Fleas and T-Shirts…

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I haven’t posted here in a few days – chiefly because in between writing the rants (and responding to your comments) I’ve been playing the role of Marshall Zhukov vs. a Wehrmacht-like swarm of fleas that invaded my house as suddenly and relentlessly as the German swarm back in June of ’41.

Unternehmen Flea-arossa...fleas 1

One day, my wife noticed a few – a few! – fleas on one of our many cats. Within 48 hours, there were fleas… everywhere. Upstairs, downstairs. In the garage. On the concrete pad outside the garage. If you walked outside, you’d have fleas peppering you calves. I went to the basement and found thousands of them.

Apparently, a single flea can lay 50 eggs in 24 hours. Do the math.

We hit each cat with Revolution, which is a topical applied to the high back of the cat’s neck area (where they can’t lick it off). This stuff kills the fleas that bite the cat and also render infertile any eggs such a flea lays. This step – treating your beast – is the essential first step, like holding off Von Bock and Army Group Center on the outskirts of Moscow. Then, brush each cat several times a day using a fine-toothed flea comb. I kept a paper towel at the ready, to wipe off the comb – and the fleas. Then put the paper towel in a sealed plastic bag. Get rid of it, immediately.Dog Fleas

But you are still in for it, because for every flea on a cat, there are  – so I gather (and found out) at least ten more not on the cat. Those fleas are nesting in rugs, on the floor. Laying eggs in the cracks and crevices and sofas and bedsheets and every other imaginable place.

You have to kill them all to be rid of this plague.

This means – minimally – removing every removable cover/sheet and running it through the wash and then – even more important – a hot cycle through the dryer. It is heat, above all (even insecticide) that is fatal to these horrible little bastards. Every pet bed that can be washed and dried must be washed and dried. Or thrown out – and start over. All fixed furniture must be vacuumed meticulously, then treated with something that will kill the bugs but not you – nor render your future progeny Zika-like. My vet – the Richard Sorge of this odyssey – hooked me up with a product not available in stores called Siphotrol. It does to bugs what behind-the-lines Russian partisans and mobile Cossack cavalry did to the occupying Wehrmacht.barbarossa

But it was not sufficient. Stronger measures were necessary. Also, economic ones. The Siphotrol is not cheap and comes in small spray bottles. You will go broke – or down in defeat, fleas feasting on your dessicated corpse – if you try to fight a serious invasion this way.

I opted for regular unleaded.

After removing the Trans Am and bikes and every other thing not bolted down from the garage, I washed the whole place out with five gallons of E10 and put Archer Daniels Midland’s finest to good use. Nothing biological that’s of this earth can survive a gas bath. Use it generously. Just remember to leave the garage door open. Or the fumes will do to you what the liquid does to the bugs.flea bomb

The basement was a tougher nut. Washing it out with E10 wasn’t an option. I bombed it instead. This entails buying the bombs – that’s what they are called – and setting them off and then clearing out. This phase of the operation was more like Ypres than Kursk. The bombs do not explode. They gas the jumpy little bloodsuckers. You put each can down, pull the top tab – kind of like opening an old-school can of soda – then get the hell out of there. The bombs release a cloud of death that saturates the area, then settles to the floor – where it (best part) slowly kills off the enemy and renders his (her?) already laid eggs dead. If you have yet to experience fleas – or the invasion of your homeland – you have yet to know the pleasure that comes with killing.flea 3

But the bombs won’t kill them all. Some – like Mengele, like Eichmann – will scatter and find refuge. You must be as relentless as the Mossad. Repeated bombings, followed by vacuuming, will be necessary. You must not stop – ever – until you are sure, absolutely certain, that every last filthy horrible one of them is dead.

And them bomb again. Just to be sure.

Keep in mind, also, that flea eggs can remain viable for months – apparently, as long as a year. If any – if even one – survived, you could be in for another round. Which is why you must continue to treat all your beasts with Revolution or some other product. Even if – like our cats – your cats are 100 percent “inside” cats. I probably brought the fleas inside the house, you see.  Either I tracked in eggs – or a flea hitched a ride on me and then transferred to a cat (fleas prefer cats to humans).fleas 2

If you have fleas – or want to avoid having them – avoid wearing outside shoes inside.  Take them off before you enter the premises. I am now so fearful of the micro-hordes that I keep a bottle of Siphotrol by the steps where I take off my “outside” shoes. I take them off – and spray them down, just in case.

