Why Now?
Sunday, May 22, 2005
  Chemical Warfare
As I have mentioned before my abode has been under assault by Ctenocephalides felis due to a mild winter. I tried defending with several different over the counter preparations to no avail. The cats were miserable and I was being attacked, which hadn't happened in previous outbreaks.

In self-defense the cats had taken to remaining on the kitchen table [which was cleared off during Sox's initial overpowered leap to the surface] and they were moving by leaping from the table to bookcases, to the counter top. Food dishes and litter boxes had to be repositioned based on their refusal to travel on the floor.

I finally decided that my desire not to employ all means necessary and attempting to moderately escalate the conflict was simply not going to cut it. The fleas started it, and it was time to bring the battle to a convincing conclusion.

My veterinarian supplied me with selamectin [Revolution®] for the cats and I bought chemical weapons for deploying in the theater of operations. The selamectin not only controls the fleas, but also works on ear mites, heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms, which reduces the annoyance of the cats when I have to treat them for the individual problems.

For those who haven't done this recently, using a "fogger" for interior insect control has changed. The propellant is no longer a type of Freon®, due to concern for the ozone layer. The current propellant of choice would seem to be propane, which can result in an interesting complication if you neglect to turn off all of the pilot lights in your house and any device that might cause a spark: a major fireball erupting in your domicile. While said fireball would probably eliminate any pests, there would certainly be undesired side effects, so if you attempt this at home, read the label and follow directions closely.

The particular fogger I used had a cheerful blurb on the label telling me that it contained an "odor neutralizer", which sounded good having endured airing out houses and apartments. It turns out that rather than smelling the pesticide, your house smells like you just painted it. The "paint smell" seemed to be more stubborn than the old odor, but that may be subjective.

The cats are being antisocial over at my Mother's house. They are hiding under the bed in her back room, and I haven't seen Dot since I carried her over there. Sox will show up when I bring their canned food in the evening, but they are definitely not happy.

So far the fogging seems to have worked but I want to do some major clean up before reintroducing the cats. As they now have the medication on their skin, I don't want them to have contact with any of the pesticide. There probably wouldn't be any problem, but why take the chance.

Hopefully they will be able to come home this afternoon, and will forgive me for doing this in a week or ten.

Next: Something to treat the yard with that won't kill the good insects with the bad, if at all possible.


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