Over the past couple of weeks my home has been the gathering site of vampires. And I’m not talking the hot and broody Aidan-Turner-in-Being-Human type of vampires. No, I’m talking about the ugly, cruel, Nosferatu type of vampires. They suck blood, make life miserable, and can jump 200 times the length of their own bodies.
Yes, my home has been invaded by fleas.
And I am fighting back!
Gearing up for the hunt
Last year, the little vampires weren’t too bad, but this year Dracula has done his work and created an army of his minions. Not only are they on the cats, but the fleas also seem to really like my husband (perhaps proving the quip that all men are dogs?). When the fleas start going after the humans in the house, it’s time to get serious.
My weapons of choice in this battle between good and evil? My trusty vacuum, the often overlooked flea comb, and the hidden gem called a flea trap (basically a light bulb with a sticky pad underneath, simple, yet effective).
I am ready to kill!
So this is how hunting feels!
Don’t get me wrong. I love animals and don’t normally wish them harm. I feel that all critters have their place in the ecosystem. Except for two: fleas and mosquitoes. What the hell is the purpose of either of these animals? Even flies clean up our carcasses and other mess. Fleas and mosquitoes? No purpose. They do nothing but suck our blood.
And I want them dead for their wanton vampirism!
So, every day I’ve been whipping out the vacuum and feeling like a hunter cocking her rifle as I snap together all the attachments to delve into all the fleas’ hiding places. I want to go all Moriarty and start sneering out something like his “I will burn you” line, but growling, “I will suck you” just doesn’t have the same threatening ring to it.
But hunting fleas feels good. Disturbingly good!
Like a madwoman, I may let out a bit too much maniacal laughter as, one by one, I drown the fleas I comb off my cat. And, like a trophy hunter, I could be a bit too proud of my “kills” whenever I check the flea trap (as you can see in the picture below).
I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I mount my victims and place their little heads on the living room walls, but give it time. Give it time. Because I am a hunter and that’s the weird shit we do!
What’s Not Included in my Gear Bag
Notice I am not resorting to chemical warfare. I’ve gone the route of the “magic” drops in the past and have turned away from that style of fighting. Why? Well….
- First, my cats act like I’m putting a gallon of sulfuric acid on their bodies when I try to put the 0.2 ml of flea medicine on them and my health insurance isn’t good enough to keep going to the emergency room for stitches.
- Second, I hate putting poison directly onto my little beasties’ bodies (and hate supporting the manufacturers like Bayer who also create oodles of bee poisons).
- Third, that crap just doesn’t work. A couple years ago, despite the scratches, I faithfully put that stuff on month after month. And you know what…the cats still had fleas. Sorry, I can buy a really powerful vacuum for the price of all those flea drops!
Also, I haven’t yet brought out the garlic or holy water…yet. However, I do have Van Helsing’s number on speed dial just in case.
Thanks for reading everyone. Hope you have an itch-free weekend!
If I was Moriarty and the fleas were Sherlock…
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Tammie Painter is the author of The Trials of Hercules: Book One of the Osteria Chronicles and an artist who dedicates herself to the tedium of creating images with colored pencils.