Also, be careful about tube socks, especially off-white ones. A flea will jump on you, burrow into the fabric and you will never see the inglorious basterd you are shuttling inside your home. But you will see his/her descendants in a few days’ time.

If, like me, you have fleas outside, you will also want to Zyklon B your yard, or at least, the perimeter around your house. Otherwise, you risk being the Host every single time you walk outside. Until you know they are all very dead, I recommend not wearing socks at all. It is much easier to see the pepper-like fleas on your calves and ankles – this is their go-to area on humans. You can then use a wettened-with-Siphotrol paper towel to wipe them off you before you take them inside with you.flea last

At first, you will feel like the Russians must have felt that late summer. Overwhelmed, despairing. Perhaps even ready to cut some kind of deal. Don’t despair. If you have treated your beasts, turning the tables on the invaders is a matter of determination superior to theirs. You must endure. Continue with the gassing, the spraying. The liberal use of gasoline (diesel and kerosene work also but are messier). Vacuum and then vacuum some more. Be sure to keep the vacuum – and its contents – away from not-infested areas or you will have another infestation. Throw the bag away immediately. Far away. If the vacuum lacks a bag, clean the works violently with very hot water. I didn’t even risk bringing the vacuum back into the house before I had soaked it down with Siphotrol.

Remember… just one egg.

Keep at it, as I did, and soon you will have the enemy by the throat. You will feel gratified, like Zhukov looking through his field glasses at the Seelow Heights in early ’45.

Payback time.

…..

Ach! I almost forgot… T shirts. I’ve had several people request they be resurrected. Here’s the deaI: In order for it to be economically viable, I will need to place a fairly big order. Otherwise, it costs too much per shirt (plus postage) to be doable. How many of you would be seriously interested in an EPautos “Throw it in the Woods” T shirt? Please raise your hands!T shirt image

The rest: As you know, this site – like most and probably all contrarian publications – depends almost entirely on your financial support to be viable. And – more than just viable – to be a serious threat to MSM publications, which can afford the staff and other things I can’t at the moment. It would be a Great Leap Forward if I could afford to hire a tech support person, at the very least.

So, please consider helping.

Our donate button is here.

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EPautos
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12 COMMENTS

  1. My female cat once had a few fleas near her tail. I made a warm water solution using Zodiac Flea and Tick Sponge-On (mostly non-toxic pyrethrins) and poured it over her hind quarters. She trusted me completely and didn’t mind experience. It may have even felt soothing to her. The drenching did the trick and the fleas never came back. For some reason my two males never acquired fleas and I was never bothered either. The vet said that they seem to know their host species.

  2. Eric,

    Try not to panic. “Doing the math” in your head leads to unrealistic conclusions. We went through the same thing with our dog and sheer panic as we realized they were everywhere. But we were not willing to use the insecticide bombs in our house. We opted for a different route. First, we laid down diatomaceous earth at the edges of every room to kill as many that way, and we left it there for weeks. Second, we attacked the life cycle of the flea.

    There are three types of attacks for this second item, all related to medicine for the animal. (1) Some kill the fleas on contact with the animal. (2) Some require the flea to bite the animal and then they die. (3) Some require the flea to bite the animal and then the babies of the flea die.

    We didn’t want (1), because that means the chemicals are all over the skin and fur and thus our kids and us. We opted for (2) or (3). There are different medicines for cats, but they work on the same principle.

    Some owners can’t stand the thought of having the pet bitten. For us, we come first, so (1) wasn’t acceptable to us. The result was that within a week, the flea problem was effectively eliminated. I’m sure there were stragglers that survived for awhile, but the pet becomes a “trap” for that flea that survives or hatches. Once they jump onto the animal and bite, they die (or their babies die). Keep up with the medicine, and the problem goes away. We stopped getting any bites on us. This was 6 months ago. Problem is gone. No harsh chemicals used in the house. No chemical contact issues for us merely petting the dog.

