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benhalterci

Biting Insects

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As some of you know, I have a severe flea infestation which 7 fumigations have not cured. With the recent warm snap in the weather here, the eggs have hatched and I have the bites to prove it.Today I bumped into one of my elusive neighbours and he introduced me to a useful friend who knows about old wooden floors and termites and other nasty bugs. He said he thought that it sounded like a termite infestation (because of the wood floor) and we have fixed up an appointment for him to come here on Saturday morning.My point however is they are NOT termites (and are fleas) because:1. All the other apartments had fleas and were cured after fumigation except mine.2. Mine was the worst because the infestation started here when I closed up the house in the heat for 3 months when I was in the UK.3. Mine is also the worst as I am the one with the original old wooden paraquet floor which has huge gaps between the wooden slats which are impossible to clean, even with a vacuum cleaner. I keep putting poison down (I use a 3 poison mix and also table salt which kills fleas as they eat it and dehydrate) and it works for a little while until the next batch of fleas appear.My question is this:1. Would a new floor cure this once and for all? The bugs and their eggs are living in the crevices between my wooden floor boards. It would be difficult to do since I have a fitted kitchen unit and 2 lots of big shelves etc but I am exploring this option.2. If the guy said he had some special machinery for cleaning these old floors and their gaps and then puts down another poison should I go for that instead? I've had 3 professional bug men come and spray this place and powdered it myself on numerous occasions and they still come back. I am convinced this is an artitechtural issue so to speak and until their hiding places are closed up they will remain.3. Are there any other tiny insects which multiply and bite like this and hide in wood? I am sure they are fleas as I know what a flea looks like and I've seen them up close. Nobody seems to believe that a flea infestation can be SO stubborn or resistant to powder but I've heard this can happen and if you browse the internet, you'll hear of other examples.I am so depressed about this and other stuff today I wish I'd never come to Turkey. Added to which I was talking English on the metro the other day and some junkie b**ch pointed in my face and stared shouting 'foreign whores! They all come here to f**k our men!' and I had to leave the carriage. Added to which...one of my neighbours is suddenly non-elusive because he wants me to help him in a class action against Beyoglu Belideye and close the noisy restaurants (only those under his window and not the one outside mine) which is totally futile and will end in tears and bankrupty (mine, not his as he is rich).Added to which..another elusive neighbour wants to knock a chimney through the house and enforce her 'right' to have the 'old' chimney back. I thought Turkish law forbade such things?Rant over!

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Oh benhalterci ! I do feel for you ! If I was in your shoes I probably wouldn't have bought that apartment ! I know that's not very helpful, however, now it's done, we must try & make the best of it ! With all those poisons you've been using, there's a real risk you may be poisoning yourself, and those fleas are probably building up a resistance to it if they keep coming back relentlessly. BTW, what's in the dust anyway ? Have you tried a natural product like diatomaceous earth (check the net) ? I'm sure what you've already spent on poisons by now might have paid for a new floor, so I say cut your losses and get the new floor put in (with advice from experts). Might be able to work around the kitchen units by putting a layer of flooring on the floor of your cupboard bottoms, and fill in any cracks with silicon (?) And of course you'd have to fumigate (or replace) some furniture that may hide infestations. Your option of cleaning with special machinery plus more poison won't guarantee no future infestations, so I would still go for the major step of stopping up their breeding places = new floors, and b****er the historic parquet floorboards ! If your pests are anything other than fleas, then this solution will fix them too !I wouldn't worry too much about the b**ch on the train -- she was probably a whore herself, afraid of you were taking business away from her ! With that mindset, it's her problem, not yours ! As for the guy wanting your co-operation in the class action, I wouldn't ! Because you have nothing to gain and everything to lose ! And did any of those people ever cooperate with you to get the front door fixed ? I don't believe your other neighbour can enforce the chimney, but you should be able to enforce your right to quiet enjoyment of your own place ! (Well, as far as possible in the noisy neighbourhood you have chosen).Your feelings of depression are worrisome but quite understandable in those circumstances. Pleeeeease cut the poison out ..... it can't be helping your mental state ! From your other posts I understand you are made of tough stuff, so you should be able to beat this. Don't give up ..... we will help in whatever way we can ! :)

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I can only agree with everything Meral has said, you do seem to be suffering at the moment and I do feel sorry for you.I would ask your lawyer about the chimney it would put your mind at rest, and don't involve yourself with the neighbour and his law action as it seems to me that they will just use you when it suits them.Hopefully, you will be able to resolve all your problems soon :)

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G'day BenH,

I look for your posts, I admit.

