Fleas. We have fleas.
So the luck continues. We are set to move into our adorable new house in Washington and all is going well. The house is cleaned, it was recently remodeled…Basically everything seems to be in good working. Fast forward two days later, when my boyfriend calmly informs me that he saw a flea jump onto him while sitting in one of the bedrooms. As if it was no big deal. Just the grossest and tiniest house bug that multiplies faster than the Duggar’s and pack a seriously itchy bite. On the contrary to his, my reaction was equivalent to:
Apparently, the landlord had allowed a friend to live in the home before us for a couple months and they had a super cute puppy! Well, super cute puppy, you are the reason for my flare because you were the adorable flea vehicle for our home (How do fleas travel from place to place? They itch hike. Hahahahah). Our next few days after move-in unfolded into internally and externally shrieking, pacing the aisle in the grocery store that had matches and contemplating burning it all down, and trying to be wildly creative with our bug extermination. In a plot twist of beneficial irony, military deliveries of furniture can take a while when moving from coast to coast, so we don’t have any of our furniture and won’t for a while. However, we had all of our suitcases wide open on the carpet and had been sleeping in our bedroom for two nights on a new air mattress, so we still had some de-fleaing to do.
FACT TIME: Did you know that only 5% of fleas in the home are adults, while the rest are either pupae (a chrysalis of flea), larvae (babies in MAGGOT-LIKE FORM), and 50% ARE EGGS. Which roughly translates to a nightmare of generations of fleas just birthing and chowing down on your blood in a matter of days. Like seriously, these mama fleas waste NO time. Plus, it gets worse people, the general saying is that when you see one flea, there are 80 more fleas in your home that are not visible.
And do you want to know what they do once they become adult fleas? Because that’s when they worsen as living beings. Fleas just hide, and chill out until a host arrives. Like someone who arrives to a party too early. So when they realize no one is there to feed them, they feel awkward and bored and loser-y so they sneak into the baseboards (or toilets, because they’re just all around disgusting and have no manners) and hang there until aforementioned host arrives.
Enter naive young blog writer, autoimmune diseased and desiring a good place to finally sleep. They look to my healthy, strong boyfriend and then to me, weak and high maintenance. “Her,” they whisper amongst themselves. “She’s the one.” 10 flea bites later, we pack up all of our things and go to a laundromat because, laughing at our life, our washer and dryer isn’t going to be delivered until Monday. Cue spending Christmas Eve washing every single piece of clothing we own, minus the heavy sweatshirt and sweatpants we bought at a store that has me looking like a homeless person or Kanye West at an awards show.
Now, in case you were wondering, autoimmune diseases and fleas do not a good bond make. In between itching from bites, dreaming of being eaten alive, and just simply an uncomfortable hotel bed, I barely got to catch up on sleep. Regardless, we had to stuff all fabric into garbage bags to bring to a laundromat (the high heat of washers and dryers kill fleas, they can’t hang with hot) and spent 6 hours washing the entirety of our closet contents. Then after our landlord hired a wonderful exterminator to spray our home with the glorious flea-murdering chemicals, I vacuumed the whole home throughly. Since we have no chairs yet to sit on and fleas will only usually get above your waist if you’re on the floor sitting or laying down, I refused to change from my standing position. Fleas won over flare in this situation…
So here we are, one full day after flea chemicals have been sprayed. The smell was incredibly potent and I knew those poisonous chemicals couldn’t be a beneficial combination with an immunocompromised person, so we left shortly after the home was sprayed. We later returned to vacuum while all the windows were open, as vacuuming distresses the eggs to hatch too early and the chemical-ed world they emerge in is doomed to kill them. I would say that that makes me sad, but I just keep telling myself that these fleas are evil people reincarnated. Or that they’re tiny jumping vampires.
I have to say that I’m bummed that I have to deal with fleas and I don’t even have an adorable pet to make it worth it. I’m also not quite sure when one knows that fleas are definitely and reliably gone. I suppose after days of intense anxiety, worry, and imagined bug bites, one begins to believe they no longer exist in the home. The exterminator said he had a 99% success rate and he doubts they’ll come back. Thanks to my exhaustion mentally and physically, I think I’m willing to believe they have been passed on to a better place. Such as a flea heaven, where there are puppies and kittens frolicking in a buffet-like setting. But for now, from the girl with 3 autoimmune diseases, growing joint pain, and debilitating lightheadedness, I got 99 problems but an itch ain’t one.
3 thoughts on “We Have Fleas.”
O.M.G….what a way to spend the holidays. A memory you will never forget! Hope the critters have vamoosed.
I read your blog in the TNT today and had to subscribe. I live your writing style and sarcasm. :). Plus I share in your germaphobe issues lol. As far as fleas go, they are awful but just be thankful it wasn’t bedbugs – my ultimate nightmare.
Hello there, Kary! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I try to use my sarcasm to get through life’s curve balls 😉 Thanks for following the blog! I hope to continue to please, and I’m thrilled you liked the column!