Jan Peppler / HOME

EXPLORING OUR CONNECTION TO PEOPLE AND PLACE

Bugs. We all have issues with bugs. As in, I’ve never met a person who encountered bugs in their home and thought COOL!! The few who do think this are scientists. Or kids that will become scientists. If there’s anyone else out there who is not a scientist and greets bugs—particularly in their home—as a delightful encounter, well, I’m not too keen on meeting them. And I definitely don’t want to sit next to them at dinner.

Hey, if you live outside, like in a tent in the woods, you have to expect some amount of bugs. This of course, is the reason that some folks don’t like to camp. Years ago, when I backpacked in Venezuela and stayed in a small community along the Brazilian border, every abode was open to the elements. Most only had three walls. Others, three and a half. No windows with glass, just open or non-existent walls. Yes, they had intentionally built their homes that way. And yes, I got bit on the butt by a spider while going to the bathroom one day. But overall, I adapted. Because I had to. It was the norm.

Those of us in the Western World who live in houses and apartments expect bugs to stay outside. It’s part of the idea that our homes are safe and secure. Spiders? Nope, not welcome. Even if they do eat flies. Rollie pollies? Weird. Like where do they actually come from? Silverfish? Gross. Ants? A nuisance. An awful nuisance. And cockroaches – sorry, I can’t even go there. And, at least we can see these things. We can vacuum them up. We can catch them and escort them back outside. Or we can squash them. Depends on your personality and temperament. Or your religion.

Someone in my family had to deal with bedbugs a few years back. OMG!! That would have traumatized me for life. I was traumatized just hearing about them. Eradicating them was exhausting, expensive, and intense. And lice? Yes, that too is perhaps the worse thing ever. Luckily, I’ve never experienced it. So I’m sure I shouldn’t be complaining.

But fleas. Are you kidding me? FLEAS??!!??!!!

Last week my vet told me that my new dog has fleas. She also determined that she has 5 puppies that will be born in a few days. So the need to eradicate them was urgent. The vet gave her a treatment and told me no problem. Really. She actually said that. No problem. They’d be gone in a day.

Not quite.

Within hours, those little buggers were everywhere. Crawling on her belly, jumping on the couch. Crawling and jumping, crawling and jumping.

Bowls of dish soap and endless scraping with a flea comb. Everything laundered in hot water. Linens, pillows, beds, toys. Anything that could be washed in a machine, was. Other things were taken to an outside laundromat. I vacuumed floors and vacuumed furniture. More laundry. More vacuuming. Wiping down everything in sudsy water to suffocate and kill them. (Remember, she’s having puppies – I can’t use toxins that might hurt her or the pups!) Lawn treatments in the front and back yards. More laundry. Baths together, both of us fully soaked, drenched in dish soap, and sudsed up. Yesterday I even spent hours on my butt scrubbing my hard wood floors – ALL my floors! I was drenched in sweat, soaked in soapy water, scrubbing floors and furniture. Followed by more laundry in hot water. And a very cold shower.

My house is CLEAN!! One full week of cleaning kind of clean. A full container of laundry detergent clean. And I’m exhausted.

Are the fleas gone? Goodness, I hope so! And, I guess, only time will tell.

Meanwhile, her whelping area is prepared. And Mazie seems much more comfortable.

Puppies are coming!

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2 thoughts on “Home Infestation”

  1. Fleas on a friend’s cat bit me when I walked by the cats. Don’t like the fleas. Good luck with the pups.

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About this blog

Everything begins at home. Our relationship to home influences how we see the world and how comfortable we are in it. My research of many years, including my PhD dissertation on the psychology of home, reveals key ingredients that are essential to feeling at home. To finding home and creating home when feeling very far away and disconnected. These blog posts are mini meditations of sorts. Enjoy.
For more information, please contact me directly. I always love speaking to groups!

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