I was over at Dock Road today. We lived there for 28 years. Some one asked me if I had a problem with Japanese beetles, I said, no. Then I got to thinking about it, the birds eat the beetles. We get a few, they attract the birds who eat them. There are grubs that live in the lawn and eat the grass roots. Moles come and eat the grubs, the moles make tunnels but when the grubs are all gone the moles go. The cabbages and broccoli used to get caterpillars on them, when I saw them I'd go out and pick them off. Sometimes I found myself competeing with the birds. My neighbors on the other hand would spray. This would kill the insects, the birds eat the dead and dying insects and the birds die. Does this make sense? Now there are no birds to eat the insects, so when the insects return - as they always do - more spray. You can also spray to kill the grubs in the lawn, doubtless the moles will eat the poisoned grubs, and die. Now you have no natural controls. Also in my garden were many praying mantiss, they eat lots of insects as do lady bugs - several times their own weight in insects every day. If we spray to kill the insects we also kill the natural controls. And not just the control insects, insecticides also kill bees and butterflies. These sprays are poisons, they go into our food, into our air, into our water and into us. I'm sure that a lot of people will say, "The poisons are safe. The manufacturers say they are." Well I say, "Ask them to drink some, and see how safe they think they are then!" What would you expect the manufactures to say? What would you say if you were selling something? Of course they are going to say they are safe. And of course they are not safe. These poisons are endemic, they are everywhere, as I said before in our food, our air, our water, our children and us. And there are more and more of them being spread over the landscape every day. The touble is, once upon a time there would be an infestation and you would use the insecticide to get rid of it. Now we see one Japaneses Beetle or half a dozen caterpillars and the whole garden has to be sprayed as if there were a plague of locusts! Come on, give the birds a chance, they are anxious to eat them, give them a chance, by spraying everything in sight we are just killing the beneficial insects and birds and everything else that has taken care of these problems for centuries - and longer. It's better to put up with a few weeds and insects that will be taken care of anyway by the things that were put here to do just that, rather than poisoning ourselves, our children, our air and our water. Weeds - there are "Perfect" lawns all over the place, but what I see are huge amounts of weed killer that washes into our water and into the Bay. The Bay used to have lots of underwater grasses, in these grasses lived small fish, crabs and all kinds of life. It was the nursery for our food chain. The grasses have gone, could it be the thousands of tons of weedkiller that are spread on all those lawns? I prefer to have underwater, fish, crabs, oysters, clams and the whole myriad of life that used to be in the Bay. I'm quite happy to put up with a few weeds in exchange for this. If you don't like dandelions, a few minutes each day with a trowel and you can get rid of them, they are easy to find - just look for the big yellow flower that sys "Here I am" - after the first few days you find less and less, and you are comuning with nature and enjoying you property more. Listen to the bees, watch the butterflies, enjoy the 'weeds'. If you have 'weeds", you will also have more bees and butterflies, that is what they feed on. No flowers (weeds), no butterflies. Look at those 'weeds' sometime, there are some lovely ones. buttercups are beautiful, so are violets, cornflowers, red and white clover and many more. Right now my lawn in some areas has masses of 'weeds' with tiny blue flowers on them. There are probably a dozen or more different flowers in my lawn, I can't name them, but I can enjoy them. The weedkiller manufacturers spend millions getting us to hate weeds and telling us to kill them!
(Just like on another subject for another day, our politicians spend millions telling us to hate other peoples. Then when we hate them enough and go to war to kill them they can make vast fortunes selling weapons! But lets save that for another day!)