Friday, August 1, 2008

In Which I Am A Killer: Part Three - The Resolution

12:10:57 PM.

With a towel wrapped around his face like an ill-prepared bank robber, Michael stands in the living room on his apartment. He picks up two metal canisters from the table in front of him, and begins to shake them vigorously. Looking down at an empty box also on the table, he reads out loud.

"Shake can before use. Aiming away from eyes and face- no shit- push down on the locking tab. Leave room immediately."

Michael looks around the room as he continues shaking the cans. It looks like we're getting ready to move out. The couch is on the vinyl flooring of the kitchen, its cushions removed and leaning up against the arm rests. All of the appliances and "other ignition sources" in the room have been unplugged. All of the windows are closed, and the air conditioner sits dormant near the corner.

The two canisters hold hopefully-lethal doses of chemicals and propellants used to combat the growing flea problem in the house. Empty cans of topical flea sprays litter the floor in front of the trash can, evidence of previous failed attempts at domestic insecticide. Frustration has been building within these walls, and the breaking point has been reached.

This is where it ends.

Resting one of the cans on the table, Michael cautiously presses down on the small tab on the top of the can. A thick white spray surges out and towards his face! He quickly leans back to avoid getting hit with the toxic flea chemicals. The smell is horrible, and he can feel his throat tightening up. Quickly, on the other side of the apartment Michael places down and activates another can. He takes one last look at the apartment before exiting.

They look like fountains, he thinks. Fountains of death.

He slams the door behind him, and sets his watch timer for two hours.

"And now we wait." Michael says with determination.

12:15:07 PM.

---

3:01:19 PM.

A thick haze hangs in the air, like fog after a humid afternoon. A lone figure can be seen racing around the room, frantically opening windows and turning on fans. He pauses in the center of the room and rests his hands on his knees, and lets out a wheezing cough. After recovering, he staggers to the front door of the apartment, and exits.

3:05:27 PM.

---

3:37:15 PM.

Michael and The Boss cautiously enter the apartment. It smells strongly of chemicals, but the air is clear and safe to breathe. After placing the cat in the bathroom, they begin their inspection.

"So far, so good." The Boss calls out from the bedroom. "I'm not finding any flea's in here."

"Same goes for out here, too. I think we finally got 'em!"

Michael begins vacuuming the carpets in the apartment as The Boss sprays down the couch again. The insecticide foggers seemed to have done their job. It's about damn time. They continue putting the apartment back together, working silently but efficiently. Before long, everything looks back to normal.

"Let's get out of here and get some food. I'm fuckin' starved." says Michael, grabbing his keys.

"Me, too. Let's go." The Boss agrees. Together, they leave the apartment.

The apartment, once the scene of a flea breeding ground, is now the scene of a flea massacre of epic proportions. It is safe once again.

4:17:02 PM.

---

The flea problem The Boss and I had seems to be under control. The foggers helped immensely, but we still have some stragglers. If I had to make an estimate, I would say that we had an 85% kill rate with the foggers. I'm not too fond of using harsh chemicals, but we had to do something. We used Frontline on the cat, and we've noticed a dramatic change just from that. The remaining fleas we have are ones that were in the carpet and the couch, presumably out of the range of the fogger. We're going to do another round of fogging this weekend.

Since our cat is strictly indoors, we were puzzled as to how we could have got fleas in the first place. We then thought back a few months, when we got the couch we have now. We got it used from Goodwill, and we think that the couch was infested. Bringing it into the home only made it worse and allowed it to spread. If the fogging treatment doesn't work again, we'll be getting rid of the couch.

So far, we've spent over $125 on various flea treatments and medications. That includes the $50 we spent at the laundromat, washing all of our clothes, bedding, towels, or any fabric surface that we could find. If nothing else, this problem is getting expensive.

And exhausting.

19 Comments:

Heather said...

You can track fleas in on your shoes. They live in the grass when they aren't attached to flesh. My brother got an infestion one time when he didn't even own any pets. But it could've been the couch. Dude, bedbugs? Roaches? You are so lucky it was just fleas. I'd rather buy two cheap camping chairs to sit in than bring home a couch from the Goodwill.

Good luck getting rid of the rest of them. My cat never got rid of the fleas with just Frontline though. It isn't 100% effective if you get any of the chemical on their fur, which is hard on a long haired cat. It soaks up into the fur when you squeeze it on their skin. Why doesn't anything every WORK like it's supposed to?

