Ask Betsy! September 2012

Dear Betsy,

My house is crawling with fleas. Do you have any suggestions to help me get rid of them?

Sincerely, Flea Bitten

Dear Flea Bitten,

A flea infestation can be a difficult thing to deal with. Your solution will be based on many factors. There are a multitude of products out on the market, but you almost have to have a degree to determine what will be the best for your situation. There are products that, if applied incorrectly or to the wrong species can be deadly.

I would recommend a visit to a veterinarian. They will be able to weigh your pet to determine proper dosing. They will also ask you how many and what types of animals are in your household and if they go outside. This will have an impact as to what products will be recommended.

The veterinarian might also be able to offer you coupons, rebates, free doses, that in the long run will save money!

This year has been a bad one for both fleas and ticks. It takes time to get things under control due to the fact that 95% of the infestation is in eggs, larvae, and pupae, and only 5% is adult fleas. Be patient, follow protocols and vacuum!

Dear Betsy,

I’m trying to get some information from the city with no luck. They told me that I could file a Right-to-Know. What is this, is it hard to do, and what can I expect.

Inquiring Mind

Dear Inquiring Mind,

A Right-to-Know is governed by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. It is not a difficult form to fill out, but what we have learned with our dealings with the city, is that you shouldn’t expect an answer to your questions quickly. You can get the form at City Hall in Jim Ryan’s office or you can go to and on the left is a link to the form and directions. You can email your completed form to or you can fax or mail it: James Ryan, City Clerk, 40 East Market Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711, phone (570) 208-4117, fax (570) 208-4171.

The city has five business days to respond. The usual response is that they need more time. Once you receive this response they have 30 more days. If you don’t receive a response in the first five days or within the 30 days, you will need to report the violation immediately to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Plaza Level, Harrisburg, PA 17120, phone (717) 346-9903.

Sound like a hassle? Don’t despair . . . you can always go to a Wilkes-Barre Taxpayers Association meeting. They are held on the first Tuesday of every month at Saint Anthony’s Church off of Hazel Street at 7:30 pm. They will help you get the form completed and filed. They are experts at it, and it is very possible that they might already have an answer to your question.

  • Betsy Summers
  • Betsy Summers is a long-time resident of Wilkes-Barre who holds an associate’s degree from Centenary College and advanced degrees from the School of Hard Knocks. She’s also a self-taught carpenter, electrician, gardener, and Jane of all trades. Betsy currently works in veterinary sales, has served on the subcommittee for Luzerne County ethics, and has run for a number of political offices, most recently, PA State Auditor General in 2012.If you’d like a question answered, contact Betsy at or call us at 570-266-8086.

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