Welcome to my inaugural home repair advice column! Got a leaky sink or a squeaky door that needs fixing? Well then hopefully my experience will help you address it without all those nasty repair bills.
Our first letter comes from local resident Micah Horncraft.
Dear Advice Guy,
I wonder if you have any idea whether flooding a house will kill off a flea infestation?
Please, this is a serious question.
Several months ago, my dog or cat (I’m not pointing fingers, even though it was probably my wife’s damn cat) brought fleas into the house. Before we knew it, our entire house was a biting, scratching torture zone.
We tried everything: a range of powders, ointments, elixirs, chemicals, acids, vacuuming, vacuuming, and vacuuming and of course a series of hexes and charms.
Short story, nothing worked. Turns out every time you kill off a few thousand of these buggers, a thousand more eggs hatch and take their place within hours.
Then, a couple weeks ago a pipe burst in the wall and submerged most of our first floor. Obviously I assumed we had a poltergeist trying to drive us from our home. But then it occurred to me: maybe a flood was exactly what we needed to drive the flea armies from our home?
So what do think, AG? After the flood waters recede will we be pest-free?
–Fleas Have Invaded My Nightmares
The short answer is no.
Although fleas are susceptible to drowning they also are capable of seeking higher ground when water appears—as they move to your dog’s head when you wash him.
One way to tell if your fleas found and clung to floating debris—imagine miniature life rafts—is to think about the day of your flood. Did you have “My Heart Will Go On” stuck in your head for no apparent reason? If so, that may have been because little fleas were re-enacting the “Titanic” love scene of floating lovers all over your flooded house. And as soon as the flood subsided, those little buggers went right back to making more little buggers.
My advice: burn it down, take the insurance money, and start over in a new house. The fleas always win.
That’s all for this week folks. Join me next week when I advise a local resident who suspects he home may house a furry varmint. Spoiler alert: He actually has multiple types of rodent and marsupial infestations going on. Until then!