Monday, September 20, 2010

none for me, thank you

We've had a rainy weekend here and the cat expresses her displeasure every time she comes in. We've been getting rain fairly regularly since September and let me tell you, the mosquitos that didn't bother us all the long dry summer are fierce and abundant out there now. Even when it's not raining you can't stay out for long unless you want to coat your skin with poison. It takes them less than a minute to zero in on you.

I'm not a big fan of poison myself. I've never understood why people spread poison all around their homes and yards on a regular basis. My neighbor, when the kids were growing up, would always warn me when they sprayed their yard and around their house so that I could make sure the kids didn't go over there for a day or two. I also don't get the anti-bacterial craze. I prefer to keep my good bacteria alive and my immune system strong.

When I was younger, in my pre-glass days, I and my then husband bought some poison for roaches from an exterminating place and only read the cautions and warnings after we got home. I was so horrified that I didn't even want to touch the glass jug. We returned it to them, asking for our money back. The salesman/exterminator guy reacted with scorn and derision and by way of demonstrating how harmless the stuff was put a coin in the gum machine, got a gum ball, sprayed it with some of the same stuff and popped it in his mouth. I'm sure my revulsion must have shown on my face as he laughed at us on our way out.

You will never convince me that poisons and neurotoxins are targeted and safe. That doesn't mean I haven't bombed my house a time or two in desperation but I am acutely aware of absorbing the residue.

Because I see something fundamentally wrong with poisoning my home and environment I've become a live and let live kinda gal. My spiritual outlook was evolving too. When you pay attention, it's amazing how many things humans kill in the course of a day, without thinking. Without it even being necessary. I raised my kids to respect all life and to refrain from killing some small creature just because it is there or stripping a tree or shrub of leaves out of idleness. I've tried to teach the same to my grandkids, to not step on that little bug there on the ground that deserves it's own small life just as much as they do, to be gentle and not cause injury to the lizard or garden snake or toad or butterfly that they have caught out of curiosity. It's why I catch insects and lizards in the house and release them outside, it's why I rescue goats from dogs and possums out of rain barrels, why I let the wasp nests stay and encourage the fire ants to bed in the field. I refrain from killing or disturbing that which does me no harm. It's why my property is a no kill zone.

And so, if there is little justice in the world, at least there is irony.

I'm a country girl now. I live in a little neighborhood in the county outside a small town sandwiched between agricultural fields. The crop duster was back the other day zooming low over our house to make his banking turns as he sprayed defoliant on the cotton. Defoliant. Heinous stuff.

I stayed inside thankful that it was, at least, a windless day.

*if you are here via the link from agairupdate, read this one too.


  1. I have a high school friend who blames her breast cancer on the pesticides her farmer father put on his crops. She's always posting the most terrifying things on FB.

    I have to admit that I don't think very much about it. I have bug spray that I never think to use, so I get welts all over from the bites. And since I'm not trying to look like a model I decided not to worry to much about them (for some reason they don't itch - which is a little scary in and of itself).

  2. Avon Skin So Soft works amazing for mosquito bites, isn't harmful, smells good AND you get soft skin in the process. :D We have to watch for Wallene because she must secrete something that mosquitoes love and can end up with 40-50 welts a day if we don't rub her down with something, but I refuse the DEET stuff. Scary. [and smelly]

    We try natural stuff when trying to rid our house of pests - I found bleach for ants works wonders. I don't know how "natural" anyone considers it but commercial bleach is so diluted it is basically harmless to humans.

  3. A gin and tonic works wonders at keeping the mozzies away.....only mind you!

  4. No matter how hard we try, we cannot get away from the poisons...they are everywhere...

  5. Defoliant? Like in Agent Orange? Yikes. It's scary what people use out there!

  6. Amen to all that.
    I am totally with you. I don't even spray for bugs or weeds in the garden and certainly never spray anything in the house. Mind you, I do swat flies!

    There is enough natural killing - the phrase 'nature red in tooth and claw' springs to mind, why would you want to add unnecessary killing.

    Live and let live is a very good slogan, why can't we all adopt it.

  7. When we looked for a home we were drawn to the countryside- wholesome living, fresh air...we were checking out an old farmhouse surrounded by fields- fields covered in everythingsides...we opted for town instead.
    Mosquitos don't seem to like brewers yeast, skin-so-soft works a little bit.

  8. Agricultural pesticides and herbicides are banned in several provinces in Canada. If we want to get rid of dandelions we must do it by hand. We have more weeds but a much cleaner and healthier eco-system!

    Having your house known as a kill free zone is a good idea!

  9. Bonnie beat me to what I was about to say. I like the way you think and live.

  10. I'm with you and endlessly argue with my son about the horrid stuff he thinks is helping the lawn

    I release bugs, I rescue worms from the driveway, and I have a sweet family of spiders having a grand old time in my basement window well
    everyone knows to let them be

    Mother Nature smiles upon us :)

  11. I used to practically bathe in 95% DEET in the 60s and 70s. I often fished in heavily bug-infested areas. I don't think it caused me any lasting harm but I know it was powerful stuff. On more than one occasion it dissolved some plastic parts of my fishing tackle.

    I'll still swat a skitter without regret but over the years I've become more as you describe yourself. Whenever possible, I'll gather indoor pests now and put them outside rather than kill them. (And I've grudgingly accepted that 25% DEET still works quite well, even if these days I forgo the bathing and only spray my clothes.)

    Your feather keeper is very spiffy. I enjoyed watching Hil unwrap and set it up. And I see she was correct about your blog too. Good stuff. :)

  12. I'm like you - no unnecessary killing. We catch all bugs and release them outside. Well, my husband catches the bugs and releases them outside, including one I caught on my neck the other night. That, after kicking him in my haste to see what was on my neck at 3:00 a.m. He still caught and released.

  13. I came over from Hillary's after seeing the feather holder you made for her...very cool. Just reading this says a lot about the person you are. I too am a country girl and live in small country town surrounded by farm animals, wild life and fields. Glad I stopped by. Hope your Wednesday is wonderful! :)

  14. Your description of where you live sounds so similar to where we live.
    When we saw the people in the neighborhood spraying the weeds and some grass that grows on their driveways, we just couldn't spray any poison because of the lovely critters that come to visit. Maybe they are immune to the nasty stuff but we just can't do it. I came here from Hilary's post showing the lovely feather keeper. Cool.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.