Have you ever had a week that was so awful you cant really figure out how to explain it? Well, I’ll give it a shot: We’ve got fleas. There. I said it.
When you think of Miami Beach you probably envision a tropical paradise with sun overhead and sand underfoot. Problem is, when it’s always sunny (except for those afternoon downpours) nothing ever dies. And all that sand is the perfect breeding ground for all sorts if critters. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. According to everyone we’ve met down here: if you have a dog and you have a yard, you’re gonna get fleas.
We tried so hard to avoid it. Zoey is on every possible flea preventative. We bathe her weekly. We limit her outdoor time.
The house and yard are treated regularly by exterminators (even though I hate the idea of all these chemicals). I literally vacuum the house top to bottom, including the furniture, at LEAST twice a week (imagine doing that while nine months pregnant)! We launder our bedding, Zoeys bedding, the baby’s bedding, the living room throw pillows…everything, at least weekly. Usually more.
Even so, this past week, while JiT was on a business trip, I walked into our guest bath and discovered countless fleas jumping all over the place. They were everywhere. Biting me, biting the dog. It was awful. It was overwhelming and I was so worried about the baby.
There was no way I could deal with this on my own while caring for Lilly and Z so our only choice was to leave the house. I still don’t really have any friends down here, certainly not anyone who would let me, my baby and my flea covered dog stay at their house, so we ended up at a hotel for the next two nights. I’ve never felt so overwhelmed and isolated. It was terrible. I didn’t even want to come back to the house. Wanted to just get in the Jeep and drive all the way home to Chicago.
Instead I counted the seconds until JiT returned and we tackled it to together. The house has been fumigated and we moved back in yesterday. The problem with fleas though is once you have them they’re extremely hard to get rid of. They lay eggs that can lie dormant for months or years and then hatch a brand new round of critters when you least expect it. So the only remedy is to vacuum and wash everything over and over again forever (or for as long as you live in Florida which if you ask me hopefully won’t be for very long).
Enter my newest ally:
The Roomba robot vacuum (we’ve named her Alice after the Brady Bunch maid). We’re still using our big Dyson once a day to get the big areas and the furniture but this little lady is so, so helpful for daily maintenance. Just set her down, hit the button and let her go. Even gets under furniture and places i cant normally reach. This thing is such a lifesaver (I’d highly recommend it as a great gift for any busy mom, pest problem or no).
So far our strategy seems to be working, exhausting as it is. We’ll keep at it and keep our fingers crossed for a better week.