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F bomb kinda day... in more ways than one.

F bomb kinda day... in more ways than one.

F BombMy broker is away on vacation, she asked me to do a simple favor this morning. Meet the locksmith over at a listing we have at 10:00 with a check. Sure thing, no problem.

The listing is a bank owned property. There was a non paying tenant in, it was very difficult to get the family out but it finally happened after much drama and trauma. The lender should have evicted as soon as they took title to the property but who listens to us, right?

The house is filled with mold. That will be addressed soon enough now that it is vacant. I have developed a sensitivity to mold which has made me sick a few times recently, very sick. I ran inside the house just to check on a few things, breathing through a cloth (forgot my mask). I also wanted to close the windows that were left wide open.

I sat in my car, waiting for the locksmith to work his magic. All of a sudden I looked down at my legs, I was COVERED in fleas, I mean covered. They were swarming up my legs, I was horrified! I jumped out of the car and brushed them off as best I could.

FleaThe next hour and a half was spent on flea warfare for both me and my car. I bought OFF for me, I purchased the best stuff I could find to spray in the car to kill them. I vacuumed furiously, almost sucking the entire car up into the vacuum system. I sprayed, sprayed and sprayed again. After getting back to the office I coated myself in OFF , the buggers were in my pants! I wiped it on my hair, everywhere. I have sprayed the bathroom floor in the office, I have sprayed my chair, around my desk, everywhere I walked.

What a disaster!

My broker was very upset at this hurdle with the property. It has been one long battle to be sure. I told her that it was not possible that she was as upset as I am.
F Bomb was dropped quite a bit today, out of my mouth, in the car, and hopefully in the house soon enough. In the meantime I am staying far away from this place. And now, along with my designer mask I have another accoutrement for showing foreclosures, a very very large can of OFF!!!

I do have another idea for the property....

Mushroom Cloud

The letter F


Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 60 commentsAndrea Swiedler • August 16 2010 02:00PM


Great story and graphics to go along with it.  Hope your week perks up!

Posted by Lexi & Jordan Ostlund (RE/MAX Professionals) over 8 years ago

Only once did I find myself in a house with fleas. It truly is enough to inspire many F bombs.

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) over 8 years ago

I HATE fleas....I am sorry that you got covered with them...

Posted by Joe Harvey (Lake Worth Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Clever story with great graphics... but yuck I HATE fleas!   ~ Susan

Posted by Susan Laxson CRS, Local Knowledge & Global Network (HomeSmart Professionals) over 8 years ago

Ugh, Sounds like a bad day all around.

I've shown some houses that made me want to go home and shower, but never one with fleas.

Posted by Terry Dunshie (Solutions Real Estate) over 8 years ago


Here's my suggestion Andrea!  Made Lee buy these for when he goes to those REO places that haven'tseen a human in a while.  CAT FLEA COLLARS - STRAP THEM TO YOUR ANKLES BEFORE ENTERING!!!


Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 8 years ago

Andrea, my understanding is that fleas have a life cycle and you might want to check with your favorite Pest Inspection Service Provider for advice. Some of the critters might have laid eggs in the carpet of your vehicle which could hatch at some future point.

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago

Andrea!  yikes.  It's making me itchy just reading your post.  Sorry to hear your flea treatment, I hope you have got rid of all of them.

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 8 years ago

Andrea, Ehhhhhhhh! How horrible.  I can just imatgine, you on the phone with a client and happen to look down and see the wriggling mass on your leg>>>CAN I CALL YOU RIGHT BACK?" That would be the last thing that person heard as I jumped out of the car.  Haz Mat suit just went on my "need!" list for the tools I carry around in my car.  Thanks, I think, for the story.  I am so glad you survived to share the story.

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®) over 8 years ago

What a day! Makes you wonder how the tenants stayed there. I hope Mike is wrong and the critters didn't have time to lay eggs in your car.

