Monday, July 7, 2008

Addressing the root causes of the flea problem

Almost as soon as I moved into the temporary apartment, I noticed the bug problem. In this case, it was little tiny ones that jumped around whenever I tried to smash them. When I started finding bites on my legs, I realized that I was going to have to go to war with the fleas.

I went out shopping and returned with the mother of all flea bombs. Just pull the plunger, go to a cafe for the next eight hours, and all the fleas would be dead (and their eggs, too, for up to three months), said the label.

The next morning the fleas were back.

Fortunately the flea bomb came in packages of two.

I went a whole day without fleas, only to discover a scouting party of them yesterday. Are they getting reinforcements from elsewhere? I think so, and here's my evidence.

1. When I arrived in the apartment, I noticed a stain on the carpet and a lingering scent of ammonia.
2. There are not pets permitted in my apartment complex, but sometimes I hear meowing.
3. My apartment is on the ground floor and there are a number of cracks in the windows.

My theory is that the previous tenants had been hiding a cat in the apartment. When it came time for them to move out, they decided they didn't want the cat any more. (Alternately, and equally likely in this area, the previous tenant was arrested, sent his babymomma to move his stuff out, and babymomma decided she didn't want no cat.) They abandoned the cat in the neighborhood. Today, it's homeless, lonely, and flea-infested, wandering Moscow, looking for food and shelter. Occasionally it returns to its old home and hopes its owner will take it back - and the fleas jump from the cat into my apartment.

I might have to get me a cat-grabbing stick and the phone number of the Humane Society.


Anonymous said...

I had to de-flea a very small dog yesternight (post-camping-trip), and that was traumatic enough, at least for the dog. Sadly, I saw a few on the bed (near but by no means on the dog), which leads me to believe a larger-scale operation may be in my future as well.

I have seen recommendations that one wash one's clothes and bedding to prevent recurrence of outbreaks... perhaps that may be your next step? (Also, if you are a legal renter, it mightn't be a bad idea to contact the landlord.)

Salieri said...

The landlord has an LLC, but he asks for checks to be made out to him personally.

If I have to sue him I am going to pierce the SHIT out of his veil.

(ask Jayne)