We have a cat. We also have some birds, but it is the cat the has caused us some grief. The cat, much like ourselves, likes to go outside to "play", which is terrible for the mole population in the yard. No, I am not crying for the moles. The grief comes with the cat's capacity as a vector. You see, he has brought in some fleas. Not just any fleas mind you, he has brought in some bionic fleas that just won't die. Before you get your feathers ruffled, we have taken him to the vet, he has his shots and he does have a flea regiment, so please don't give me a hard time about that. The fleas this summer, according to my vet (well, technically my cat's vet), are especially robust and abundant due to the lack of a real winter for the past three years. I can see that as a problem for flea control, but I really like not having real winters. My husband too. Evidently we are in good company, what with several billion fleas enjoying the lack of winter with us.
Somehow we have got to get them under control, so we started with the cat. OK, I started with the cat. Poor sot, I decided he would just have to have a bath. He took it quite well and remained dignified throughout. That took care of a dozen or so fleas which looked like they drowned. So I applied his flea goo to the back of his neck. I know he didn't like it. The fleas, though, seemed to receive the news like a hot dog takes mustard...just another spice that makes them a little more jumpy. Well, at this point of course I know that I have to treat the house, but we have humans abiding here and some birds too. Not to mention a cat (didn't I mention him...?). What is natural and harmless to higher food chain mammals, but wreaks havoc on exoskeletons? If you said diatomaceous earth you WIN! Winning isn't everything here because this flour-like substance is dusty and clogs up the vacuum cleaner when it's time to get it off the floor. The concept is great, but unless you are willing to live with a layer of white dust on everything including your feet, it is not the path to follow. Worth a try, but not working for this girl!
What next? A flea bomb of course! What a plethora one has to choose from. I started small, took all of the precautions, removed all of the living subjects (except the fleas of course), covered things, shut windows, yadda yadda. When the house was bombed and had sat a while, I aired everything out throwing open the windows, turning on all the fans, stripping beds and washing everyone's clean but now poisoned clothing. Yes, a determined mind will force a body to do everything as directed by the words on the box of poison. Once. After that utter failure, I chose a different, more expensive and larger flea bomb to use in my attack. This time it was on a room by room plan. Three bombs, three rooms; everyone out to another part of the house or outside, shut the rooms up, and set the bombs off. no bed stripping, no washing the clothes afterwards. Failure!
What did Janine do? Tune in next time and find out the rest of the story...