I arrived home from work on a Tuesday afternoon about a week or so ago, stepped from my car and smelled the unmistakable smell of chemicals.
Sure enough, I looked down and there were white pellets all over my driveway (which is an unforgivable sin in my book anyway–pesticide applicators should know better than to leave that crap on hard surfaces, especially in close proximity to water bodies–but this is only the beginning of the horrors!)
I looked at my house, and sure enough, there was the hang tag indicating that my property had been treated with pesticides.
As all of you know, I am a long-time organic gardener. My property has been organic for 23 years. It is certified as a backyard habitat by both the state and the National Wildlife Federation. I don’t “do” pesticides, even of the organic type, except under extreme circumstances (pine sawfly larva is about the only thing I can think of that I spray for, and that’s about once a year with insecticidal soap!)
So I immediately went in and called the offending company, which is at least a regional company (and not the large one you are thinking of–for once TruGreen is off the hook. This one is based in New Hampshire). They had the local supervisor call me.
I was less cordial with him than I had been with the regional customer service rep (because after all, the person in New Hampshire bore no responsibility for this whatsoever). But the local person? He ought to know what his workers are doing!
So I simply explained that I was at a loss to understand how the worker could mistake my house for my neighbor’s. Here were some of the reasons why:
- I have a dog, who probably barked at him; she doesn’t.
- I have a larger lot, with 2 groves of trees on it; she doesn’t
- I have lots of ornamental gardens, including a vegetable garden and pond; she doesn’t
- She has a patio, a deck and a gazebo; I don’t
- Further, my property is marked in 4 separate places with my house number
Clearly the worker hadn’t had enough caffeine–or had too much of some other banned substance–that morning.
But the damage is done. My yard is poisoned, I can’t walk my dog in my own yard, and I don’t dare eat my vegetables for fear that they have been contaminated.
And the Spoiler’s reaction when I told him about all this? He was worried about his grass, which is not supposed to be fertilized at all, least of all with a pellet fertilizer. So now he’s worried that that will die!
The best part of all? There was no yellow “This Property Has been Treated” sign placed on our property which is a violation of Federal law. Mind you, I don’t want to advertise that this horrid mistake has been made. But I want, at least, to alert other dog walkers like me to keep their pets away!