Update: The Great War of 2017, redux

Dana Keener
Staff Writer

As promised, here is the update regarding natural, non-toxic, chemical-free flea elimination on pets and in the home.

Perhaps, in my case, this first battle official battle (it is being documented for all MDR readers in case they are waging their own battles), the word "annihilation" is a more appropriate description. As for me and my house? It is working; just with a few adjustments.

Tuesday, May 23, during my lunch hour, I went home and executed the first strike of my covert attack. My bedroom is the only room that is carpeted. So, as can be imagined, it is a veritable hot bed of defensive maneuvers on the part of that platoon of fleas.

I stripped my bed of all sheets and quilts, stripped the thousands of pillows of their cases (I need a lot of pillows), and put all in the washer. For safe measure, I put a half of a cup of apple cider vinegar in the load. Next, while wielding my weapon of mass destruction; the mixture of half apple cider vinegar, half water, and a tablespoon of Dawn Original dish liquid, I dropped the first round on my mattress. Now, that mattress is white, is pillow-topped, therefore it has all these quilted, buttoned areas that are the perfect foxholes for the enemy.

Using the spray mode for a wider ranged assault, I soaked it. Taking particular notice to shoot the quilted and buttoned areas, since those are perfect places for the enemy to deposit their eggs. Next, I sprayed the sides of the mattress, and underneath. The lower mattress would have also gotten an assault, but I couldn't lift the top mattress using only one hand. Since this room is carpeted, the attack also spread to wider areas such as the areas around the bed, the base boards, and that pile of unfolded laundry that lives in the corner.

Later, I arrived home about 6 p.m., and headed straight for the battlefield. I literally could not begin to count the casualties. The formerly white mattress was literally dotted with perhaps hundreds of thousands of bodies of the enemy (I do tend to exaggerate, but just know there was a bunch). It was then time to rebuild the region where so much death and destruction had been brought down, wrought by the earlier attack. So, the mattress and the carpet were vacuumed, clean sheets that were dried on the hottest setting replaced, pillows cases back on pillows.

The next installment of the operation was to turn my weapon of mass destruction onto Max Lazarus. But consider this action a debriefing. Dogs, cats, and humans are immune to this line of defense. The only caveat is that cats are not allowed to drink the vinegar. It is recommended a teaspoon is added to the water bowl of dogs. This practice is not safe for cats. Due to their wonky pH, vinegar should not be ingested. However it is safe to spray them with the mixture.

The past 48 hours in my home have seen perhaps a grand total of three refugees. The vinegar/water/Dawn mixture was sprayed everywhere in my house. I also used more Dawn than was recommended; yet I think may be a contributing factor to the success of the assault. It is important to also treat the outside of the home. First I mowed the grass, and kids and I raked all debris away from the foundation and sides of the house. Using a two gallon sprayer, I made a more potent weapon. This was about two-thirds full of vinegar and a third water, and a quarter cup of Dawn.

My son treated our front and back yards, and for good measure (and because he is a good, sweet boy) the yards of the neighbors on either side of us. This line of defense is causing a visible retreat. The fleas cannot tolerate the odor of the vinegar, so it is actually a repellent. However, when used in conjunction with the dish liquid, it will kill them.

There is collateral damage from this assault; it has also extinguished ants, spiders, and even mosquitoes in our outdoor areas. This mission is not a quick, fly-by-night mission. It will have to be carried out multiple times because of the flea eggs that will soon hatch. My advice is to spray the mixture every other day, vacuum, sweep and mop daily, and spray animals.

We have been victorious in the first battle of the War of '17. If you have any methods or strategies that have worked please let me know. My email is dana.keener@yahoo.com, or call (501) 337-7523.