Currently, I am sitting in the car outside my house writing this post. It isn’t the most comfortable of places to be and Twinkle is an unhappy cat. I put her in the pet carrier I borrowed from my neighbor a couple of days ago. She’d familiarized herself with it and would wander in and out. I had pictured an idyllic time waiting for the fleas to die but it was not to be. I have her cat box, food, water, and she’s in the carrier perched on the back of the car. When I put the carrier in the car, she started having fits. She was screaming and hissing nonstop and I couldn’t handle that. Hence, her banishment.
What has brought me to this point is the weeks of unmitigated misery. If you want to drive someone stark raving mad, subject them to constant attacks from fleas. I’m going to copy and paste some of yesterday’s post from the forum because I feel particularly lazy after the happenings of the last few days.
These consarned fleas are nocturnal animals. I’m fine during the day and was about to the point that I was going to forget doing anything drastic when the sun went down. They were out in force. Back to Plan B.
Plan A was to use all the natural means at my disposal. I have fed Twinkle dozens of brewer’s yeast tablets and she’s still scratching. I’ve put black walnuts and black walnut branches on the floor. I’ve salted the place within an inch of turning it into Redmond, Utah. I’ve sprayed with a walnut extract I made by boiling the leaves, letting them steep, and straining them. Orange rinds are another thing I’ve cooked and sprayed in the hope that it would either repel or kill the fleas. Did you know that if you cook brewer’s yeast in water it will smell like boiled peanuts? I also found out that sticky paper will stick to the bottom of shoes. And Twinkle must’ve tangled with one sheet from the looks of the cat hair on it.
I’ve sealed things up in garbage bags to kill fleas. Twinkle let me know she didn’t like the way things were going by peeing on a couple of the bags. How do you explain what’s going on to a cat??
A departure from natural is the Sevin dust on paper under furniture. I don’t know if it’s helping or not.
Plan B is to bomb the place. I was out at the clothesline yesterday when my neighbor came over to see how I was doing. I was almost in tears, talking about it. I got myself under control and told her I’m going to bomb the place Sunday (tomorrow). I hate to do it but I hate worse living with fleas. Another thing–when I was cleaning up my bedroom, I spied a roach (I’ve never had roaches here). That’s something else I can’t tolerate so that sealed the deal. She had bought a case of foggers when she was ridding a fixer-upper of fleas and had some left. I am the proud recipient of seven cans, enough to do the whole house.
She asked what I’d do with Twinkle. I told her I plan to put her in the car with everything she needs for the 2.5 hours we have to be out. Did she have a pet carrier? Of course she does! She got it for me and I brought it in the house so Twinkle could get acquainted. When I mentioned bringing my computer outside, she showed me where her extension cords are and said for me to plug into their electricity. I’m set.
Well, that was the plan. Here’s the reality.
I was supposed to vacuum the carpet and shampoo it before I bombed it. First, my shampooer died. Then my Dyson quit. I had to haul out the old Dirt Devil and hope it worked. It soldiered on. I left the Dyson in my bathroom last night and you’d think I’d have moved it after the first time I tripped over it. Well, NO! Not even the second time. The third time, I think I broke my little left toe. I have it wrapped with an elastic bandage and people are sorry for me. I figured I should get a professional opinion so I called and talked to one of the nurses at the hospital. She said I’d done the right thing.
Upshot is the carpet didn’t get shampooed so the fleas are dying a less than pristine death. Shari is disappointed with me because I went ahead with the operation anyway but she isn’t here fighting the Biters.
Now for what I’ve learned from this experience. The following are things I have tried with the results (or lack of them).
- Brewer’s Yeast: This is a longterm remedy meaning it takes a long time for it to build up enough to be effective. Applying it to the skin, especially if it’s already irritated, can burn. Putting it on the floors, furniture, and bedding does repel the fleas somewhat. If it’s left mixed with water in a spray bottle, it will sour. As I said before, if you cook it in water, it will smell like boiled peanuts.
- Sticky Paper and a Light: This is, without a doubt, the least trouble and has the best results. When the fleas check in, they can’t check out.
- Bagging Belongings: I didn’t go into this much but be prepared to be without your treasures for a couple of weeks if you go this route. The fleas will die a horrible death from starvation.
- Borax: Didn’t try it. Probably should have.
- Garlic Powder: I actually saw a flea jump off Twinkle when I put the powder on her neck. When I put it on mine, it burned. Careful with the garlic if you try it.
- Moth Balls in the Vacuum Cleaner Bag: This may be why my Dyson quit. It didn’t seem to work too well, anyway. I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Salt: I think these critters were related to sand fleas. (I hope past tense is correct.) They seemed to thrive on the salt. It might have been another reason my Dyson quit. I don’t think salt is good for that type vacuum.
- Citrus Elixir: If that’s what you call boiling citrus peels, letting them steep, and then straining it. I don’t know that it killed anything but it smelled good and spraying my sheets seemed to keep them away.
- Black Walnut Leaves and Black Walnuts: The leaves can make one big mess and I couldn’t get enough of them when I was trying them out to really test them. The black walnuts, themselves, smell good so I’m leaving the dozens I’ve picked up at the head of my bed. I do need to put them on something to keep them from staining the carpet as they cure.
Sorry, I can’t say any of the natural means worked well enough to steer me away from chemicals. I think my sanity is important. Hopefully my health won’t go downhill from here.
My neighbor from across the street came over. He was concerned with all of Twinkle’s yowlings and hissings. There’d been an owl hooting and he thought it might have her. I assured him that she was not a happy camper. She still isn’t. I unhooked the door so she can get out any time she wants to but she’s sulled up and won’t budge.