"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to BLOOM…This is the Element of Freedom"

-Alicia Keys

30 June 2010

One of Those Weeks- Part 2

This is Part 2 of my story.

We thought that we had a major bug problem in our house because we thought that we had FLEAS. Not the bass-playin'-naked-assed Flea from the Chili Peppers {I wish!}, but the creepy, invasive, pain-in-the-ass fleas that hitch a free ride on your pet, come into your house & then stay a while.

 Not this kind of Flea:

{Flea- from The Red Hot Chili Peppers playin' bass in the buff}

But THIS kind of Flea:



{Obviously this bug is not to scale. If that was the case, I would have had a nervous breakdown}

I KNOW, right?!?  While the bugs themselves didn't totally creep me out, the process of getting rid of them did. We read  horror stories online of people who couldn't get rid of them no matter what they tried. That is what freaked me out.

This is how it went down:  On Tuesday, we had another guy come out from Alpha Ecological to just do a follow-up treatment & so we asked him what they were and he said that he thought they *might* be fleas.  Now, no offense to the guy that came over that day, but *might be fleas* is not what you tell people.  They are either  fleas or they are not.  He sprayed the offending area and then left.  Later that night, we started to wonder what to do because whatever these bugs were, they were still alive & well & jumping in our house, still mostly on the south side.  We googled fleas and started to vacuum our house. like.every.square.inch of it.  They literally kept popping up in the craziest places and we started to think that we were overrun with FLEAS.  We put our poor cat, Jazmine in quarantine in the bathroom, thinking that she was the one who had brought them in the house.  She is an indoor cat, but she had gotten out a couple of times when the back door hadn't been shut tight.

So, if you have been reading this blog or you know me, you know that I am quite serious when it comes to using natural products instead of the conventional chemical ones.  I am passionate about making sure that what I choose to purchase protects the health of my family & most insecticides, pesticides, fungicides do not do that. 

{This isn't what we used, but you get the idea}

 My husband wanted to set off a flea bomb in our house to rid it of the fleas.  I did not want a flea bomb going off in our house.  I was faced with a dilemma.  Do I put my foot down and say no to the bomb and then face a worse problem in a couple of months?  Or, do I suck it up & say yes, flea bomb the house and deal with the aftermath?

Against my better judgement, I said yes to the flea bomb.  My husband taped & sealed all of our kitchen cabinets, took out our food, put plastic on the counters & our table.  He did a really good job of taking all of the necessary precautions, but I was still worried.  He set the bomb off and left our house.  I came home about 3 hours later and opened all of the windows to air everything out.  When what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Jumping bugs still jumping and climbing all over the inside & the outside of our windows on the south side of the house.


After all that???

I left the house & met Josh & Reese for dinner, wondering WTF are we going to do now?  We took Reese to my parents to stay the night, away from the flea bomb aftermath & went home to clean up. When we got home, we found the bugs again and started to do some more research.  Finally, after googling "Tiny Grey Jumping Bugs," we figured out that we didn't have fleas. 

Instead, we had Springtails, or collembola.  A TOTALLY HARMLESS {annoying, yes.  Dangerous, no} BUG.  According to Jack DeAngelis, PhD (OSU Ext. Entomologist), "Collembola, also called springtails, are tiny arthropods that can be very abundant in damp, organic soils where they feed on dead plant material and fungi, occasionally damaging tender plant roots. Following heavy rains they may wash out of soil and collect in large "blooms" where rainwater flows, and can even enter houses at these times."

{Hope you enjoy the creepy bug drawings.  No way in hell would I be posting photos of the actual bugs. sick!}

Guess who had a small pile of leaves and twigs outside when they took out the bushes on the side of their house?  That happened to sit there while it rained for 3 days?

We did.

Prime conditions for the harmless Springtail.  Contrary to what you will read on the Internet, these bugs do not cause problems in humans. They are gone about as quickly as they come.

Guess what did NOT rid our house of the Springtail?


I will wrap up the rest of this story tomorrow.

P.S. I have to send some love to my dear friend Andrea & her family...Welcome to the world, Sweet Carly...You are loved!


  1. Yikes, what a mess. I feel the same as you about bombing and even more so about killing bugs, but we had to hire an exterminator once when our house was overrun with bed bugs. I feel your pain.

  2. You're hilarious. We're trying to compost alongside the garage and now i'm afraid of springtails...hopefully the pile is too hot to foster those suckers!

  3. I have your same problem, but with roaches. I really need to call someone in for some roach control soon. I think that out of all of the bugs, roaches disgust me the most. I hate them.


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