The 4 letter word that will send buyers out the door as fast as they can go and never look back. This is a word that Real Estate educator, Bill Gallagher, spoke about last week in our Mandatory Update class and had everyone laughing. Yesterday when it happened to me I was NOT laughing. That 4 letter word is FLEA. The size of a spec of dust these little creatures have the power to turn me into a gyrating, gasping, goofy lady slapping at her clothes and grasping for seemingly non-existent somethings as they jump out of my way.
The flea was a funny matter last week as Bill Gallagher talked about an agent in her white pantyhose - fleas love the color white - entering a home infested with fleas only to turn and escort her buyers outside and returning to remove her pantyhose and leave them on the floor. He went on making the room laugh again and again as he made his points hit home. Oh his words came to mind again for me yesterday, but I wasn't laughing. I was trying to pinch the little critters between my thumb and forefinger -- mostly unsuccessfully -- before they could jump away.
Facts about fleas:
- They can jump as high as 4 feet
- They feed on blood
- They can live up to 100 days without food in the coccoon stage unfed
- Once fed they live 3 to 4 months
- Once feed a female can lay up to 2000 eggs during her life
- Female lays eggs within 36-48 hours of a meal
- Gestation period is 14 days
- Only 5% of fleas found in a dwelling will be on the pet
- Very tiny up to 1/8 inch in size
- They can bite up to 400 times a day
When you treat for fleas you must take into account all 4 stages of a flea from adult, young (hide in a cocoon until food is near), larvae and the egg stage. Most sprays will not penetrate the cocoon. The cocoon is a shell used by the young where they hide inside until a warm meal passes by then they "unzip" and hop on for a bite. Once fed they reproduce and the cycle starts over again. In addition to treating you should vacuum every day and a half to two days for at least two weeks (gestation period) to pull up all the cocoons and eggs. You must either toss the bag after each vacuuming or add moth balls to the bag. Moth balls? Well it has been used for years to kill the larvae of moths in your closet so why not the larvae of fleas in your vacuum cleaner bag. Now your house won't smell like a spring breeze, but if it does the trick you'll be sighing with relief as you inhale that pungent scent.
Now to complete my story of yesterday. I had to measure the inside of a new listing. It is a fixer upper to say the least. The owner resides outside the area and recently had a non-paying tenants that had to be evicted. Bonnie, my dog, was in the car because I don't take her into property, but when I got to the door to unlock it -- it was slightly ajar. With no power on and the bad tenant history I went back to the car and got Bonnie dog out and took her in with me.
Well believe it or not I did NOT notice the fleas until we had measured and returned to the office. Then they were jumping on and off me as I sat at my computer. I had to go into the bathroom take off my top and pick off the fleas. The were on my "white" socks under my jeans. I even picked a couple off Bonnie's face. Figuring I didn't want them infesting the office I went to Ace Hardware and got a couple of bombs and let them off and headed home to brush Bonnie figuring it couldn't be that bad right. Keeping her outside I began brushing, but after finding a half dozen fleas crawling on her we headed for the tub and a flea bath. A shampoo, 30 dead fleas and a final coating of flea dip later she was briskly running around to thank me. Next we washed her bed from the office and just for good measure the one from home too. I have a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of bites myself and would love to douse my body in some flea dip if it would help the itching!
Beware of this four letter word as you enter vacant dwellings! FLEA
See my article on: Bill Gallagher teaches at the Crystal Coast for some Halloween Fun
Kathryn Gorham | Green Key Properties | Emerald Isle North Carolina
2010 President Women's Council of REALTORS® Crystal Coast Chapter
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The 4 letter word that will send buyers out the door - FLEA - was fist published on Emerald Isle Carolina
Copyright © 2009 by Kathryn Gorham, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to re-blog or re-print with the stipulations that you do not alter the original content and that you provide a link back to this article in the re-blog or re-print. *The 4 letter word that will send buyers out the door - FLEA*