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 8 years ago

Some days it seems we are buying one more thing to put into the trunk of the car to protect ourselves when we visit a property. I can't believe all the stuff I have in my car. Funny story!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 8 years ago

Lexi & Jordan, thank you, I hope so too!

Candice, it was enough to make me sick. I hope they bomb the heck outta the suckers....

Joe, they aren't my favorite either.

Susan, thank you! The story may be clever, but the RL story was horrifying!

Terry, I wanted to jump in a vat of flea tip, nevermind a shower.

Pamela, great idea! I now have a bottle of OFF in my car, you just never know when you might need it. Plus the flea killing crap.

Mike, I got stuff to kill all that. I hope it works, and will spray for the next few days.

Rita, I am still itching, it is like a nightmare.

Larry, I was on the phone with my broker, she had bad cell service but understood I was not happy, to say the least. ICK, EWWWW... and a whole lot more. I like the HAZMAT suit idea myself.

Allen, they stayed there for free, that's how they did it. And made showings impossible. Hope they packed up a few with them when they left.... :D

Cynthia, my arsenal is growing daily...

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago


No good deed goes unpunished! I think the F word that is bad is "Favor!"

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 8 years ago

Andrea - Why that's no fun at all! I never really thought of wearing cat flea collars around my ankles, but I imagine that would be more effective than Off. Does Off work on fleas?

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 8 years ago

I giggle everytime I hear the saying "F Bomb".  Great post!

Posted by Chris Alston, Silicon Valley, California (Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California)) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea,


Not a good day .....Well look at the bright side !!!

Posted by San Antonio Texas New Homes for Sale ( over 8 years ago

What a horror Andrea! Time to drop an A-Bomb on that house that has caused you to drop all those F-Bombs!

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) over 8 years ago

Richard, rofl... that is funny. I was actually thinking....
but who would believe me anyway?

Judy, I never thought of that either, wonder if it works? OFF made the fleas jump off, which was the whole point. But it was horrible. They were inside my pants. I was in a mood all day, itching too.

Chris, glad you enjoyed it, thank you!

Robert, and that would be.... bombing the heck out of those pesky fleas?

Craig, it was like the movie, The Flea That Ate New Milford. It was horrible! I think you are right about the A-Bomb. After finding them inside my pants I was ready to press any button I could find to drop a bomb on them.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Oh Andrea we feel your pain, that is a-w-f-u-l!!! Better call Fleabusters!

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

I've started tweeting about things like this when they happen, with a #glamorousjobs at the end. If people only knew...

Posted by Julia Odom, Chattanooga Homes for Sale (Select Realty Professionals) over 8 years ago

Andrea, I am itching all over just reading your blog.  I would have run for a shower and not have come out for a day .......... LOL

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea ~ Yuck Yuck Yuck!! Gross beyond words.  Do you think the flea collar ankle bracelet idea of Pamela's will work? Love that idea.


Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea!
I empathize...this has happened to me twice! It always happens when a property that had a pet in it is vacated.  The pet had fleas, and once gone, the fleas take up residence in the carpet until the next warm body arrives.  They particularly are drawn to white for some reason.  It is nasty, to say the least! I think your last idea was your best idea!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 8 years ago


i guess by now you are able to laugh. Now it is a story of what happened once, not  hwat would happen in the future

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 8 years ago

Good morning Al & Peggy, thanks for your sympathy! I am still itching, LOL.

Julie, really glamorous, isn't it?

George, I am still itching too. I won't be going back until the house gets bombed!

Liz, I don't know, I will take their word for it though, I am not going back to test it.

Paula, after everything that has happened there I think my broker will think that is the best idea too.

Jon, I am still not laughing, LOL. I am still itching here.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Andrea, we had some pretty ugly looking dark clouds move our way from your direction. Must have been the fall-out from all of those F-bombs that fell in New Milford yesterday. As a considerate neighbor, would you mind terribly keeping it down in the future?

