Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lawn care woes


It seemed like an easy enough project. Just screw the container of weed and feed onto the end of the hose and spray the lawn. No big deal.
A week later the weeds were shriveling up, turning brown. The product seemed to be doing what it said it would do.

The second week our grass shriveled up, turned brown and now I'm looking out the window at this lawn that matches the new chocolate brown paint job on our house!

My husband felt I had over-treated the lawn. True, I used almost twice as much as the bottle suggested, but really, how accurate are those instructions? But I bore the burden of killing our lawn. I resigned myself to another big expense, this time for replacing sod, something we had never expected to buy. It seemed so unnecessary to have ready-grown grass placed in a yard. We could wait for grass seed. Well, that doesn't seem to be the case where we live, now.

We have given up our freedom and independence for a Neighborhood Development Committee who approves house colors, sends out nasty messages if lawns are not just edged as well as mowed each week, and they charge us for the pleasure of their oversight.

When we aren't quite sure what to do about something, we basically ignore it, waiting for inspiration, I guess. So we went about the business of putting things back in order after the lightning strike and the house painting. One of those need-to-do things was call the termite protection company and get them to do whatever it is they do around the base of the house to keep termites away. These are of course 'bug' guys and in business to make a profit, so one look at our lawn and they sent a salesman out. He told us without hesitation, "You have chinch bugs."

They are sucking the life out of the grass and depositing a toxin at the same time. Multi-tasking little predators. The salesman started naming all of the things we needed to do. Ending, I think after seeing the storm-cloud look on my face, with "At the least, the very least you need a one-time treatment to kill the chinch bugs."

I think they should be called cinch bugs because it is a cinch that no matter how we look at it, this is gonna cost dollars, lots and lots of dollars beginning with bug genocide for our lawn.

"What about the cute little lizardy anoles?" I asked.

"Oh, we start spraying and they run. It won't hurt them."

Somehow I got the feeling that this bug genocide salesman really didn't give a frootloop about anoles....

So we scheduled the treatment. What else could we do? I read about the chinch bugs and didn't find anything positive about them. Nothing.

The day came and went for the application. The saleman said, "emergency" several times, I thought they'd be right out to keep that appointment and collect the check.

Today they leave a note on the door that they can't do the treatment because I must pay the technician on the spot. But, but, but, who said they're coming today? It was yesterday when they were scheduled to come.

After a phone call and discussion, the company will bill us and the techie can come out whenever he wants to -- hopefully sooner than later.

Oh and as the salesman was leaving, after having sold us on the importance of getting rid of the bugs, he announced, "Once you get the new sod installed, we should treat it again...."

New sod? NEW SOD???

This was supposed to stop the bugs and let our grass grow back.

I remember the good old days when we grumbled about dandelions taking over the lawn. Who knew the day would come when I yearned for dandelion problems. At least now my husband has stopped blaming me for the brown yard. Maybe there is ONE good thing about chinch bugs.

1 comment:

Ruth D~ said...

In Massachusetts Japanese Beetle larvae, aka grubs, destroy lawns. Thank goodness there is a "green" solution. We spoonfed the lawn, literally, with milky spore, which is a natural killer of the grubs, but not a manmade pesticide. My husband had a thing about a perfect lawn. A big thing.