You say what you think, and I think it is great.

Parquetry floor is beautiful, not to be discarded.

The gaps in between can be filled efficiently and that may fix your flea problems for good.

Your encounter with a junkie was unfortunate, but I am surprised that you didn't gave her an answer she deserved.

So that neighbor of yours with a chimney fixation is back!

Tell him to stick it up to his nostrils!

COME ON DOWN!!! TO THE PLACE WHERE LİVİNG İS EASY, TROUBLE FREE!!

:):drunk[1]:

Regards,

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Wow, thank you everyone - reading your posts I feel better already:) Not only did you give me moral support but also constructive advice (thanks Meral) about these pesky fleas.Yes, I am sorry sometimes I bought this place but not because I don't like it and where it is, but because of all the many unforeseen problems. Of course many of us have bought properties and had problems thereafter but although I did see that these (rather handsome) old floorboards could be an insect trap I never thought of fleas or any other biting nasties. Yes, possibly they could build up a resistance but mostly these crevices (which are about a quarter to half an inch wide and inches deep) harbour huge colonies of fleas and eggs and I do think that the key to gettting rid of these bugs is to tackle the huge crevices. They are big enough for all the bugs to hide in and also their size makes it hard to clean as they are too small for a vacuum end to get down and the sizes are also varying from fairly narrow to huge. They are also filled with old bits of wood which keeps splintering off.Meral, I totally agree that, depending on the cost, I should go for a new floor. Thank you Meral for suggesting about getting around the kitchen units etc - I will try to explain in my very limited Turkish to the man when he comes and see what is possible and what is not.About my neighbours - what a set of folks they are! Most of the time they are hidden out of sight but when they want something, they appear, like these fleas, out of nowhere! I am not contributing huge sums of money to suing the Turkish government (my neighbour wants to challenge the local council and the whole restaurant business it seems) and would only have to instruct a lawyer in the unhappy event of my other neighbour pursuing the chimney threat. Certainly as you say, none of my other neighbours would contribute to legal costs as they are too tight to even pay their 30TL contribution for the door repair.Joz, your post put a smile on my face:) I agree that the paraquet is beautiful but not if it is a flea farm. It probably would be considerably cheaper to somehow treat the paraquet in some way and tackle the crevices but they are so big and uneven I really don't know if that is possible. I have a man coming here on Saturday for a consultation and I will see what he says can be done with the floor and also my electrician knows someone who he says could do something so I will hopefully have some answers in a few days.I can't live like this. My electrician came to do some minor work here today and suggested I sell the flat but I bought it at the top of the market and the renovation I've already done plus the escrow fees mean that I would be losing unless I sold it for a sum to include all that which would be most unlikely in today's depressed market. Also I really love this area, in historical Istanbul and the people here know me and are friendly and don't discriminate against me because I am not Turkish. The thought of trying to sell and move and find somewhere else (which may also have problems I don't know about) fills me with dismay.

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I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma Benh. I can't remember if I or someone else has suggested it before but have you tried the Raid cockroach (hamambocegi) spray which comes with a thin tube to go into small places, like the cracks in your floorboards? Unlike other anti insect sprays it doesn't evaporate and kills bugs etc for a couple of weeks.

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benh, if you are considering keeping the parquetry flooring (to preserve its beauty & historical value), can you just fill up the space underneath with something like concrete (ugh, what a mess but !)--- that should both strengthen your floor AND crowd out the little blighters (and the bigger ones) so they have nowhere to breed ! I've seen another substance as well but don't know its name -- something like a foam that expands & solidifies in cracks (we used it once under some loose floorboards) -- hubby's away at the moment so I can't ask him, but someone may know what it's called (?).So if like the chimney threat will be fought off by a rich neighbour in the event of an issue, that's one thing off your mind, and you can concentrate on sorting out those fleas. I can see you've already worked out the pros & cons of selling, and it makes sense that if you are otherwise happy in your current neighbourhood, then work to stay there.I knew you had the guts not to take it lying down, but we are all entitled to have a whinge (or rant) now & again !I wish you the best of luck. you can do it girl ! :)

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Oh fleas are dreadful things to get rid of.........the problem is that even though you have treated them,the pupae are resistant until they hatch and then you're infested all over again. Persistence is key.I found a site that does explain how to get rid of them with wood floors..........http://www.pestproducts.com/flea1.htm.Not sure which product you have already used but hope this might help. saffie

