Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Pests…and pests

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Eight a.m. sharp and a damned robocaller pest gets through the new CPR Call Blocker. Occasionally they do slip by. That notwithstanding, though, we’re still down from a dozen nuisance calls a day to one, at most. Often whole days go by without a single nuisance call!

The FCC recently passed a rule allowing phone companies to block robocalls. BUT…they’re allowing the companies to gouge us an extra fee for the privilege! Naturally. The effin’ phone company gets you comin’ and gets you goin’. If I’ve had to go out and plunk down a hundred bucks for a gadget to block pestering calls when the phone company could’ve been doing it for me all these years, then I should not be required to pay still more for the privilege after the phone companies decide to move, a day late and a dollar short.

Blanket robocall blocking poses a number of problems, the main two being school systems and emergency alert systems. Personally, I do not need to be reminded by some GD recording that I have a doctor’s appointment this week or a prescription waiting at the Walgreen’s. BUT…if a wildfire is bearing down on my little town out in the boondocks or if my kid is sick and needs to come home or be taken to a doctor — or is playing hooky — I sure want to know about it. To my mind, the CPR Call Blocker is about as good as it gets in that department, because it gives the user the discretion to choose which nuisance calls will get through.

Also in the Department of Pests, the weather is gorgeous at this time of year…and so naturally we’re overrun by mosquitoes.

To my knowledge, there’s no actual standing water in my yard, and I kind of doubt there’s any in my neighbor’s…she never replaced her deceased dog (hence, no water dish), and she’s not into container gardening.

I, however, decidedly am. Into container gardening, that is. Bzzzzzzzt!

The outdoor plants do not have saucers under their pots: they rest either directly on the ground or on the plastic fake “wood” deck on the side. BUT…once temps reach the 90s, they have to be watered every…single…day. Miss one morning drench, and the potted plant keels right over dead.

This means the soil itself is damp all the time, and so the soil itself is probably what harbors the mosquito larvae. Confirmation: leave the sliding door to the deck open for a few minutes, and you’ll be swarmed.

So I ordered up a 30-ounce bottle of Mosquito Bits. This stuff is the business. It contains a bacterium (Bacillus thuringii) that produces a toxin that affects only the larvae of mosquitoes, blackflies, and fungus gnats. You apply it to standing water (such as water in the drip dish of a potted plant, or birdbaths, or backyard ponds), perennially damp soil (such as the soil in potted plants that have to be watered every day…), and the like. It works, and it does no harm to any other critters.

In the past, I’ve bought the stuff from an outfit in Arizona that supplies organic farms and ranches. That’s their business: providing environmentally friendly products and tools for organic farmers. The problem is, they charge an arm and a leg for this stuff. You get a tiny bottle containing just enough to apply it to the potted plants outside and to the very few spots where standing water occasionally accumulates, however briefly. (Mosquitos can go from pupa to flying dive-bomber overnight in this climate.) But lo! At Amazon, here we find this freaking pail of the stuff for all of 18 bucks!

Sold!

Sprinkling it into every pot I even vaguely suspected might harbor skeeters and working it into the cracks between boards on the deck (you just know the pot water is dripping down under the deck’s flooring and puddling there, don’tcha?) used less than a third of the bottleful. So I figure this ought to last through the season, at least.

Speaking of pests, Ruby is campaigning for a doggy chew treat. She’s already had her morning ration. So the mumbling and boofing around the kitchen is likely to go on for awhile. {sigh}

In the doggy pest department, though, it’s other people’s damn dogs that are the pests hereabouts. After the Loose GerShep Attack, I’ve taken to carrying a heavy ironwood walking stick with me when I take Ruby out for her morning doggywalk. This morning we stupidly walked down Feeder Street Northwest — having gotten a late start, we were encountering enough traffic that I could not easily step out into the traffic lanes to avoid incoming, a little detail that gave me pause when we started…but it was a shortcut, and because we were late, the heat was starting to come up, and I was hungry, and…and…I just wanted to get home quicker.

Naturally, around the corner came a guy with two dogs in hand, one of them a large pit bull. Sheee-ut! That sidewalk is narrow and there’s no way to easily cross the street at that hour, because of the commute traffic. I had to climb up on a xeriscaped yard to drag Ruby out of the oncoming doggitude.

“Ohhh don’t worry, they’re friendly,” says the dog lover.

“Sorry. I’ve had my fill of dog fights,” say I, “and I don’t want another one today.”

That’s gotten to be my standard keep your damn dog at heel! line. It gives even the dimmest nitwit enough pause (they apparently have to think about this…) that I can usually slip past them without incident.

Well…here’s the client on the e-mail. So i suppose i’m going to have to get back to (ugh!) werk!

Author: funny

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