a flea

I fought the longest war in flea history. It began in 2000. I was the proud but tired victor in 2010. Here is my story. ~Hypatia

a flea

I had just changed into an old top, to do a messy household job, when I felt the first sharp prick of a flea bite on my upper right arm. I am never sure about the first bite. Maybe it could be a straw in my clothing or a forgotten tag holder. But I commenced to get little rashes that itched fiercely. I doffed all my clothing and put it in the washing machine. Then, I felt the little bastard in my hair. I knew I had to go take a shower. That old top had come from my closet…

Whew, that’s better! I put back on the bathrobe I had used before the shower, then it started again. I am headed back to the washing machine, then out to the kitchen to smear myself with diatomaceous earth. I don’t like doing that; the powder is bad for my lungs. It’s worth it, though, to be free of the pain and itch. A life full of this kind of pain isn’t worth living.

How do I know it isn’t a figment of my imagination? I asked my psychiatrist, Dr. R., who said I did not have this disease, insect phobia, nor this one, Delusions of Parasitosis. Those are the only two conditions that would cause one to feel assaulted by imaginary bugs. I do not have those conditions.

Prequel: The Pearl Harbor attack against the fleas

After Harris left for a trip of indeterminate length, I knew I had to get right on a housewide eradication program. Besides the flea bombs and flea spray, the kind that retards their growth into adulthood, I ordered 5 pounds of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE).

I vacuumed every vacuumable item in the home. I washed the floors.

I checked with Harris to make sure that using flea bombs would not blow up the house due to exposure to lit pilot lights. Turned out they were in the garage. Great place for the birds! I put them in the garage, with a blanket under the garage door to keep fumes from entering.

I sat the bombs on raised platforms. I held my nose and took a deep breath, then set off the bombs. Previously, I had gathered all the bedding in the house to wash at the Laundromat…too voluminous to wash in our modest home washer.

Then I set off to the Laundromat, productively killing off the two-hour wait while the deadly chemicals dispersed with productive activity. I loaded the washing machines. It took 5 triple-capacity monster machines at $4.25 per pop, to hold the comforters, sheets, blankets and pillows from two bedrooms and the living room.

While everything washed, I treated the empty van with flea spray.

You get the picture.

After the bombing and the DE application, which took the better part of two days, I still have fleas.

I just smeared my body with DE.

One Week After: a flea

I had just changed into an old top, to do a messy household job, when I felt the first sharp prick of a flea bite on my upper right arm. I am never sure about the first bite. Maybe it could be a straw in my clothing or a forgotten tag holder. But I commenced to get little rashes that itched fiercely. I doffed all my clothing and put it in the washing machine. Then, I felt the little bastard in my hair. I knew I had to go take a shower. That old top had come from my closet…

Whew, that’s better! I put back on the bathrobe I had used before the shower, then it started again. I am headed back to the washing machine, then out to the kitchen to smear myself with diatomaceous earth. I don’t like doing that; the powder is bad for my lungs. It’s worth it, though, to be free of the pain and itch. I recognize that staving off this affliction will shorten my life. I am past caring about that.

How do I know it isn’t a figment of my imagination? I asked my psychiatrist, Dr. R., who said I did not have this disease, insect phobia, nor this one, Delusions of Parasitosis. Those are the only two conditions that would cause one to feel assaulted by imaginary bugs. I do not have those conditions.

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