Friday, August 14, 2009

On The Frontline with Fleas

I know it's rare that I blog anymore so it's probably rare that anyone reads my blog anymore. It's probably better this way because there's a topic on my mind that I think I'd probably like few people to know about.

So why blog about it for all the world to see, right? The only excuse reason I can come up with is because it's therapy for me. Seriously. It beats having to pay my therapist this week.

You see, I am blessed to live in a wonderful country. America's my home and for that I'm grateful. The city I live in is a cute, little country-farm-folk-mid-western town with a cobblestone street right down the middle of town. The lawns are well cared for. No gangs roam the streets. Mangy dogs are unheard of. The neighbors are kind, thoughtful and considerate. Everyone keeps our town looking modern and civilized.

We have electricity, running water, carpeted homes, dishwashers, wash machines and freezers. We have indoor kitchens complete with a refrigerator and some of our sinks even have a garbage disposal. We have air conditioned homes and vehicles and a reliable heat source in the winter. We lack nothing when it comes to civilization standards and nothing in our town reflects anything close to a third-world-country-type issue.

Basically, we appear to lead a clean, sterile, modern life. It's all so perfect.

But, despite living in our nostalgic little town with all of our modern conveniences, the house on our street that we call home inhabits an infestation. A horrible infestation.

It's so bad, we find them in our beds, our carpets, our furniture. We finally put a bounty on them and anyone willing to catch one and drown it, gets a penny. One hunt will get you over $0.65, easy.

You can stand in different places of our house and feel like your standing in popcorn. Or feel like sand is being thrown at your feet. The infestation thunders your skin with it's existence and you feel like a giant, living pin cushion. Or like a lab specimen that gets it's blood drawn on a constant basis. You feel like the lively hood of an entire population of something sub-human.

You itch constantly. You fidget consistently. You can't stand to be in your house. You know, that place you call home.

The infestation I'm referring to is called, fleas.

So. We decided to exterminate the fleas and get "flea foggers." We planned the day accordingly, arranged the house just so in order to fully utilize the foggers and we followed the instructions carefully. You have to keep your house sealed up for 2 hours while the foggers fatally fog the flea's family farm's factory and facilities.

The fleas only got worse. They upped flea larvae. They increased flea bites. They attacked the victims of this house with even greater vengeance.

So. We decided to exterminate the fleas and get stronger "flea foggers." The kind of foggers where you seal the house for 4 hours instead of 2. And you set 8 off at once instead of just 2.

I stripped all the beds and piled the bedding in the middle of the living room. I collected all the throw rugs and piled them on the bedding in the middle of the living room. I gathered chair pads and throw blankets and piled them on the rugs piled on the bedding in the middle of the living room. I picked up any fabric-type object under the beds that could possible be a flea factory and piled it on the chair pads and throw blankets piled on the rugs piled on the bedding in the middle of the living room.

There was an Eiffel tower sized pile in the middle of the living room.

It was a big job collecting all that stuff, cleaning out under beds, moving furniture to get to hard-to-reach places and I was tempted to give up because it felt so futile. And exhausting. And pointless.

But, then another flea would bite my ankle and I'd remember once again why I was on this mission.

Before you start on a flea raid, I found that it helps to do something like fix your hair or put on a cute skirt or spray some perfume because you'll then feel at least half civilized.

With a vengeance we attacked the fleas. 8 bombs went off at once and we fled our house for several hours. We patronized a local laundromat and activated 17 loads of laundry. We folded it all and neatly piled it in laundry baskets. And in random stacks around the van.

Upon arriving home, we aired our house out, like the directions said, before bringing the kids back in. While opening windows in the few short minutes I was in the house, a words-can't-describe-how-terrible-he-is flea bit my foot. The fleas are undaunted!

After the house aired out, Toby and I meticulously vacuumed all the rugs and carpets, steps, mattresses, cushions, nooks, crannies, you name it. Fleas continued to bite. We carefully made the beds with only the bare necessity blankets (I have a thing for a pile of blankets on a bed) and bagged up the rest of the blankets and quilts in large plastic garbage bags.

The fleas continued to bite.

To this day, they have only worsened. If I go on a blog strike again, don't take it lightly. Maybe give me a call or text or email or something just to make sure we haven't been taken hostage. Or carried off as war refugees.

Nothing would surprise me, really. These fleas are possessed and certainly the cause of our sure demise. I'm ready to put a for-sale sign up and sell our house as a scientific lab to some poor college student who is researching the evolving species called, the flea. Or maybe just send a notice to the city clerk that our house should be condemned. Not sure the city clerk would care to know but at least I'd feel better informing someone that our home has become a flea bag and we're the unlucky victims that get to live in it. And the city clerk does sound like an official sounding name for an official sounding person.

So. With that, our therapy appointment has ended. Come back soon for another life changing account of this far-fetched-flea-fairytale. The festivities are sure to continue.


Andrea Herrlinger said...

Ugh.... What a headache!!! Is there anything an exterminator can do?? I mean, you've done all you can, right?? You have my wholehearted sympathy!! I hope a solution can be found soon!

pat ve said...

That is absolutely horrible. It kind of reminded me of one or two of the plagues on Egypt. Do you know how they got into your home? Pets? Kids? Company? Fruit? Do you know exactly what kind of a flea it is? I often call the County Extension Office (Lancaster) to get help. No doubt you've tried many resourses. If it continues, you may have to come up with harvesting and recipe ideas. Meanwhile--that is awful. OH....

Ruth Ann said...

oh dear. I.hate.fleas. They're terrible. My sister has a dog, who has flees. They're not as bad as you describe, but I *hate* them with a passion. [and wish the dog OUT of the house...] It's really frustrating, and I hope you can get a real remedy soon...