Homesteading can be a struggle. It surely is not easy. The twists and turns contained in this lifestyle can tax you physically and mentally. By far the hardest hurdle to overcome is the mental hurdle. We are about sharing our experiences with you, both the good and bad. Here is what has been happening with us lately.
Yes, there are fleas in our country home. Lot's of them. SO many of them that we have not been able to move in yet. Yes, you heard that correctly. We are not physically on our homestead, we are in a rental home.
We solicited a great community of homesteaders and friends to help us with natural solutions to the flea problem but had no luck with any of those solutions. Well, I cannot honestly say "no luck" we did not wait for it to work. Natural solutions are great but they are slow. They also seem to only work on small infestations if you catch them at the start. The infestation we have is of biblical proportions.
We had no choice but to contact Terminex. The first treatment on our home (and barn. yes, they are in the barn too.) was on June 23. We diligently followed their instructions to vacuum for 4 strait days following the initial treatment to stir up any flea eggs causing them to hatch. The hatched fleas will come in contact with the residual poison and die. Hopefully.
To date, we have had Terminex to our home a whopping.....get ready...... 5 times....And still the fleas remain. They have no food source. We checked and put traps out for mice, squirrels, raccoons, etc and caught nothing. The nice thing about hiring a large pest control company is their contract stated that they have to keep coming and treating the home until the pests are gone. They are losing money on our pest problem for sure.
Terminex is stumped by our problem. We even ripped the carpet out of the house in mid-July to help alleviate the issue. This did not even seem to help at all. We vacuumed the wood decking and finish wood flooring in the home with a shop vac and still the fleas remain. The only explanation by anyone that makes any sense is the house had flea eggs in the millions that fell down in the cracks between the wood flooring and they continue to hatch out. Time is the only thing that will end this infestation.
I purchased 1000 sf of hardwood flooring and had planned on installing it weeks ago. But alas, it sits outside underneath my carport waiting to be brought into the house.
Absence from the Property
Since we have fleas still at the home and I take care of my 3 year old daughter, we have not been able to physically be at the property every day. There are many projects that need to be accomplished and I have started a few like installing venting in our crawlspace (See it Here on Our YouTube Channel: Crawl Space Vent Install). These projects are taking a long time to complete because I am only able to work on them after my wife gets home from work or on a Sunday.
We have started laying out the garden (Garden construction. How to get perfect 90 degree corners.) but are way behind schedule to try to plant winter harvest crops. We tried to plant some one off fruit trees and vegetables that friends and family gave to us but they are not doing well because we are simply not there. They need water and care. You have to continuously check and tend to fruits and veggies.
The property is becoming overgrown. The amount of weeds that have grown in the driveway is staggering. I sprayed them with a mixture of vinegar, dawn dish soap and salt only one time which helped but did not keep the weeds at bay for long. The weeds in the rock beds next to the house are unbelievable huge. I guess everything is bigger in Texas.
I go over once to twice a week to cut the grass to keep it under control. We have 7.54 acres and the previous homeowner mowed about 80% of that. I refuse to cut that much grass, nor do I think that much needs to be manicured. I am cutting the grass around the house out to a good perimeter to keep snakes and small creatures at bay and provide a play area for my daughter (when she is able to join me there). I also mow a path to the orchard, between the fruit trees and around the barn and stable.
Every Project takes 10 Times Longer than You Think
Even if you are adept at building certain things or repairing others, they always take longer to complete than you originally thought. Sometimes you forget to bring a tool with you. Sometimes you run out of materials when you thought you had calculated properly. Sometimes wasp nests impede your progress. I could go on.
You can see from the video I mentioned above that I had a challenging time putting in vents for our crawlspace. I did forget tools. I did run out of materials. I did choose the wrong tool for the job at first. It also me took ridiculous amounts of time walking back and forth to my truck for the tools that I did remember (I need to be better organized). I can laugh about it now but I was not too happy at the time.
Why am I Telling You This
I want to share so that you are better prepared or at least aware that potentially nothing will go according to your "plan". By far the most mentally taxing situation has been the fleas. I can honestly say the frustration has sent me to the edge of shedding a tear. Keep calm and pray on.
We are hopeful that we will be putting in the flooring soon and finishing the garden. Stay tuned to our blog and the learning video section of our website for written and video updates.