A cautionary tale about Freecycle

For those who don’t know what Freecycle is- you should acquaint yourselves. Google it. You never know what you could snatch up. I’ve mentioned before that I am a fan.. i’m always a fan of getting free stuff, and of getting rid of stuff I don’t longer use without having to do anything but type a post up for it (which is basically what Freecycle is).

We’ve been a member of our local freecycle for months now without issue (other than the moderators not being very kind and treating everyone like complete morons). We’ve given stuff away, gotten a LOT of cool stuff that otherwise would have costed us assloads of money (carseat with base, baby bathtub, baby clothes, a Kohler toilet.. so i’ve really never had anything to complain about.

That is, until now. Now i’m not sure which item is the culprit.. but I know it’s something we got from freecycle that is currently causing us serious distress and disturbance.

I guess about a week ago, I saw what I THOUGHT was a flea on either Thomas or Holden (I can’t remember who now). Whatever it was disappeared so fast I didn’t really have time to think about it much further until a few days ago.
Holden was sitting on the potty, doing his business, when I looked at his sock and saw something crawling around. Flea. Definite flea.
Picked that bitch off as fast as I could and snapped its stupid little head off and then flushed it down the toilet. We had BAD flea problems when I was little so I knew just what to do.

My cats are indoor cats. They don’t go outside, they haven’t had fleas since I rescued them as kittens, so I know the fleas did not originate on them.
This made me start to wonder where the hell they were coming from, and how bad it was.
It may not have been bad when I found that first (technically 2nd) flea on Holden’s sock but as the days passed, more and more started popping up. They REALLY love Holden and I, that’s for sure. Both of us have multiple bites on our legs. I am not pleased.
The bathroom, surprisingly, being the most infested. I even had to pick a flea out of Holden’s HAIR today. Last straw.

The only things I can think of where the fleas may be coming from is either the persian carpet we got from freecycle, that REAKED of dog when we first got it and took ridiculous amounts of cleaning and carpet sprinkles to alleviate the smell… or the baby clothes we picked up from a rather shady looking trailer park (and subsequently put said bag of clothes in the office, on the persian rug where they’ve been sitting waiting to get sorted & washed). Not to say that anything is wrong with trailer parks, i’ve seen a few nice ones in the past, but this one, the one with the lady walking the cat on a leash, just kinda seems like it might be the type of place to have fleas.

Either way, i’m pissed. Yes, free is free, you get what you pay for, all that crap, and I realize that with freecycle, things can come in any kind of condition. Clean, dirty, broken, etc etc. You know this going in to getting something… but at the same time- the person is supposed to INFORM you of the condition, and is usually supposed to tell you if they have pets just in case you have some sort of allergy. It’s just common courtesy.
Neither the person who gave us the rug, or the person who gave us the baby clothes said anything about animals. Not that it would have deterred me since we have pets- but it’s really uncool and honestly fucked up to go and pass along something that is infested with fleas.
We have flea free pets, we have a toddler, we have a pregnant woman in the house- fleas are not ok. If I had something I knew was covered in fleas, i’d either CLEAN IT and give it away, or THROW IT AWAY. Not just give it to some unsuspecting person who thinks they’re getting a sweet deal.
Now we’ve had to deal with bites and itchiness, and spent copious amounts of money on flea spray for the whole house and flea killer crap for the cats (kind of like Frontline but less expensive) because obviously it’s pointless to de-flea the house if you aren’t gonna de-flea the pets.. all for something that was supposed to be free.

Thanks a lot, freecycle! You are now at the top of my shit list.
A part of me was really tempted to write a nice little note to whomever gave us the flea-ridden goodies telling them that they should INFORM whoever they’re unloading this shit onto next time they go and give something away like that… but really, where would that get me?

Thomas thinks we could have just ‘tracked them in’ from outside.. err.. I don’t think so. I’ve never ever had that happen. It’s always been either because the animal went outdoors and was unprotected, or something came IN the house that was infested. Never have I just happened to bring one flea inside on my foot or some shit and it infested the entire house. Doesn’t seem very probable to me.

So a word to the wise: Freecycle is awesome, but if you’re going to get something that has fabric.. CLEAN IT before you bring it in your house. You NEVER know what the people who had it previous to you did to it. Free could turn into having to bomb your entire house for fleas, or throwing away carpets if it gets that bad. Thank God our house is mostly hardwood with a few area rugs or we’d be seriously effed right now.

Posted on June 24, 2009 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
Holdin' Holden

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1 Comment

  • I know how you feel on the itching. You will see by the blog I just posted…”Please excuse my smell.” LOL

    I hope y’all can find something that works. Let me know if you want me to get the name of that stuff MIL is using. All I gotta do is ask!