My house is turned upside-down right now. We’ve been battling fleas on the dogs all summer – but the bastards keep coming back. It turns out our whole apartment building is infested with the little blood-suckers. Here’s my theory: My neighbors are not good housekeepers. As a matter of opinion – I believe they don’t even possess basic DIY Domestic skills. Everyone who lives here has at least one dog, which means everyone has been dealing with fleas. I think we’ve been more successful than they have been – and here’s why: We weren’t the ones complaining about fleas jumping out of our carpet and attacking us (people, not just the dogs)!
Here’s what I’ve learned about the pests this summer. If you want to get rid of fleas from your animals and house there are several things you have to do. First you have to get your animals clean. You don’t have to buy fancy shampoo, you just need to bathe them, fleas drown y’all! While the dogs are getting de-flea’d you need to wash all of their bedding in hot water – again mass drowning of fleas and their eggs. Additionally, I recommend washing everything that can be washed that the dogs have come in contact with – for us that is all of our bedding, dirty laundry, throw pillow covers and any washable area rugs. Next comes floor care – everything needs to be vacuumed – all carpets, hard floors and crevices – I usually take the extra step to mop as well (why not go take the extra step for a really clean home?) Any upholstered furniture needs to be vacuumed too – especially under and between cushions. Lastly, two days after the animals have been bathed you reapply the flea preventative stuff (you have to wait after you’ve bathed them because the stuff works with the natural oils on their skin). All of your vacuum bags and canisters need to be emptied into the trash and taken out of the house immediately. It also helps if you keep a flea collar in the new vacuum bag or in your cannister – to keep anything from breeding in there.
You have to keep vacuuming regularly for two full weeks after this big clean-apalooza because the flea eggs that are left behind will start to hatch – and you need to get them before they can lay more eggs.
Alright – I know this topic may gross some of you out, and that this whole process sounds like a lot of work. Seriously though- it is a lot of work! But you know what? It WORKS! (At least until your dogs go outside and pick up more fleas because the entire building and grounds are infested) And that brings us back to today.
There is an exterminator company coming to the building today to spray every apartment, all the common areas and laundry room and then treat the outside perimeter and lawn. They gave us a list of things we needed to do to prepare for the treatment – everything off the floor except rugs and furniture, empty closet floors, vaccuum…etc. I’m happy their doing something to combat the fleas but there are a lot of reasons why I am really unhappy too. First and most important – people and animals can’t be in the treated space for three hours after the spraying. (What kind of toxic crap are they about to spread all over my living space!?! Hello! I’m 75% thru a pregnancy here – do I really want these pesticides going into my system while I’m sleeping tonight – much less into my dogs or baby?) Second – one treatment is not enough – they are coming back mid-October to do the whole thing over again. WTF? I have to tear my place up again! Third – back to my first statement – we probably wouldn’t have to be doing this at all if my neighbors weren’t such poor housekeepers. (If these people would have followed the same basic flea-care steps I listed above their apartments would not be infested right now) I haven’t found any fleas in my place – other than occasionally on my dogs – which were always promptly removed with a bath and flea preventative, followed by a thorough vacuuming. My neighbors were telling me about how they’ve been getting attacked by fleas and that fleas are biting their kids. (My first thought – well, maybe you should keep your home and animals cleaner – duh.)
I’m sorry to keep ranting like this but this whole situation has really burned my biscuits. I don’t have the energy for this right now. The only reason that I have time today to post is because I am on the couch with my feet up, icing my back, waiting for the exterminator to get here. It wasn’t even noon yet and I am already feeling the effects of this pregnancy on my body, and I still have a lot of “housekeeping” stuff to do today due to the spraying treatment.
So far today – car packed up with all washable items – check. Dogs bathed and taken to the brother’s house for safe keeping today – check. Re-vacuum all floors and rugs – check. Empty closet floors, pick everything up off the floor, turn house upside-down for convenience of exterminator – check.
Still to do today – wash all dirty stuff in the car at laundry mat. Get flu shot – yeah, that coincides with today – has nothing to do with the fleas. Come home and re-vacuum the toxic crap off the floors – and probably mop. Bring clean laundry back up, remake bed. Put house back together. Maybe get some of the baby stuff put away (we are super excited – people are starting to send us stuff from the registry! – Amazon.com boxes keep showing up – it’s like Christmas, but way scarier because it’s all stuff for a baby we don’t have yet!)
I hope all of you have a much calmer Monday than I’m in the midst of. Send some death wishes our way for the fleas!