Friday, August 30, 2013

flea.....or flee?

When we got home from our fantastic vacation this summer we came home to visitors.
Unwanted visitors.
A tribe of fleas had taken up residence in our carpet.
Much thanks goes to Toby our cat. It seems he invited the entire flea population
of Redwood City to come over for a party.
This is our first year of living with a pet during flea season.
It probably doesn't help that the street we live off of is called Alameda de las Pulgas.
The way of the fleas.
Apparently, this has been a regional problem since the Spanish Fathers were planting
their missions here in California.
Looking down and seeing a flea on my foot sends me into a mild panic.
There is some screaming, following by itching...everywhere on my body not just on my foot...
and some frantic yelling, "They are everywhere!"
Jack told me, "I think we have an infestation."
I told him, "Don't say that word. It's a terrible word."
I say this while I lather myself in OFF! bug spray before I climb into bed.
I know a flea bomb would be a quick route to quell the problem.
But there is the issue of the children.
I don't trust the children to not lick the furniture or eat food off the floor.
We're just not there yet. So spraying poison into the air could be to their detriment.
And I have found that I am cross between a hippy and a Navy Seal
when it comes to dealing with insects.
I want to use organic, non-toxic materials to take them down when they least expect it.
So we are going with diatomaceous earth...a powder made up of fossilized sea creatures
that is like flea kryptonite....supposedly.
The first time I spread it around the house it was like a talcum powder bottle exploded.
We could barely breathe. If it didn't kill the fleas it was likely to take us out.
Every surface in the house is covered in a thin white film.
No, really, it's fantastic. You should all come over for coffee sometime soon.
Bring your gas mask with you.
Last week, I told my sister, Jenny, "We haven't seen a flea for a while."
Then Will said, "Mom, I just saw one."
I began yelling, "Powder down! Powder down! Evacuate the vicinity!"
All the while hurling particulate into the air, scratching my legs and cursing my arch nemeses.
The powder is supposed to kill eggs as well as fleas. This is important.
I read up on fleas. It seems they can hibernate in egg form for up to a year.
I was unaware up until this point that they are actually the spawn of Satan himself.
Miniature devil bugs that work on the sanity and good will of people everywhere.
This is pestilence, people. It's like a plague from Bible days.
When you read about the plague of locusts in Egypt....you may be thinking....
what is the big deal about a few bugs?
A few bugs may just make you lose your mind...that is all I am saying.
I have never vacuumed so much in my life.
It's been days since our last flea sighting.
And so fingers crossed, we are armed with DE and prayer, we will conquer!
Or we will move out and let the fleas win...I haven't decided yet...I'm on the fence about it all.
So say a prayer for us if you think about it.
And God bless the Orkin Man....clearly, he is doing the Lord's work.

2 comments:

JesusChick said...

We have had this problem before as well. Our secret weapon? Soapy water.

At night (with all the lights off) before we would go to bed we would set a dish of soapy (we use Dawn) water on the floor with a lamp. The fleas would go toward the light...get in the water...and die a clean death.

Deborah Minter said...

I hate to tell that the organic stuff doesn't seem to work as well as the toxic unfortunately. I've tried it. I must admit that it does leave everything smelling wonderful. The soapy water deal is awesome. It's amazing how many of them hop to a death in Dawn. :-)