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

15 Flea Bombs Later.... the house was bombed today, 15 to be exact.

Ed, I will keep it down, LOL. Sorry.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Andrea - Oh yes, the ole flea routine!  I had a really nice listing that was vacant.  I had an appointment to show it one hot summer evening.  I got there a few minutes early, and when I stepped into the dining room, I happened to look down at my white pants, and saw a black cloud of fleas on the lower part of my pant legs.  I just about freaked.  Right after that the door bell rang with the buyers.  I told them it might be better to reschedule the showing.  They said no, and actually purchased that house.  I let the seller know about the fleas when I presented the offer, and they sent out pest control the next morning:-)

Bug bombs generally work really well in houses infested with fleas. . .They will work in your car too:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

Andrea ~ Yuck! What a bummer! Not the best way to start out your week. Funny story though! I hope things get better soon!

Posted by Carra & Shae Riley, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) over 8 years ago

Andrea, I'm so sorry!  And I am laughing so hard!  And fleas are just the worst!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Bless your heart.  Two of my agents encountered this during a preview last year.  They also brought some back to the office.  I hope you got all of them.  Flea bites are the worst.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 8 years ago

Myrl, so you know my pain, LOL. I am still itching... If the spray I got didn't work in the car I will bomb it. Thanks!

Carra, it put me behind, LOL. And it sure was unpleasant.

Pat, that's ok, you can laugh... it was funny, NOT.. .LOL.

Tammy, my ankles and feet are all torn up, it is horrible. They were up and down the inside of my pants.. it was like a horror movie!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea, I would have been dropping more than the F bomb, lol. Having a ton of fleas on you was no picnic!

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 8 years ago

I had this same thing happen once. I use exterminators for my termite inspections. The pest guy went in first while everyone was outside looking at the exterior. He comes out a few minutes later with fleas all over his pants. Now the funny thing is he has nothing on the truck he says to kill them. I tell the agent unless we get some Off the inspection won't be happening today. Long story short she got the Off.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

Andrea -- Awful!  Fleas are the worst.  I had them in one of my rental properties once, got a bomb and blasted the place.  They came back! Finally called in the exterminator who informed me that bombing them drives them into the walls and makes it more difficult to get rid of them. . . It was a nightmare experience!

I feel your pain!

Posted by Lori Gilmore, Realtor - Will County Illinois (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Ouch!  I was at a listing appointment the other day walking through the house when the owner told me the house was infested with fleas.  I got out quickly and am going back after they bomb the house for the fleas.  I hate those bugs!

Posted by Dan Quinn, Dan Quinn (The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Bombing the house drives them into the walls? OH NO....

I say get a real bomb.....

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Andrea, This only good thing about this day is that you were able to share it with AR. Thanks to Pat Kennedy for highlighting your post.


Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 8 years ago

I once went to the outer banks with my wife, took the dog (big mistake -- poor girl, she had sand fleas like the end of the world was coming) and we had to contend with crickets that would have made Stephen King cringe.  When I crunched one under my foot on night 2 and you could hear everything snap (shell, legs, etc. -- these things were huge) and I wa sin my bare feet in the dark trying to find the bathroom.  Then my wife turned on the light, and they are climbing up the wall beside the bed.

That was it, we packed in the middle of the night and left.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 8 years ago

ANDREA: My what an experience and how dreadful I say do not do any more favors without asking if the property is vacant and how long and did the previous owners have pets. if the answers are indicating a possibity I would definitely stay away.

Posted by Kathleen Ann Pacheco-Corbett, Realtor, RI-MA, CEBA, Master, e-Pro, ABR, ABRM, GR ((FIRST Exclusive Buyer's Office Providence-RI) ) over 8 years ago

Margaret, it was a day I would prefer to forget, LOL.

Chris, oh ick... that is horrible. I would have packed up too. Did you bring any home with you????

