Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Plague Upon Your House

There they are, sitting helplessly behind the wire fence, gaunt and near death. No, it's not a Nazi concentration camp, it's Mark's garden. He tried this time. I helped him build his little raised garden and Mark spent hours out there spreading soil and fertilizer. He started seedlings in flats and transplanted them to the garden, and at first it looked promising, but within a few days it became apparent that some little critters were nibbling on his crops. Soon the nibbling turned into an onslaught. I swear you could hear the bugs munching, and crunching their way through the garden at night. So the promise of fresh vegetables out of the garden appears to be evaporating in a cloud of insects.

It is like we live in some kind of weird biblical vortex, where we are hit by plague after plague. I went into the guest bathroom last week and noticed what looked like dirt laying on the window sill. It was hundreds of dead bugs. When the exterminator that I keep on retainer showed up, I pointed out the bugs, and he said "winged ants". It's not bad enough that I have ants crawling up and down the side of my house, I now have ants that apparently can fly.

When I lived in Chicago, the only problem I ever had were cockroaches. Here in Florida we have roaches, but they are two inches long and fly. We have toads that grow to the size of a hubcap and ooze poison. Lizards dart across the sidewalk as you walk along, and late at night, when I am taking Chandler out for his poopies, I can hear something up in the tree over my head, munching on the berries that grow up there.

I don't know what kind of bugs are killing Mark's garden, but at least they have been well fed for the last few weeks. When I first moved here I was appalled that my neighbors, the Johnson's, had paved over their entire yard with concrete. I am not so appalled by that now. I understand their strategy. If the yard is concrete, you can see the vermin more easily as they crawl and hop towards your house.


  1. Alan, The answer to the vegetable garden dilemma is to get one of those portable greenhouses that Lowes sells. They are made of heavy clear plastic vinyl. They are about the size of a small shed. Your veggie should be save in there from the insects and critters.

  2. *Your veggies should be safe* in there.

    You could also try indoor hydroponic gardening.

  3. I thought those winged ants were actually some phase of their metamorphosis...