Posts Tagged ‘ pest control ’

Wayne Has Fleas–How To Treat?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Probably not as interesting or horrifying to you, except I did hear from my vet that this is a record year for fleas. So for all the pet owners: be forewarned. When I took Wayne in, she said they are seeing more indoor cats with fleas than ever before. Ugh. Gross. She also said Wayne was the cleanest cat she ever saw. This, of course, is no accident. The clean freak in me, well, freaked, when I realized all this “black dander” I had been finding on our bed, our couch, etc, was in fact not dander, but flea poop. Disgusting.

I spent the weekend in a sweatshop called my house, armed with a vacuum blowing out hot air and a dryer doing the same.  There were some linens and pillows I couldn’t wash so I at least threw them in the dryer for 20 minutes on high heat. That dryer–which is on our first floor that has no air-conditioning– churned non-stop in 100-degree heat. I should have just gone to Death Valley. It would have been cooler. I now feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. A hot one, spewing out exhaust.

I was going to ask you all the best way to treat fleas, but after all that work, Phil found 3 dead fleas and called in the exterminator. The apocalypse is underway. I took the kids to the beach. I am just now posting this with very little purpose in mind since my problem is now solved.

Wayne of course has zero appreciation. But he is now on a strict flea regiment in which I will apply some liquid drops to his fur every month to prevent this from happening again. Ever. I hereby declare him Flea Free. My house is Dirt Free, Flea Free, Mite Free–you name it.

I know I recently said cleaning is better than therapy, but I didn’t mean it in this regard. Really, I didn’t.

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You Know You’ve Had a Bad Week When…

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

1. You wake up at 2 a.m., not to your baby crying (for once) but to your cat having diarrhea on your beloved sheepskin rug.

2. You grab your Christmas decorations out of the closet, only to have a dead rat fall out as well (explains mystery smell from 2 weeks ago and reminds you of your mother’s Rehab Tour 2007).

3. You find a black widow hanging out on the drain pipe right next to where your kids play. Cue Dr. Death. At least you get to smirk at your husband who said NO to pest control a year ago.

4. Your husband goes to London for work. He gets invited to the World Premiere of Les Miserables. He is even photographed by the paparazzi (dude on the left). You are at home putting your 10-month-old to sleep. Your 3-year-old is already asleep. You are thinking about how lucky you are to finally have a quiet house. You are looking forward to that much deserved glass of wine. You rock the baby one last time and nuzzle into him, when suddenly he barfs in your face.

Yes folks, this was my week. The Failure Hour is in full force. If you don’t have one in your neighborhood, start one. It’s called survival.

Okay, your turn.


Picture of woman losing her mind via Shutterstock

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Legitimate Fear or Irrational Parent Anxiety?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Okay, I have said before that I’m terrified of spiders. I’m especially terrified of my children getting bit by one. We live in the hills in Los Angeles. We are with the wild. We caught a possum. We had roof rats. And there are spiders everywhere.

When we first moved out here, I asked exterminators to come to our house. Phil intercepted them. Here’s an excerpt.

“Um, why the f—k is Pest Control here? They said you booked them to spray for black widows. I told them to leave. Call me.”

I happened to be 7-months pregnant so perhaps I was a tad hormonal irrational.

Fast forward to now. As in, last night. Phil was outside grilling. Fia was playing near him.

“Hey honey,” he yells. “I don’t want to freak you out, but I want to show you something.”

Keep in mind, I’m not pregnant. Which means I’m my normal incredibly levelheaded and stable self. BUT I DON’T WANT TO LIVE WITH SPIDERS.

I walk outside holding Emmett.

He points to a drain pipe about 6-inches from where Fia had been sitting.

“That’s what a black widow looks like,” he says calmly, and points to one with that telltale red hourglass on its belly.

Shockingly, I didn’t freak the f-ck out. Maybe because he shot me a look, like, not in front of the kids, like I did during a recent Fia freakout.

“Okay,” I said, trying to remain calm. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to kill it, but I wanted you to see what it looked like so we are aware of them.”

Really, just aware? I’m ready to bomb our place with a mix of comet, bleach and ammonia.

I walk into the kitchen with both kids and pour a glass of wine.

He comes in (post-killing) and tells me not to make a big deal about it in front of Fia.

“I don’t want her to be scared of spiders,” he says. Fair enough. (Lord knows, we’re both pissed at what her favorite TV show has made her frightened of…)

We eat dinner, put the kids to bed, and I begin Googling. Okay, I did come across a website that makes me think it could have been a brown widow. And they are not as venomous as their black cousins. Though it could have been the smaller brown female, which is still considered a black widow and can be deadly though it is rare for someone to die from the bite. Confused? Start Googling.

