Monday, October 02, 2006

Raccoons, Part 2

So where were we? Right, the raccoon family had just vacated our chimney, the chimney cap was replaced and all was right with the world.

Shortly after the raccoons left I started noticing little itchy red bumps on my person. They looked and felt distinctly like insect bites, but I couldn’t assign a culprit. They weren’t mosquito bites. The bites were too little. Plus mosquitoes generally go for the ankles or the back of the arms, or some other area that’s not in view (though I did once wake up with a mosquito bite squarely in the center of my forehead). Spider bites are usually just one big ugly red spot the size of a half-dollar. It couldn’t be fire ants because I would have felt them biting me.

DC wasn’t having any red bump issues. Of course, that didn’t necessarily mean anything. Nobody has insect issues when I’m around. Insects adore me. Apparently, I’m a Filet Mignon in a world of hamburgers. I am delicious. Everyone else in the vicinity gets ignored. I could probably rent myself out for outdoor wedding receptions and cocktail parties. Hmm, must keep that in mind in case the corporate career ever becomes too big of a drag….

Anyway, a few days after the first bites appeared, I was sitting on the living room floor, stretching a little after a run, and I noticed this little black speck on my leg. I picked it up between my thumb and forefinger and when I opened my fingers to get a look at it, it jumped. JUMPED. Aaah! I knew what that was! There’s only one thing that jumps like that. That was a flea! A mother#$&%$#*ing FLEA!

The expletives that came out of my mouth at that moment aren’t fit to repeat. Let’s just say they were numerous and enthusiastic.

A short consultation with DC confirmed that we were infested. But how? HOW?? We don’t have pets of any kind. So it’s upstairs to the computer and a quick googling. I quickly found a page with this advice: “If you have fleas but you don’t have pets, you have some sort of wildlife living in your house. The usual culprits are squirrels or raccoons.”

Squirrels or ….

(blink)

raccoons.

Everything became clear. Yes, the raccoons were gone. The fleas they had left behind were now starving for blood and were dining on the next best thing: me.

I went completely ape-shit. The live-and-let-live, baby-raccoon-adoring person I had been five minutes earlier was gone. She was replaced by a murderous, blood-thirsty maniac. In the lulls between the spells of cursing, I started screeching at DC from the other side of the house, “We’re going to Self-Chem RIGHT NOW! There are %&$ing FLEAS in our house! $*&%$#@!! KILL EVERYTHING!!”

We immediately departed for Self-Chem while I continued to curse. On the way DC patted my hand as if to assure me that I had his full support, but I know he was thinking that I was overreacting just a little. Well, he wasn’t the one with flea bites all over his body, now was he?

When we got there, DC politely started to ask the clerk if they had anything to take care of fleas. I interrupted and elbowed my way in front of him to the counter where I grabbed the clerk by one ear and his “Hi, my name is Steve” name tag and pulled him within inches of my fuming red face.

“We have some fleas that have to be killed right now. RIGHT NOW! Do you have any napalm? Perhaps a small thermonuclear device?? They MUST DIE!!”

The clerk immediately produced some noxious chemical that he assured us would send those little fuckers into their death throes. As we were leaving I gave him one final look over my shoulder that silently said, “If this doesn’t work I’m coming back to get you.” He locked the door as soon as we were on the sidewalk. Admittedly it was near closing time, but I think he was jumping the gun. Coward.

As soon as we made it back to the house, DC suited up in his best protective gear and respirator and sprayed the interior of the house with the aforementioned noxious chemical. Then we left for the evening.

That was the last we ever heard or saw of the fleas. No new bites have since appeared on my pale flesh. The noxious chemical hasn’t caused us or any of our visitors to lose all our hair or grow any extra fingers. The clerk at Self-Chem is uninjured. Everything is fine.

4 Comments:

Blogger Stucco said...

See? This is my thinking about ole Mamma Nauture- it sucks ass. In the mosquito's realm, I'm the creme brulee among people. They come straight at me and I'll probably die of West Nile. Camping? No damned way! I live in the era of indoor plumbing and Internet access for a reason. Fleas, chiggers, mosquitos, ticks, spiders, scorpions, snakes... I don't need any of it. I'm the antithesis of that Crocodile Hunter guy.

8:46 PM  
Blogger drama-addict said...

Your post made me smile. Oh, and it made me check the mysterious bugbite on my forearm and wonder if a flea was the culprit.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

stucco, I'm right there with you. God invented air-conditioning to be used. There's no need to sleep in the woods anymore.

drama-addict, just keep an eye out for little black specks that jump. Personally, I now wear a Hartz Flea and Tick collar at all times. Seems to cut down on the mysterious bites.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Selena Slough said...

It’s been more than six years since you had this raccoon-slash-flea problem, so I reckon this has long been resolved. Anyway, this is a good read for other house owners with the same issue. When you drive the pests away, make sure that you clean the house afterwards. The mess they’ve made attracts other wildlife, which can trigger the vicious cycle. Thanks for sharing!

2:13 PM  

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