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When in Rome....don't kill the Romans!

I've hesitated to post about this because it's caused so much neighborhood and even marital strife, but I've got to get it off my chest.

Our entire neighborhood is built on/near a large forest preserve. We are surrounded by acres and acres of forest, and it is so beautiful. We're like the horrible people in Evan Almighty that built on the fringe. Except that I really do love the forest and try my best to care for it.

Even when our garden was ravaged by chipmunks and deer, I still didn't want to kill them (well maybe for a second, but I value them more than a few fruits and veggies.)

And this is where I differ with pretty much all of my other neighbors. It turns out our neighbors got together and hired a big killing company to come out and eradicate our neighborhood of chipmunks, voles, moles, wasps, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs. I'm sure there were more, but those are the ones I remember.

I was approached by 17 different families urging me to join their crusade. I refused. They convinced my husband and we battled it out. Then the "pest control" people came to our door and tried to convince me. But I wouldn't have any of it, and amazingly, my husband defaulted to me on this one.

Really? I almost never win an argument with him. Truthfully, he's not someone you want to be in an argument with, but in this case, I got to have it my way. My husband was concerned that our yard would then become a haven for all the animals running to escape the chemical onslaught that was about to occur.

That's why you can't tell him about the zillion wasps creating galls in our oak trees. ;) But I want these animals in our forest. I want our yard to be a safe place for animals (and us) to live and breathe. I want them to be SAFE in the forest. And I don't want the chemicals in our yard, air, water, anywhere!

So all our neighbors have treated their lawns and their homes (inside and out!) Our yard was a clean and safe place for people and animals until.............

I got an email (AN EMAIL!) announcing that the city would be fogging for mosquitoes in our area at 7pm that evening. I think I got the email at 9pm. I didn't see them fogging, but I did see the aftermath....

dead wasps
The next morning, I found hundreds of wasps writhing on the ground trying to hang on to their lives. Now people, it was a balmy 65-70 degrees outside. There was no frost that night. There was no frost that morning. These wasps did not die of natural causes. (And this is not ALL of the wasps. These were in a small 1 sqft area. The entire section of my yard that faces the road was littered with corpses.)

In fact, plenty of wasps, butterflies, and bees are still active in my garden.

The email stated that the city was fogging for nuisance mosquitoes. They would not be fogging people's homes but focusing instead on areas of dense vegetation (read: my backyard and garden!!) The chemicals used were deemed safe for people and animals. The last line mentioned that the fogging does harm fish and bees. What??? @#!@!$##!!!

I'm mad about this on so many levels. First of all, how DARE they fog my property without my written permission! How dare they spray a chemical that's known to be lethal to bees and fish on my property. Harmful to animals (of any kind) most likely means harmful to my family!

How dare they send an email notification after they already did the deed! And how dare they perform such a wasteful service! We live in the north and in just a few weeks, we will reach freezing temperatures and all those "nuisance" mosquitoes will have died on their own. What a waste of tax payer dollars! What a horrible use of chemicals!

Of course my neighbors rejoiced! They were happy to be included in the fogging.

I don't even know where to begin on this. Someone needs to be yelled at!


  1. My dad had a farm in Iowa and when they sprayed the roads and ditches foe weeds all you had to do is put up a "No Spraying" sign and the county would honor it. I wonder, if in the future when there is no fruit because we were so bent on killing the bees that the trees don't get pollinated, if people will finally realize that we are not here to kill all of the earth's insects. That they do have a purpose.

  2. Wow you are right, I would be mad as heck. Not just because the loss of the insects but the infringement of my rights. you should make a formal complaint and even go to the city council meetings because you know it will happen again next year.

  3. While I understand your anger, it is possible they sprayed due to a reported/confirmed case of West Nile Virus recently. I'm not saying they went about it in the right way, but that is very possibly why they did it. My father in law got west nile late in the season a few years ago and was VERY ill. The city sprayed after his case was reported and confirmed. Much like how H1N1 is being handled right now, West Nile strikes similar hysteria in city council boards, health boards, and even the general public.

  4. Interesting. I still would have like to have known. :) And I wish they hadn't sprayed my veggie garden.

  5. I have to say I bookmarked your site after reading this! I love when people aren't afraid of speaking their mind. Good for you!

  6. Another sad story. I'm afraid that one day soon, we'll all realize the harm we've been doing, but it will be too late. We need the bees and the wasps. And if everyone would simply get rid of standing water, that would do wonders for cutting down on mosquito populations. You are doing a great job with your blog.

  7. Another sad story. I'm afraid that one day soon, we'll all realize the harm we've been doing, but it will be too late. We need the bees and the wasps. And if everyone would simply get rid of standing water, that would do wonders for cutting down on mosquito populations. You are doing a great job with your blog.


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