Friday, January 15, 2010

Buzzing Bees and Greedy Rats

I'm feeling quite stressed this morning to think we have pests here and our landlord's only solution is to keep poisoning the crap out of everything!

Three nights ago we noticed something had nibbled at our strawberry plant, this morning it is completely devoured! I've mentioned the rodent problem to the landlord before, I've seen a large rat on two seperate occasions, so that must be it. We also recently caught a small mouse trapped inside a chip packet in a waste paper basket, inside the house! (We should've taken a photo, silly me just released it into the garden). The landlord's response was to say he'll lay some rat poison. Well, if he got around to it, it hasn't worked.

We also have this morning, buzzing outside our house again, a large swarm of bees. This is despite a pest exterminator knocking on our door last Saturday wanting to spray yet more poison. I did express my preference for keeping the poison out of our veggie garden, but the guy was there to do a job. We could see the poison dripping down our walls onto the glass of our kitchen window. And yet the bees return. They must be considering building a nest in between the brick walls, getting in through weeps holes, or perhaps they are already in there. Now I'm worried the landlords will want us to move out because I was slightly difficult with the exterminator last weekend, but I fully realise we can't have a bee nest within the walls of the building. A beehive laden down with kilos of honey could do structural damage!

Our backyard has been poisoned in the last 12 months at least 4 times now. Once for termites, twice for bees, and another time it was sprayed for weeds, although I did say I could pull them out myself. No bloody wonder we don't have any lady bugs here. Last winter our plants really suffered from aphids and scale infestations, things that can easily be controlled by natural preditors. But not if they all keep getting killed off by this obsessive compulsion to poison everything.

And who knows what this poison does to people in 40 or 50 years time, or even 20? They don't think of that, all they think of is to lay poison all around me. It's like parents poisoning their children because they actually think that will do less harm than a couple of nits! When I was a school teacher I remember our school council having to explain to parents who were washing their kids' hair in poison every single week that the packet does say 'do not use more than once every six weeks' and that they were poisoning their children. But seriously, these parents still believed poisoning their children and making them sick was better than them having nits. No wonder our world is so screwed up.

I've found websites that say poison does not remove rats, nor does it solve the problem of a swarm of bees. The best and only solution, some say, is to get specialists in to remove them. But as a renter, I feel trapped as I can not make any choice whatsoever about the amount of poison my garden or my family is exposed to. I have to just go along with whatever the landlord wants to do.

Well, this is one point in favour of home ownership. I don't know if having a mortgage is worth it, but I really don't like all this poison when we are trying to grow food in our humble garden.

EDIT:  It's not even midday and the keen exterminator is back. He didn't knock on my door this time, just started up his machine. When I heard it, I closed the sliding door that was open to the garden. I'm going to assume he thought I wasn't home and that's why he didn't tell me to close my windows like he did last Saturday, this being a weekday, and not because he just couldn't bare to face the crazy lady in number 31 again. And so that brings my count of garden poisonings in the last 12 months to 5. /sigh

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