Sunday, July 17, 2011

Man vs. Flea

This week I start an all-out assault on the fleas that have invaded my mom's house.  This ugly battle started 6 or 7 weeks ago when her front yard became infested with fleas.  She doesn't have any pets but that didn't seem to matter.  The fleas decided to set up residence in her yard and that made it impossible for her to spend anytime sitting the the swing in her front yard, one of her favorite pastimes. I reacted immediately by calling in an exterminator to treat her whole yard but the fleas persisted.  Fleas 1, Ken 0.

I visited the farm and garden center in town and asked the advice of our local expert on such matters.  Following his instructions, I treated the entire yard again with the granular insecticide that he recommended and then watered it in.  This should do the trick  . . .  but the fleas persisted.  Fleas 2, Ken 0.

Not to be outdone, I searched stores and asked others for advice and then selected a liquid insecticide specifically formulated for fleas and hit the yard again for a another assault.  Surely, the 3rd time would be the charm.  Checking back a few days later, the fleas seemed to be gone.  None hopped on  my bare legs as I sat in the swing with my mother.  Eureka!  I had won  . . . but no!  Guess what had now invaded the interior of her house?  Yep, the fleas.  They had just moved inside.  Fleas 3, Ken 0.

I wasn't giving up.  I promptly went out and purchased a boat load of flea bombs and set them off in the house.  No luck.  Again, I set them off in the house.  No luck.  And again I set them off in the house. No luck.  Fleas 4, Ken 0.

I call the exterminator again.  This time he came back and sprayed the entire inside of the house with a chemical mixture that is designed to both kill the adult fleas and prevent the flea eggs from hatching.  Just to be sure, and after he leaves, I set off 7 (count 'em, 7) more bombs in the house.  It's  me or the fleas.  One of us is gonna die!  I lose again.  The fleas are still there the following day and the day after that.  Fleas 5, Ken 0.

I call the exterminator back again and this time he tries another chemical concoction that he hopes will reach areas that the previous attempt failed to reach.  I wait a couple of days and today I go back to see if we can finally declare victory.  No luck. The fleas are still there but in greatly reduced numbers.  Fleas 6, Ken 0.

I'm exhausted with the battle so I plan my final and greatest attack.  On Monday I'm moving my mom into an assisted living facility for a few days while I ready the house for my final attempt to beat the fleas.  I'll move everything off the floor on Monday  evening and Tuesday morning.  On Tuesday morning, I'll vacuum every square inch of floor that I can reach before the exterminator comes back on Tuesday afternoon to spray the entire house again. On Wednesday morning, someone is coming to thoroughly vacuum the entire house again, to remove any dead fleas and eggs that remain.  On Thursday morning, I'll come back and vacuum the entire house again before putting things back in their place and then bring my mom back to her home. 

If this doesn't get 'em, I'm raising the white flag of surrender.  I'll have done all I can do and will just have to concede that in the battle of Man vs. Flea, the flea is winner.

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