Kathleen, it was horrible, really horrible. How does one say no to ones broker? I'm just sayin...

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago


Posted by Catherine Ulrey, Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist (Keller Williams Capital City) over 8 years ago

lol..I would say it may have been needed! Bugs are so gross..I am always paranoid when I go into a vacant REO of cockroaches--hey its Florida and there's bugs EVERYWHERE!

Posted by Brittany Stewart, Making Dallas Home (Luxe Realty Group) over 8 years ago

OMG!  That is totally gross about the fleas!  This reminds me of one of the grossest things I have ever had to do after Hurricane Ike.  I will have to write about it!

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) over 8 years ago

I missed this one the first time around!  I'm glad I caught it on Pat's weekly round up.  A humorous post from my desk, not so much for you!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 8 years ago

I'm glad Pat highlighted this post.  I'm with you on the ultimate fate of this house, fleas and mold sounds like a disaster.  I know you weren't amused but you told the story in a hilarious way and I could just picture you going through it with "bleep" "bleep" "bleep" going on in the background.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 8 years ago

Andrea - You are hilarious. I have had that happen a few times, and it is DISGUSTING.  The sad part, is there may have been kidsliving in that situation..... yuck.

Posted by Sally Dunbar, Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale (Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area)) over 8 years ago

Wow.  What a nightmare.  I'm actually getting all itchy just thinking about it.   Hope you didn't get any bites. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 8 years ago

I'm sitting here scratching as I write this.  Ugh!  I had that happen to me many, many years ago when my partner and I went in to do a CMA on a house.  We both were scratching all the way home.  I took off everything I could, maintaining some semblence of decency, before getting into my house for a quick shower.

Your presentation was hilarious, but I feel your pain.

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) over 8 years ago

I remember a house that I had to show last summer that was very flea infested......just awful!  I went through great efforts to de-flea myself after that.  YUCK!

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) over 8 years ago

Great post, sorry, you had such a bad day, but at least you could find the humor in it.  I have never had a situation and hopefully never will, but now I will know how to handle it.  Hope today is better.

Posted by Lesley Wagstaff, For Real Estate and Mortgages (Re/Max Results Realty in Vancouver, BC) over 8 years ago

That's one nice thing about Colorado - we don't have fleas. I have seen 3 in the 17 years I've lived here, and never had a flea collar on any of our pets. Too bad mold doesn't kill fleas!


Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 8 years ago

Glad you've re-cooped but then again you may never get over this. It is sad to think how some people live.

Market that spray F... OFF.

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Your post made my day.  Sorry it happened to you but the laugh is appreciated. 

Posted by Dawnita Griffith, It does matter who you hire. (Meadow Lake Real Estate, LLC) over 8 years ago

Hi Andrea,  I showeed a " bank owned " about a month ago.  Grren water in the pool, yard was a disaster inside was no better.  All of a sudden we all started jumping around from the fleas !  The place was covered with them - couldn't get out fast enough !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 8 years ago

Great, funny blog Andrea! I loved it. Too bad I missed it and it took Andrea's post of her weekly favorites to show it to me.

Posted by Robert Amato (Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc) over 8 years ago

Makes me a little itchy just reading it! Did someone say burn it for the insurance money?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 8 years ago

Itching all over just thinking about it!!  And the poor pets that lived there with no help! Amazing to think that people were living there too!!

Posted by Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE) over 8 years ago

I have encountered mold.  But, never, never have I seen fleas.  I have been very fortunate.  Sorry for all your inconvenience.  (I would have just gone home and taken clothes off and showered furiously.)

Posted by Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. (Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc.) over 8 years ago

Oh my, what we real estate folks have to encounter and can still come out making a disastrous experience into a humorous story!  And the public thinks we are overpaid.

I had one god awful experience with fleas as a child that I can still remember like it happened yesterday!  No fun and the itching is unbelievable.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) over 8 years ago