    I would suggest that this is much more tolerable (to everyone and your lifestyle) than the incessant chemical bombs, etc., which may or may not work, given that new broods are hatching constantly. Give it some thought. Attack the life-cycle. There are probably similar medicines for cats.

    • Hi Jim,

      I’ve given each cat a dose of Revolution; it does a good job of killing the fleas that feed on the cats. But I am still finding live fleas in areas of the basement that have been bombed (several times) vacuumed (repeatedly) and hosed down with multiple different noxious chemicals. It is very enervating.

  3. Eric,
    I’m in for the t-shirts. How much would I need to pitch in to get you to produce enough to make it worth it?

    I never knew fleas were that bad. It must be to damn cold here for them to live through the winter. My exposure to them has only been media.

    • Hi Ancap,

      I think (have to work the numbers a bit) that an order of about 100 shirts gets the per shirt cost down to a level that it “adds up.”

      The fleas … easily the worst bug-related experience of my life so far!

      • eric, are you scared of sevin dust for some reason? If not, it works extremely well. Brands of dust for fleas on cats and dogs, such as Hartz Mountain and others are nothing more or less than sevin and it works quickly. You can just dust the basement and garage and fairly much forget it.

        A friends dad who is an entomologist said sevin was harmless enough to be safely ingested. I don’t eat it but I’ll put a coat of it anywhere there are fleas including my bed, carpet or the couch is necessary. It’s easy to remove with a vacuum.

        An emergency stop at a motel ended with scabies. I didn’t know what they were before but I got educated quickly. The cure is another thing from big pharm that’s gone from dirt cheap to very expensive. I noticed it was simply permectrin at a reduced concentration than what you’d use on cattle. I grabbed the big jug for cattle and diluted some down to the same thing the pharmacy sells. We did every piece of laundry we had in it and used it on ourselves as well as the carpet and furniture. Of course we kept it well away from the cats since there is virtually no dose a cat will survive. To be honest though, I’ve had hoses break and pressure guns malfunction and have been covered with the cattle concentrate many times and there’s nothing the matter with me…..with me. I wouldn’t recommend anyone with liver problems to even smell it though.

        • Hi Eight,

          I just “watered” the entire basement with hot, soapy and citrusy water – the bastards did not like that. I finished up with a spritz of Bacardi/old gin/old Whiskey… through my sprayer… it was a joy to see them stop moving almost instantly.

          I feel utter race hatred for these bugs, damn their blood sucking chitinous selves. I would love a Starships Troopers-style theme park where one could go to blast the bugs to pieces using various heavy and light arms.

          If only these fleas were bigger… so I could pull off their got-damned legs, one by one.

  4. I realize it’s your home and garage that’s been infected, but when in doubt, C4 always works! Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but fun nonetheless!

  5. You are fortunate, indeed, to still have a garage. Of course, if the fleas are still there, maybe not.

    Here’s a nice trick to catch the guerillas who might tunnel-in and survive the bombing.

    Put a pan or dish with a 1/2″ of water, with a significant amount of dish detergent mixed in, in the middle of a room. A cake pan is about perfect.

    Place one of those small gooseneck lamps which use a high intensity bulb over the pan so the light is centered 4 or 5 inches over the water/detergent solution. Turn it on when you go to bed or if a room is otherwise unoccupied after dark. The darker the room, the better. You will be amazed at the number of fleas that will fall for the trick, and it will reduce the residual population significantly. A side benefit is that it will also act as a gauge of the population.

    Dirt-cheap lamps which used a 12VDC automotive bulb used to be ubiquitous. I don’t know if new retail stock is available in this high-tech world. If you can’t find one at a retailer, check yard sales and thrift stores. If not there, cobble one up somehow, even if it means using a portable 110VAC-12VDC power supply. If you are really desperate, buy a newer one using a Halogen bulb.

  6. “We shall defend our living room, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the carpets, we shall fight on the front porch, we shall fight in the hamper and in the pet beds, we shall fight in the basement; we shall never surrender.”

    -EP, channeling Winston Churchill.
    (Yea, I know I’m mixing armies)

    • Hi Vz,

      I think I am 95 percent there; still a few stragglers in the basement… I am going to lay down another carpet of flea bombs today.

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