Nevertheless, we live in a wooded area, we have small children…should we exterminate? I spoke calmly and rationally with Phil about it. We made no decision on what to do.

This morning over coffee and Sesame Street, Phil says, “Maybe we should exterminate. Just to be on the safe side.”

Rather than smirking, I actually deliberated. I happen to be taking the kids out of town for a few days.

“We could do it while you and the kids are away.”

I nodded.

I really hate the idea of toxins all over my yard. I also hate the idea of killing a bunch of harmless insects. I imagine that Doctor Death (i.e.: Dewey Pest Control) has to douse everything. But a spider bite can be bad. I’ve had friends go to the ER because of them. My own mother almost died from a brown recluse bite. Okay, no one I know has actually died from one, but I have reason to be afraid, right? And reason to be fearful for my kids, correct? I’ve done some research and there really isn’t a non-toxic way to do exterminate. They may claim their way is, but it’s not. There are poisons and chemicals involved. If I could sprinkle some magical salt all over my yard or something, believe me, I would.

By the end of the day, I had called my dude Angel. He dealt with our roof rats. And possum. He’s coming over to deal with the spiders. I’ll have to start calling him my Angel of Death. Probably not the first time he’s been called that in his job.


And by the way, I’m not even putting a picture of a spider on this post because I don’t want to have to look at it. That’s how stupid my fear is. So Dr. Death and the cockroaches will have to do.


Picture of exterminator via Shutterstock

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Irrational Pregnancy Fears

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

They're Lurking Everywhere. I Just Know It.

The other day while Fia and I were at the playground, I got the following voicemail from Phil:

“Um, why the f—k is Pest Control here? They said you booked them to spray for black widows.  I told them to leave. Call me.”

I called him back with dread. He picked up on the first ring:

“What is going on?”

“What do you mean?” I say.

“I’m really trying hard not to get pissed here, but what the f—k?”


Then, “Because of the spiders,” I said meekly.

“Jill—have you ever seen a black widow anywhere on our property?”

“No, but they exist!” I said, trying to defend myself. “There are cobwebs on all the lawn furniture.”

He cut me right off. “You are being ridiculous. We are not going to live in fear. We are not going to make Fia afraid of spiders. And we’re sure as s–t not spraying a bunch of toxins all over everything.”


He continued: “Did you know what they told me? That spiders hold their breath. So in order to kill them, they have to literally drench everything with chemicals.”

More silence.

“I am going to assume this is one of your stupid pregnancy things and I’m going to get over it. But seriously, you need to get a grip.”

I had irrational pregnancy fears with Fia before and after birth. And now, well, I guess they’re baaaccck.

Thing is, I knew he was right. I mean I’m the one who insists on using the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent (even though he insists his clothes aren’t as clean) because I don’t like the chemicals. Most of my cleaning products, toiletries, etc. are “green.”  We live in a beautiful setting with blackbirds and doves who flock to our yard every morning. So dousing it with chemicals goes against everything I am typically about. But as we all know in pregnancy, nothing that is typical remains so. All fears and anxieties seem to take on a heightened world of their own.

Part of me blames my friend Jenn for the spider fiasco. She moved here from Brooklyn a while back and told me she found a family of black widows on her porch. She has an 8-year old and called pest control. After hearing her tale, I decided to be proactive.

Think it kind of backfired…

Two days after Phil’s irate phone call, I picked flowers from our garden and brought them in. The next day there was a spider on the curtain. And a web in the flowers. I assume I brought in the creature. I thought, I swear to god if that’s a black widow, I will march into Phil’s office and freak the f—k out. Then march out smugly.  I took this picture and googled it.

Red Back Jumping Spider

It’s a Redback Jumping Spider. They bite and have venom, but nothing too severe. Definitely not fatal. Nevertheless, I made Phil get rid of it. He didn’t kill it. He put it back outside, so it’s sure to come haunt me again.

I’m also getting worse on my cleaning issues. If I find a few crumbs on the counter—or god forbid a hair– it makes me crazy. I could puke just thinking about it.  I don’t want company because I don’t want the mess.

I guess with Baby Boy just 3 weeks away, these fears and obsessions may get worse. What should I do? Try and get hypnotized to get over them? Or just wait until I can take Xanax again? Any advice? Any good tales of your own? HHHEEEELLLLLPPPP!

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