Badass Geek said...

Heather: It wasn't really my choice to get the couch. My parents showed up at my door with it in the back of their truck, and said "Here you go! We bought you a used couch!" Couldn't exactly turn it away at that point.

The cat seems to be flea-free with the Frontline. Her hair is relatively short, but we parted it down to the skin when we applied it.

Meg said...

I've used foggers before. Glad it worked for you. I hope you can get the rest out soon!

Employee No. 3699 said...

So glad to hear this is finally under control.

You said it killed about 85% of the fleas, maybe you can round up the other 15% and sell them at a 'flea market'!

Sorry, I had to!

Miss Grace said...

For some reason when I was a kid there were like 4 summers in a row when our whole house got fleas. So my parents set off 10,000 flea bombs and took us all camping for a week.

Lola said...

Maybe they lived in your apartment rent-free before you moved in. And Heather is right, you're lucky you didn't get bed bugs with that couch. Have you seen what those little suckers do to people?

Sadly, two fleas turn into 200 in like a day if they get some blood in them. Toss the couch and spend the money on the flea birth control. I promise you it works!

You're going to kill youself with all those toxic fumes, and then I'll be so sad.

scatterbrain said...

I’m totally imagining the scene.

Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!

Brings to mind a British low budget scifi T.V. running this side of the pond since...forever. The most popular villains are Daleks, robotic aliens from the planet Skaro who rush around spouting “Ex-ter-mi-nate!” in tinny electronic voices.

Daddy Files said...

Are we going to see you and The Boss on the news soon because you're forced to live out your remaining days in your respective Haz-Mat suits? Or will you be like John Travolta in that movie where he's stuck in the bubble.

Badass Bubble Geek...the possibilities are endless.

Badass Geek said...

Meg: Me, too. Want to come help?

Employee No. 3699: I was waiting for someone to make that joke! Kudos!

Miss Grace: That sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

Lola: We thought of that, and asked our landlords if the previous tenants had any trouble. They couldn't think of anything, but I guess anything is possible. And I'll take fleas any day, over bed bugs or roaches.

Scatterbrain: Do you know if the Daleks are available for hire? I might need their help.

Badass Geek said...

Daddy Files: If that does happen, I'll give you the first scoop for your newspaper.

Catutes said...

The flea infestation. We too have recently been invaded so this was hilarious. We are about to embark on our own fogging of the home to rid ourselves of what appear to be superfleas as they have evaded eradication by flea shampoos, flea sponge dip, frontline and spray. thanks for the laugh

Badass Geek said...

Catutes: Good luck with everything... It has been a long and difficult road, and we're not even finished yet.

Aub said...

(I had to repost because I have compulsive editing tendencies and I saw a misspelled word)

I'm happy that you and The Boss experienced the sweet taste of victory but, methinks this war has just begun. Don't let up, brave deathdealer, or it's gonna be Episode IV: The Return.

Badass Geek said...

Aub: I'm much the same way. I deleted your original comment so it won't haunt you. =) And thanks for the encouragement. I'm in no hurry to make an Episode IV.

Lil Sass said...

Hey Heather, don't judge people with roaches ;-)

Michael, I am SO glad you're near resolving this. Believe you me I understand the madness. Thankfully, my critters don't bite but it's a costly event nonetheless.

And I can't believe we both became Fogger Killers this month. Hopefully you learned from my mistakes ;-)

Badass Geek said...

Lil Sass: I knew you could sympathize with me. I did manage to inhale some of the chemical crap, but not to the extent that you did.

Moonspun said...

There is nothing about fleas that sounds fun at all. Chemicals, leaving the apartment like a bomb went off...
BUT the post did confirm one thing. YOu are a great writer and I enjoy what you write, even though it's not fun in anyway for you. Meaning the subject, not the writing!

Badass Geek said...

Moonspun: I like to be able to take an event and turn it into a story... I feel like I describe things too much (a la Stephen King), but thats how I think of things sometimes.

Mystern said...

MM . . . Fleas.

Before I was a door to door salesman for Alarm Systems, I peddled Pest Control. Fleas are one of the most difficult and annoying pests to get rid of. If there was a flea problem, our company would come out and nuke the house for an extra 100 bucks.

That's one of the nice things about living in an altitude above 1500 feet, no fleas here.

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