"The word 'plague' conjures up frightening images of
the Black Death during the Middle Ages' in fact the
bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis) is still
among us. There are three types of plague (pneumonic,
bubonic, and septicemic); all are transmitted to humans
PRIMARILY VIA FLEAS. In some vary rare cases, wild
rodents have spread the disease to humans as well."
from "Infectious Medicine 1999";
Bubonic plague is the most common type
of human plague; fortunately it is rare in the U.S. and
is confined largely to the Southwest. Persons who live in
or have traveled to this region may come in contact with
infected animals (rabbits, rock squirrels -- even cats,
in recent years). Physicians and health care
professionals should keep plague in mind when patients
west of the Mississippi present with unexplained febrile
illness. If the diagnosis is confirmed, streptomycin is
the most commonly prescribed drug; tetracycline is also a
good option for treatment."
The insecticide of choice for fleas in
Sevin, or carbaryl, powder. If you purchase poultry dust,
dog flea powder, or other common insecticides, the active
ingredient is usually carbaryl; it is much less expensive
to simply purchase 5% Sevin powder in the first place: it
can be used on dogs and cats, and sprinkled on carpeting
and then vacuumed.
If necessary, entire yards can be
sprayed with Sevin if it is used as a wettable powder and
sprayed with a pressure sprayer if infested with fleas.
Remember that just a little Sevin is death to entire
colonies of honeybees, so if a yard must be sprayed, it
should be done at night after honeybees have quit flying,
and the yard should be thoroughly watered to dilute and
wash away any residual Sevin powder the next morning
before bees begin flying: any fleas present will be
killed during exposure during the night.