And so ad infinitum

Today is the anniversary of our move to this house 23 years ago. I think that also makes it the 23rd anniversary of Prince Andrew’s and Fergie’s wedding, I seem to remember it being on television while I was doing last-minute packing.

I remember the date because it was the day before Ro’s 2nd birthday. We had exchanged contracts and completion day was 1st August, but we offered to let our buyers have the keys a week early so that they could move at their leisure. We’d had a lot of work done here and we’d told the workmen ages ago when their deadline was, but they didn’t believe us. They thought we’d give them an extra day at least. However, I was adamant that we would not move on Ro’s birthday and that we would give Barry and Rachel the week we’d promised. They rigged up an emergency electrical supply from the bungalow next door (then empty; it’s where Al and family now live), we had the Aga and, since our new bed, El’s and Ro’s were being delivered the next day, we slept on our old one (to be Al’s), Ro slept in his cot and the other children slept on the floor. Roy the painter came in for the next few weeks to finish decorating and all the bits and pieces were completed around us.

We’ll probably be here forever – the Sage was born here and would certainly like to live out his days here, but that’s not the reason for the title of this post. Fleas are the reason.

I mentioned a while ago that all the rabbits that have been making merry all over the garden and field had given Tilly fleas for about the first time in her life – they don’t like her thin coat – and a few weeks ago we gave her a good spray with a product that is supposed to kill all the fleas over a few days and then protect from reinfestation for 6 weeks. What was interesting was that the larger fleas all died or left her first (I’ve been doing a search and destroy job every time she leaves her blanket) and that they’ve been getting smaller and smaller. The tiniest fleas are the hardest to crush and kill, so presumably they’re the toughest. I’ve just sprayed her again in the hope of getting rid of the last few.

While I’m on the itchy subject, the easiest way to be sure of killing any fleas you pick up, since they can be hard to crush, is to put a blob of hand cream on a tissue. As you catch each little beastie, wipe it into the blob, making sure it’s covered so can’t jump. At the end, fold it up around the fleas and that’s got ’em.

When we’d first sprayed her and lots of sick-looking beasts were leaving her, I couldn’t get to sleep that night. Every time I shut my eyes I could see fleas. And I don’t like killing things, even pests. It’s not been at all pleasant.

14 comments on “And so ad infinitum

  1. Sarah

    My Tilly is permanently covered in fleas and ticks, a side effect of permanently being down rabbit holes…front line does the trick, didn’t mean it to be an ad but it’s the only stuff that keeps them at bay. Though not sure what long term damage it may do to the dog, don’t use it in the winter tho’.

  2. Z

    Thank you, Martina says that she uses it for her dogs and cat too. It’s fairly powerful stuff and Tilly’s an old dog, so I’m a bit cautious about using it, though we used to use it sometimes on Chester. He was a setter/collie cross and was a keen rabbiter at one time. The year he had ticks though, he got them from sheep. I spent weeks removing them several times a day by hand.

  3. Rog

    Front line does the job here as well.

    Lily is Tick Central though, a sort of caravan holiday for ticks. I try not to tread on them when they fall off though.

  4. Z

    I suppose I’m out of the way of it – it’s been nearly 5 years since Chester died and Tilly only catches the occasional flea usually. I’m pretty vigilant about checking her and if I see one I catch it.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever described de-ticking Chester. He had them everywhere. Everywhere. Yes, including the dog’s bollocks. I tweezed them, too. It takes them a whole day to latch on and if you get them before they’ve bitten through the skin they can be removed with tweezers.

  5. martina

    Georgie is 12 and has never had Frontline problems. I found a website in California where the price is best. If you want their name let me know. The visual of you deticking Chester..scary, very scary.

  6. sablonneuse

    Yuk, fleas! With our seven cats we have to be very vigilant and they all get treated with Frontline once a month (except in Winter)- expensive but worth it.
    Many years ago we ‘house sat’ for friends in France and there was a flea ‘epidemic’ in the area. We tried everything we could but couldn’t get rid of the beasties. They would even jump on your feet when you walked round town. . . .

  7. Z

    Chester was young and quite scatty and reluctant to lie still, but after a few weeks of being de-ticked he was entirely biddable. Gentle and persistent, that’s me.

    Chickens get tiny mites once in a while, Ziggi, and their house and bedding has to be dusted with insecticide powder.

    Sandy, ew. That’s worse than Tilly’s problem.

    Thanks for the offer, Martina – I’ll see if the problem persists – I might as well use up the stuff I’ve got for now.


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