dry, too.) If it was upholstered and standing still (as opposed to upholstered and moving?), it got vacuumed. And if it was small, furry, and four-legged, it got sprayed with flea spray and later dosed with an all-natural flea and tick killer/repellent. And the carpet was sprinkled with Borax, vacuumed, and sprinkled again, the vacuum cleaner having a new temporary home in the garage just in case.

I called the vet, and was told that if the neighbors weren’t going to treat their dog for fleas, the only thing I could do that I haven’t already is treat the yard. Um, who wants to lug the hose around in frigid weather to spray some stuff on the yard? Not me! But we bought some stuff anyway, with plans to spray the yard (and the fence where the offending neighbor dog lives) on Saturday. But it rained on Saturday, so that was out.

All weekend, every time I felt a twitch, tingle, or tickle, I looked for a flea. I was paranoid all day Friday, and spent most of the day itching for no apparent reason. But, as I was hauling all of my bedding into the laundry room, I did find a flea. On me. (Shudder.) I exacted my revenge and contemplated leaving its carcass as a warning for any others. But since fleas probably don’t watch old movies, they wouldn’t know it was to be a warning and would just give their deceased buddy a proper burial, oblivious to the revenge/imminent death that was about to be let loose on them.

Oz spent the entire weekend sulking, hiding, and shaking, probably wondering if he was going in the washer next.

So far, I haven’t seen any more fleas, which is a very good thing. But I still think I am feeling them all the time. (Shudder.) We are not out of the woods yet, for the life cycle of a flea is crazy weird, according to Wikipedia.

All I want to do now is go watch White Christmas or Holiday Inn again. Can’t a girl be left in non-itchy peace?

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1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain. I did not do the extensive cleaning you did, but we fogged the house and Aaron sprayed the yard. So far so good, but I think we will follow up with a fog again in two weeks like it suggests because of the crazy life of fleas. Our cat has been out of the house for while (like living with another family in another city) so I have no idea where these are coming from. Maybe from bringing in the Christmas boxes?
    I hope you get rid of the fleas. I hate those things too!