Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Pro-Genocide. As in Genus. Which Comes Before Species.

I consider myself a fairly peaceful person.  I haven't hit anyone recently, and I very rarely think violence is the answer.  I did get kicked out of Brownies in 3rd grade for hitting Ashley Deirker, but I'm pretty sure she deserved it.  Gosh, I hope she doesn't read this.  Well, if I'm wrong, leave a comment.  And anyway, talking about people behind their backs is way more fun than physical violence, n'est pas?  Battery is just so obvious.  So unseemly.

But I had to put all that aside last night to deal with the crisis that has filled my heart with dread every morning since last Friday.  Caterpillars.  I hate them.  They have eaten through an entire basil plant and most of my radishes (which, strangely, appear to be pushing themselves out of the dirt at will - not sure what that's about).  Anyway, this is not okay.  

So, last Friday, I went to the little, groovy organic nursery near my house.

Me:  Something is eating my plants.  And I mean big time.

Nursery guy:  What is it?

Me:  (fighting the urge to say if I knew that, I wouldn't be here) Um.  I don't know.  But whatever it is is big enough to be leaving green poop behind.

Nursery girl:  Oh!  Poop!  It's cabbage loopers.

Me:  What is that?  

NG:  It's a kind of caterpillar.

Me:  What do I need to do for that?

Other Nursery Guy:  You need blah-blah.

NG1:  No!  You need bloop-bloop.

Nursery Girl:  Well, if it's leaf rollers, something, something, but if it's loopers, bah-diddy-bah.

And from thus proceeded a long and very animated discussion of organic pest control that I only understood a fraction of between the three zealous nursery people in the greenhouse.  I realized after a certain point that they had forgotten that I was even there.

So, suffice it to say that I walked out of the groovy little nursery with a bottle full of what's called BT.  It's very safe, a naturally occurring bacterium that is toxic to butterfly and moth larvae but nothing else.  So, I mixed some up and sprayed it over the weekend.  It's supposed to take 2-3 days to work.  Well, what the hell am I supposed to do until then? 

My tennis friend, Jim, asked me last night if I were hand picking off each caterpillar and killing it.  I now realize that he might have been kidding.  However, when I got home, I got out my flashlight and picked off every caterpillar and crushed it under my shoe.  With joy in my heart.  The girls were out there, too, with their flashlights, helping with target acquisition.  It was a bonding moment.  Not sure what bonding over larval death says about my parenting, but I'm choosing to celebrate the bonding part rather than dwell on the death part.

The BT bottle has a gentle reminder that caterpillars someday turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, so we should use it sparingly.  Sparingly my ass.  WE'RE UNDER SIEGE, PEOPLE!!!!  Sparingly went out the window with my radishes and my basil.  This is war.  I will stop at nothing short of total world domination.

Looks like I've kind of refuted that whole Jesus post from yesterday.



  1. there's this awesome guy named eric carle who has a great story about caterpillars... sometimes they get hungry. {heart you tons}

  2. Good heavens! I had forgotten it, but the kids loved that book. I think I had to read it so many times I've blocked it. Isn't it the one that teaches time? And has the holes in all the fruits and vegetables? Yeah? That's kind of like my basil. Fuckers.