To flea or not to flea?

We have fleas. A lot of fleas. In the basement of 912 E. 31st Street. These dictatorial denizens of all that is itchy have brought my cleaning/painting and general sanity to a screeching halt. I cannot even think about going into the basement without at least 20 of the little buggers attaching themselves to my legs, biting and sucking with joy. Doing laundry? Like risking your life. Finding paint brushes? Impossible. Running down for that oh-so-coveted bag of sugar? Don’t count on it.
Meatloaf and Jude (the cats) lived in that basement for over two years. Their flea-control regimen can’t even be described as “spotty.” It was all but non-existent. Last week, on account of their bowel-control problems, I took Meatloaf and Jude to Halfway Home Pet Adoptions for a sad but necessary goodbye. Little did I know that I would be saying hello to hordes of hungry fleas.
Yes, yes I have called the exterminator. He bombed down there last week, the same day we moved Meatloaf and Jude out. But fleas have a special way of hiding from bug bombs: each female flea lays over 500 eggs in her lifetime. The fleas love to lay their eggs in dark, soft places like carpet, fabric or…get this…cardboard. Hmmm. We don’t have anything like that in the basement, do we?
Luckily, there is an end in sight. Flea eggs take two weeks to hatch, so in about 6 days the biggest wave will be over. The fleas that are hatching right now need blood to survive and lay more eggs, and trust me, no one is going in that basement right now. I also have the exterminator scheduled to come this Friday afternoon and bomb again. I keep having dreams that when this is all said and done, I will be sweeping up dead fleas like…I can’t even think of a metaphor. Like piles of dead fleas.
Please don’t let this discourage you from coming to our work day on Sat. July 10. I plan on braving the basement for necessary items (paint brushes, scrubbies, buckets, soap) this Friday after the bug bomb air has dissipated. No one else will need to go in the basement, unless they have forgotten what pain is like and need a reminder.
I have not had a problem with fleas anywhere but the basement. Under no circumstances will you be required to go into the basement. Please come to the work day. We will be painting the kitchen and scrubbing down the dining rooms and putting up some more work in Louis’ room. Your help and bravery is greatly appreciated. I am willing to hose you off afterward.


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