Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fleas! Fleas! Fleas!

There's a flea situation around Maybelle's and my house that I know you're all very interested in.  Here's the recent story:  Maybelle has had tiny little bites around her waistline.  I've had them on my ankles, feet, and up my legs.  And fairly regularly we feel a little something, look down, and there's a flea.

It's become a major problem, so here's what I've done in the last few days:

  • I put flea traps under the couch and bed 24 hours ago.  The one under the couch now has 10 fleas in it.  The one under the bed has 9. 
  • This morning, when I'd been up for 40 minutes, and I'd picked five fleas off my legs and two off Maybelle.  Fortunately, they were all very small, which suggests that maybe the older generation did, in fact, get killed off, and these are new generation fleas. 
  • I've vacuumed the fuck out of the house every day for the last week, now using the effective vacuum cleaner a friend gave me (seeing me both itchy and enraged can inspire generosity). 
  • I've bleached every bare floor. 
  • I've washed the sheets a million times and dried them excessively long, to kill everybody who lives on them. 
  • I've washed the bed skirt and dried it in similarly intense heat. 
  • I've used the clearly ineffective but highly toxic poison from Home Depot on most surfaces of the house they said were important--many, many times.  
  • I've taken the "cover" off the "futon" (please note the scare quotes) and washed it.  I am now very strongly considering hauling the "futon" out to the sidewalk and letting someone else adopt the fleas living in it.  
  • I've gotten rid of the rug in the living room.  
  • George Jones has become an outdoor cat. 
  • I've started spraying Off on Maybelle when she comes home from camp. 
  • I bought a non-toxic flea spray that is supposed to kill fleas instantly, and I've now sprayed it on every surface:  couch, upholstered chairs, bed sheets and comforter.  It's made of eucalyptis and some other essential oils, so it smells good (and is probably completely pleasant for fleas).
I haven't had the courage to examine Maybelle's hair, because every morning I've found fleas there, and that breaks my heart. Terminix comes tomorrow. I'm going to tell them to go past the point of killing the fleas and make the entire house such an incredibly toxic place that no one smaller than 45 pounds can live here.  I'll see if they can poison the entire yard, too.  If Terminix doesn't work, I'm throwing away the futon, the mattress, and every other soft object in the house.

And then Maybelle and I are going to move in with Uncle Trey. The end.


  1. Aww, I'm so sorry you're living in flea city! Those little bugs are SO hard to get rid of, it amazes and angers me that they are so resilient. Best of luck to your anti-flea campaign. May the force be with you!

  2. Fleas suck the proverbial monkey penis! I think that says it all :).

    1. Oh, yes, they do. Not to mention the blood out of Maybelle's body and mine. Motherfuckers.

  3. Oh, god. We went through this, and I think my low point was when I imagined that the fleas had been ingested by Sophie and that a tapeworm had grown up into her brain and were causing more seizures. For the life of me, I don't remember how it got better, but it finally did. Bad, bad, bad.

    1. Well, I'm glad to see that my paranoia and raging fury haven't gotten to quite this point, Elizabeth. They're there, of course--I'm imagining my body covered with fleas at all times, and I'm getting twitchy.

  4. Do your pets use Frontline or some other vet-prescribed med?

    Are southern fleas resistant to that kind of stuff? I'm asking sincerely, no snark.

    If the cat George is the original host--and he's now living outside full-time--he's probably being eaten alive by fleas. Misery.

    Can you get him a flea bath dip and treat him with meds to prevent further infestation? Then let him back inside never to venture outdoors again? Indoor cats live longer, healthier, safer lives. The birds will thank you, too.

    1. George Jones has been on Frontline. The vets here suggest using it every two weeks, not just once a month. But the problem continues.

      He's a sweet, sweet cat, but if you try to do something he doesn't like--for instance, giving him a flea dip--he will rip you to shreds. They have to get three people to hold him at the vet so that they can give him shots. I'd have to have a full team of people dressed in combat gear to flea dip him.

  5. Frontline no longer works... Try advantage drops. Also purchase generic capstar (little city dogs) and generic luferneuron. give to borne the dog and cat. The capstar kills adult fleas for 24 hours... repeat as needed

  6. Here's a link to the cheap flea control products...

  7. I don't agree that Frontline can't work. I think in some cases fleas have developed a resistance, but that's far from universal. If you find it doesn't work, check with your vet for some new meds that are out there.