The Carroll Household Suffers an Infestation!

Sorry I’ve been gone awhile.  I suffered a bit of major life upheaval, but things are settling down now so I can resume regaling you with my random thoughts and musings.

About two weeks ago my husband and I decided to tackle the overgrown jungle that had taken the place of my vegetable garden.

You see, every year, around March-ish I get spring fever and plant a bunch of crops. This year was no different, only I joined Pinterest, so I gleaned all kinds of new tips and ideas for larger, greener, lusher and more prolific plants and veggies. This includes the Great Tomato Plant Experiment of 2013, which included such soil amendments as egg shells, aspirin and fish heads (which required a special and educational trip to the Asian grocery store).

I planted tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, tomatillos, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. My plants grew lush and green, but the rats came and ate all the fruits and veggies of my labor. The rat activity tapered off at the end of the summer, but by then I had given up on the garden and just let it do what it wanted.  This consisted of either growing wildly or drying out and withering away in the summer heat and drought.

I thought I had vanquished the rats with a series of traps placed in the garden, but my pest control guy informed me that there was a house on the street behind mine where they trapped and killed NINETY (that’s right, count ‘em NINE-ZERO) rats in the attic this summer.  Apparently they were living at the neighbor’s house and coming over to my house to dine alfresco on fresh organic produce from my garden.

Anyhoo, back to the garden cleanup: I had a bell pepper plant that had, unbeknownst to me, despite my neglect, had been producing fruit.  The results of which were puddles of rotten red bell pepper on the ground that my dogs Nixon and Katelin found irresistible for rolling around in.  (That and probably some exposed, residual fish head debris).

Thus the little dogs were purely disgusting.  Necessitating a bath, to say the least.

I was washing my sweet, geriatric little Katelin in the kitchen sink when I spied a black dot amongst the soap bubbles in her red-white fur.  My first thought was that it was a flea, but I pooh-poohed that because in 15 years of living in the Dallas area, I’ve never had a flea problem.

However, upon closer inspection, and much to my horror:  MY SWEET PERFECT OLD DOG HAD A FLEA!

I checked Nixon, but her fur is black so the critters couldn’t be seen.  She had been itchy scratchy lately though, which I had found a bit odd since she’s really too young for allergies.

The next day, a mere 24 hours later, I had Mia the Lab at work with me because her allergies were up.  She had furunculosis on one of her toes (She licked her feet until she broke open some hair follicles and it turned into a big boil. Yea, yea: vets pets, cobbler’s kids have no shoes…like I said, I’ve had a lot going on lately).  Mia also had an ear infection and her anal glands needed help (I will not express my own pets anal sacs, this is detrimental to the bond I share with them, plus it’s super gross).

Upon closer inspection of Mia’s ear, I spied A TICK buried in her pinna (the flappy part of the ear) surrounded by some moderate inflammation which indicated it had probably been there for some time.


The squirrel (and rat) population in our area has been booming. Subsequently these critters have also brought along their merry band of insect pirates.

Thus, for the first time in many years, I’ve had to institute gross, disgusting, parasite prevention measures.

I was going to get into that on this installment, but the buildup took too long so I will educate you on flea and tick control measures in the next blog entry.

I’m shooting for trying to get something posted weekly, which is pretty ambitious. However my cell phone will be reminding me to do this every Monday. We’ll see how it goes.

Next week: fun with fleas!

The Mia and Katelin contingent of the flea infestation.
The Mia and Katelin contingent of the flea infestation.
Here's Nixon trying to pass her fleas on to my son.
Here’s Nixon trying to pass her fleas on to my son.

2 thoughts on “The Carroll Household Suffers an Infestation!

  1. It must have sounded like a frat party was going on in the neighbor’s attic? Ninety rats is like that scene out of Ratatouille where the old lady with the shotgun is trying to run them out of her kitchen!!

  2. My kitties don’t go out. I don’t walk in the yard. I don’t expect fleas or ticks either.

    However –

    What could have been a “most embarrassing moment” was sitting at the dining room table, chatting with a friend, I picked (what I thought was) a piece of litter stuck to Darlene’s (RIP) backside. Ack! It was a tapeworm. Luckily my friend is a major animal person and just found it highly amusing.

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