Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, September 24, 2010

Report From The Battleground

Would you know? Could you tell?

This tranquil little craftsman style bungalow in rural Minnesota has been the site of an epic battle of man (or in this case, woman) versus invasive insect.
And here is one of the collaborating beasts. Yes my friends, we had fleas.
The past two weeks have consumed my every waking hour, as well as many when I should have been peacefully sleeping. I have had house pets all of my life, as a child as well as my entire adult life. Therefore, I have had, on occasion, fleas. I have never had an infestation, even when I lived in that bug haven, Atlanta.

I have been led to the conclusion that these nasty bits of pestilence are becoming immune to the chemicals commonly used to curb their prolific breeding ways. I could not get rid of them, which allowed those busy females to lay their twenty-five eggs per day. Yes indeed, I know how many eggs a female flea lays in a day. I know how long it takes for the eggs to hatch and the larvae to mature into a flea. I know more about fleas than I care to.

In the end, I have gained the upper hand by steam cleaning every surface in the house, meticulous vacuuming, fogging, constant washing of bedding and clothing. Twice daily showers and frequent bathing of dogs and poor Margaret the Cat. Thrice daily combing with a flea comb and using flea collars. Spot on treatment did not work. Manual labor has been my only choice and eventual salvation from the virulent bloodsucking vermin.

So my friends, this is why I have been absent. I am still in the midst of this, I have my office left to steam clean, I'm still capturing a few eggs and immature fleas in the comb and I plan to fog one more time. But I feel I am just about able to plant my flag of victory.

I fought the flea. I believe I have won. Now to have a long talk with Howard and Grace about sticking their noses into places they do not belong.


  1. good lord woman, that is brutal.

    glad you have emerged victorious.

    I am so going to be extremely vigilant about checking my dog.

  2. Can't imagine doing a more thorough job than the one you have described. Hope you are soon completely free of the little critters.

    Your home looks like it is out of Architectural Digest, Sandra. I love how spacious and inviting it feels.

  3. I feel your pain. We let someone with her cats stay in our downstairs apartment years ago (2 moves ago). She left us with a horrible flea infestation. We had to fog the house so hard it was literally a toxic waste dump.

  4. Gorgeous, Gorgeous room. So great to see it all in one shot. i want to be there, snuggled up on that soft couch in the sun light with a good book and a cup of tea and some of your delicious baked goods. Sorry about the infestation, but doesn't it feel great to get it all cleaned? I had a cleaning spree myself yesterday.

  5. WoW! Poor you! I think you are correct about the resistance. I also think Lice have become immune to treatments.
    Your home is Beautiful!

  6. Now our weather is warming up I too am battling this problem. Blooming cats seem to like the rotten little things but I do not!!!

  7. We have a flea infestation, too, but I just can't do all of that. I just can't.

  8. deb, brutal describes it well.

    Bonnie, and unlike the homes in the photos of AD, my house somehow does not look like that at all in reality!
    And I have fleas. : )

    Teri, I know what you mean about the toxic waste. I felt ill yesterday from breathing that stuff.

    Deb, you would be ill-advised to curl up on the sofa as you would bring an uninvited guest home! Right now it simply feels wearying.The photos make it look better than it actually is. Mark said he'd like to live there. : )

    Missy, I do think they are resistant. I am having a difficult time getting rid of them.

    Ganeida, I thought of you when this happened. Your climate is inviting to fleas. I hope you don't become infested, it's awful.

    Oh Elizabeth, I'm so sorry. Perhaps a pro exterminator will work. I've hit my wall myself on the work. Do you know flea eggs can be found on solid wood surfaces? AAARG!!

  9. ACK! Fleas! My last war with those horrible blood sucjing monsters was over 20 years ago when I lived in California. I had nightmares for months after and still am obsessed with never seeing another flea, in this life time.

    Ok, and now we need a tour of the house. What I have seen is gorgeous and sooooooo inviting!

  10. gsc, I know what you mean. It's been 15 years since I was last made a meal of by fleas. Today I will fog the place again. I'm tired.

  11. The fleas were winning here so the cats now live in the barn or basement. We did all you did and I could not stand the thought of another flea so the cats lost their comfy couch. I have to put on a life-threatening amount of Off in order to clean the litter boxes in the basement. We too have sprayed a toxic amount of stuff all over. I THINK we are victorious.

  12. dressage rider, welcome back! I'm sorry you have been living this nightmare as well. This has been a good year for fleas, as I have found they do well in hot, wet weather.

    My cat is a house cat, so she was not the culprit in this mess, but she was the hardest to rid of the nasty buggers. They really like the fur.


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