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Guys, you are magnificent:) Your answers boost my low morale and are most constructive. Taking them by turn:Sunny: I know that roach glue; it does great for roaches (which I also had!!) and the bug buster put it around the kitchen as they love food and moisture and touch wood so far so good. But it doesn't work for fleas unfortunately. They are far more widespread and harder to pin down.Meral: you are my fleabustingidea star! Love the idea of the expanding foam and concrete filler and will put this on my possibles list. Pity you weren't able to give me the name of the foam but a man is comign tomorrow for a consultation about my floor so maybe he'll know it. I think your idea might be best of the lot to be honest. I have the kitchen unit, huge fridge, enormous bed and quite a few fitted things which would make putting a new floor in very hard plus ripping up this paraquet would be a shame as you say and something really only to be done with a gutted house. My mother asked if I could ask the guy if I could sort of tile over the paraquet but I don't know if that's possible as the paraquet floor is so old and uneven and it would stop the doors opening and closing. I love your foam filler idea I do really and hope this guy tomorrow knows about that. I have tried not to let it get me down but I am sitting in a sandpit of flea poison and salt here. I can't wear good clothes as if they touch the floor they get covered in powder. I have eczema which is made worse by my allergy to the flea bites. Every time I cook anything a flea appears as they love the smell of food and I have to cover anything like cooked food, fruit juice or cut apples or bananas with a bowl or the fleas appear immediately. I try to keep the bedside light off as they love lights and even come near the puter or TV. I CANNOT LIVE.Saffie, you hit the nail on the head. You have to fumigate and then do it again about 14 days later when the eggs hatch since the pupae have a poison-resilient covering. Nature is clever! I will look at that link you suggested, thank you.I am at my wits end but I agree you can't give up. Now the weather has gone a lot colder they will retreat but this is no good as they will reappear next season. Moreover, they LOVE carbon dioxide so I am afraid to leave the house locked up and the windows closed since this incubates the eggs. This all started for real when I came back from the UK. The three months I'd spent there began their incubation and this infected all the other apartments!! You can now imagine the size of the problem.Meral, yes, the chimney meeting is on Tuesday. I cannot believe that this woman has any kind of case to make. She wants us to 'hear her out' in her plan to bulldoze a hole through our apartments to make a chimney! Sadly, this area is full of greedy people who are trying to turn every nook and cranny into a restaurant or cafe.I will let you all know what the man said after my meeting with him tomorrow. Thank you all:)

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No Benh it's not roach glue, it's a spray with a long thin tube for spraying into narrow places. It's sold in all the supermarkets. One brand is called Raid. It's a green aerosol and kills everything. It's sort of oily which is why it doesn't evaporate so continues to work for a couple of weeks. If it kills roaches it'll kill your fleas. I use it for ants as well and when holes appear in wood.From your description of their behaviour they don't sound like fleas. Fleas live on blood so the smell of cooking and fruit wouldn't draw them and neither would light. Fleas lay small, pearly white eggs in the fur or feathers of the host or in the bedding material. The eggs hatch in one week into white, thread-like larvae which live in dark, humid places. After 2-3 weeks, the larvae pupate and 7 weeks later, the adult flea emerges. They may remain as pupae for up to a year if no suitable host is available. Hatching will occur as soon as a host arrives, often in response to vibrations caused by movement.

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Sunny, thanks so much again for help.You are right about the behaviour of fleas. I think (and someone else suggested) that I have two types of insect here; one type are non-biting little flying flies that appear around food. We call them fruit flies in the UK and they hover around eg bananas. I am sure you know what I mean.But the second ones are definitely fleas. I say definitely because:1. They bite like fleas.2. They infested all the other apartments here which later responded to fumigation. My apartment was the source of infection and I have these wretched floors so they continued here whilst the spray fumigators zapped the neighbours' fleas.3. I have seen them under a microscope and so have others here. 4. The neighbour used to have (or maybe still has - my neighbours are as I told you, rarely around to talk to) about 8 or 9 cats and there are many stray cats along this street which host fleas.I love the sound of that spray with the tube and will look out for it. It sounds better than this huge powder mess I am sitting in which smells disgusting. However, this mess does do the trick whilst it is there. Unfortunately once I've cleaned it and if we have a warm or humid spell the fleas reappear.Abi, thank you for the link. I have read quite a bit about fleas in wooden floors and filling is only a temporary measure since after some while the filling can crack or shrink and the fleas get through the holes.UPDATE: The floor adviser man came around. I managed with my Turkish to understand what he is going to do. He says they ARE fleas and he has seen this kind of thing before in Beyoglu where people have old houses with ancient paraquet and all these cats around etc. The solution is to cover all the old floor with a new laminate floor rather than rip the old boards up which I can't do now since there is furniture and some of it is fitted. The time for doing that was when the former owner bought the house as a shell and could have had it gutted and the boards ripped up then. But this solution is the best one and he quoted a reasonable price thank goodness as I was dreading how much a new floor might be. Tomorrow he is coming round with samples and I will choose the one nearest the old floor colour. Joz and others are right about it's a shame to not have the old floor showing as it adds character etc but I can't go on like this.This has been a protracted rant of mine but it is useful as people do buy old houses and fleas seem to be a problem in Turkey since bug busters leave their cards around here. Maybe it is just old Istanbul with the period houses and where you all live there are new units as many of them are bought off plan. Whatever - it's something for people to be aware of and the moral of this tale is to deal with bugs before they become an almost insoluble problem. I had to go to the UK for 3 months in the summer and closed the windows and if it hadn't happened then it would have happened later. I can't be afraid to close the windows for fear of flea incubation. The eggs were all under the boards and this would have happened sooner or later.

