Friday Firesmith – Of Ticks and Fleas

Once upon a time, I knew a woman who knew everything about some things, and when she did, it was impossible for anyone to convince her she might, possibly, be wrong. Even if you agreed with her, you had to agree the right way for the right reasons. She would have spent her life on FB arguing with people and never done anything else, but she stayed in FB Jail more than anyone I have ever known.

About a year ago, the ticks around here started getting bad. The dogs are okay, they get meds for them, but Mom and I are forever picking one off here and there. And if things could not get worse, some of them are the Lone Star ticks who carry the bacteria that make you allergic to red meat. I have no idea how that works, but it’s true.

Tick Bites and Red Meat Allergies

That said, I’ve gotten adept at picking ticks that are not embedding off my body, and washing them down the drain. The ticks defense against this is to simply hang on for dear life. I have to double-check to make sure one hasn’t got its legs locked around my skin. But down the drain they go.

Which brings us to my friend who knows everything.

A couple of years ago I was telling someone the story of Sam, Sam, the Happy Hound, who was almost dead when he was found. Sam was also covered in fleas, and I do mean covered. I put Sam in the sink and washed him again and again, until all the fleas were gone. The bottom of the sink looked like I had dumped a box of black pepper in it. I cleaned the sink with the sprayer, and all the fleas were washed away.

This chick tells me that washing a dog with Dawn doesn’t kill the fleas, and furthermore, fleas cannot drown. I do not have a link to back that one up.

Considering the number of fleas I have washed off dogs in the twenty years or so I’ve lived here, and considering that whatever else Dawn does or does not do, it will cause the surface tension of the water to break, and the fleas are washed away. There are a lot, and I mean a damn bunch of fleas, at the bottom of my septic tank. I can picture aliens landing on the ruins of Earth after the Apocalypse, only to discover in the scattered structures that still exist, my septic tank, with a layer of fleas a foot thick. Why did people keep these insects? What purpose did the insects serve?  And if they extract the DNA of those fleas, they’re going to wonder why in the hell I had so many canines, and what happened to them.

Here’s a useful tip if you have fleas in your home and don’t want to nuke the place with chemicals. Get a pie pan, add an inch of water with a little Dawn in it, and put a reading lamp a few inches from the surface of the water. The fleas go towards the heat, hit the lamp, and land in the water, where I think they drown. You’ll find many a dead flea in this, trust me. You’ll cheat the aliens, but hey, let’s make them work for whatever they find.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


2 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Of Ticks and Fleas”

  1. What kind of a cruel deity would create a virus that makes you allergic to bacon… before you get to hell?

    Dawn cuts the natural oil that causes dander and dirt to stick to the fur giving fleas a waterproof home.


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