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Glad a solution is underway at last ! There was a fruit fly problem in the house where my daughter is staying in the UK. Apparently they're attracted by food left exposed, especially over-ripe fruit and unwrapped peelings & leftovers in rubbish bins.. They breed in damp spots, like maybe even in a wet mop ! There are may suggestions for simple home remedies if you just google fruit flies, as these won't disappear along with the flea remedy ! Good luck benh --- may you soon have a peaceful night's rest ! :huh:

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Hi benhReally I don't know how your coping, I really feel for you with your constant flee problem, you just keep trying different things over and over again and they keep coming back, it's bound to be getting you down...But like you say what else can be done you can't just sell up and move out, it has to be tackled and sorted out....I was going to suggest Tiling over your floor boards, but now you have mentioned about them being uneven then it wouldn't work....The Expanding Foam that Meral mentioned I have used that here in my house, we used some in the loft/Attic right into where the roof meets the wall, there are always some small gaps and we filled them using this stuff we then had cavity wall insulation..... We have also used it to fill gaps around windows, we installed some Patio Doors and filled in the gaps......... I do know Window fitters use it........ You have to be careful though as it expands rapidly, use a little at a time, any excess can be usually shaved off...... Just Google Expanding Foam.... it brings loads of info up and which Brands you can buy, I'm sure you will be able to get it over there....

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Debbie, yes, it is getting me down. I hopefully have found a solution at a price. I seem to be bleeding money with this house. Fleas DO keep coming back because they are so resilient and breed at such an incredible rate. All these filling things won't work and I do hope this new floor covering does. I won't be able to see the old paraquet again but as you can imagine I hate the sight of it now:)Meral, yes I had a fruit flie swarm in my house in the uK. It happened because we had to have a separate bin for food waste there and the squirrels in the garden ate a huge hole in the bin, the flies were attracted to the waste and then covered my kitchen ceiling. I cleaned the area thoroughly and made mum cover the guilty waste bin and voila. If only fleas could be got rid of so easily. The important thing here is that fruit flies, wood termites and other nasties, even cockroaches, don't BITE. Fleas bite and how. These Turkish ones are more painful than mosquitos and certainly more numerous as, unlike skeets, they bite in clusters as they hop from one bit to another. Very nasty. I do cope but of course it is getting me down.I browsed the internet and it's amazing how many people have this kind of problem. And how many of them have wood floors and not carpets. You'd think fleas would like carpets more but they are easier to vacuum and shampoo whereas wood, even paraquet not as old and damaged as mine, contains minute cracks and fissures where the fleas can live and hatch their eggs. Moreover as fleas react to vibrations, they react more to people trampling over wood than the softness of a carpet.

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Benh, I truly hope this will be the end of your problem as I know you have been suffering for months with it and desperate for a solution. The thing to remember is that your workman may also be desperate ("all foreigners have lots of money"), having convinced you that "all these filling things won't work". I do hope he has suggested the new flooring for the right reasons. No doubt you are astute enough to be able to tell ! [Just a niggling doubt in my mind I had to mention].Good luck with it ! :busted[1]:

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Before splashing out on this laminate flooring Benh, give that Raid cockroach spray a try. It's in a green aerosol and it's around 6tl. If it can kill cockroaches, which are notoriously difficult to get rid of, it should work on fleas.Bye the way cockroaches can bite. When I was living in a school flat I walked into the bathroom one morning and felt this nip on my foot and there was a one and a half inch long one on my foot, but not for long!

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