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Harder to Kill than Roaches March 6, 2011

Posted by Mrs. Peel in Crime, Ducks, Family, Gardening, Nature Shit, Personal Experiences, Science, Women Ranting, WTF?.
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Will and I have been marveling over Michael and Dave actually attempting to save their palms and banana trees.  I have been doing my damnedest to kill mine for years.  I’ve done everything that malignant neglect, hurricanes, drought, and hard freezes can do – and they just come back stronger.

Six months before this picture was taken, this corner of our yard was a collection of dried-up stumps.  The hard freeze from the 2009-2010 winter, during which we had about 36 hours of sub-zero* weather, left the banana trees drooping and pathetic.  I rejoiced at their death even as I tried to save my poor hibiscus, which did recover pretty well last summer but died to the ground again due to another extremely cold winter (2010-2011).

Anyway, this is what those thrice-damned banana trees looked like six months after having apparently finally died.

For scale, I'm just about five feet even.

I can’t believe that (a) y’all are proud of banana trees that are barely 5′ tall or that (b) anyone actually wants these things in their yard.  They attract rats, roaches, and who knows what else.  And they grow like the weeds they are.  KILL THEM!  KILL THEM DAID!!!!

And don’t get me started on the sago palm, the elephant ears, or the Chinese holly.  Sometimes I want to nuke this place from orbit and then salt the earth…but even that probably wouldn’t kill Chinese holly, or, as I refer to it, “the devil’s plant.”

*It was too sub-zero.  Sub-zero Celsius.

Comments»

1. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

Those sure are purty.

So’s the chick.

2. lauraw - March 6, 2011

Nice garden gnome.

3. MCPO Airdale - March 6, 2011

Stand up Peel, we can hardly see you!

4. Tushar - March 6, 2011

>>For scale, I’m just about five feet even.

I read that ‘five feet seven’ and said: damn! She doesn’t look that tall in person.

5. Mrs. Peel - March 6, 2011

I’m actually 5’0.5″ but I’m standing goofy in the pic, so I figured 5’0″ was probably closer.

6. Michael - March 6, 2011

I’m actually 5’0.5″

Oh c’mon Peel, you’re supposed to keep your heels on the floor.

7. lauraw - March 6, 2011

But how are the bananas? Are they like, those little red ones? I like those little red ones.

8. lauraw - March 6, 2011

Did you have plans to plant something else there? And why is it so difficult to kill these things?

I don’t think you’re really trying all that hard.

9. Michael - March 6, 2011

One word: Roundup.

It works.

10. Michael - March 6, 2011

Seriously, we have pretty much got the lemon balm in our yard on the run (planted by prior owner). That is not easy to do. Like any mint, that shit can invade your home and kill your dogs.

My bourbon mint (courtesy of Laura) is in pots. If you control the roots, they can’t kill your dogs.

11. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

vicodinnnn nap

12. Mrs. Peel - March 6, 2011

The trees did actually put out little green bananas one year, but they never ripened. Too far north for them. Also, I think that may have been the same year as Ike. We had a drought the following year, and the weather last year was too changeable for fruits. The grapefruits haven’t ripened properly in the last two years, either, between droughts and temperature swings. (Also, I neglect pretty much everything that isn’t hibiscus.)

“Rats and roaches live in them” is enough reason to kill a plant if you ask me. I didn’t need to want to plant something else.

13. lauraw - March 6, 2011

I’m puzzled. How do rats live in them? Underground, or what?

14. Mrs. Peel - March 6, 2011

I should have said that rats are attracted by them. Just ask the people on the other side of my parents’ neighbors, who had the fun experience of having their ceiling collapse in a mess of rat shit and pee thanks to the jackass who thought banana trees were the perfect thing to plant in their yard. And my parents didn’t see a single roach until their neighbors planted those trees. ARGH.

I’m telling you, people – do not, for the love of pete, EVER plant banana trees OR palms. If someone is trying to plant these things in your yard, shoot first and ask questions later.

I haven’t had rats in the house, luckily (that I know of…*eyes attic suspiciously*), but I can’t say none of the neighbors have. Haven’t asked.

15. lauraw - March 6, 2011

GROSS!!!

Well, shit, does Will have a chainsaw? How hard can this be?

Saw them off at the base, grub out what you can with a shovel, and cut off all the new sprouts every week until the roots die. You can do this.

16. Michael - March 6, 2011

who had the fun experience of having their ceiling collapse in a mess of rat shit and pee

Meaning, they were retards who never noticed the pitter-patter of little feet in their attic. I don’t think the vegetation had much to do with this.

Non-fruiting banana trees do not do anything to attract pests.

Mulberry trees in St. Louis are a real issue.

17. Michael - March 6, 2011

Also, when you live south of the Mason-Dixon line, you need a pest control service. It’s just a regular utility, like water, gas and electricity. The price of warm weather. You are an idiot if you don’t do this, either with a service or on your own with readily available chemicals.

We just had a guy in our house last week, spraying the perimeter, toilet and sink plumbing, and so forth. It’s just basic defense against the dominant species on this planet, which is arthropods with an exoskeleton.

18. Michael - March 6, 2011

Arthropods are highly vulnerable to chemical warfare, due to the exoskeleton. I can hit a button and the Jackson’s Mosquito Control System will clear them all out of the air in a matter of minutes. Those little fuckers don’t stand a chance in my yard. If I get a bite, they all die.

19. scottw - March 6, 2011

I’m actually 5’0.5″

Heh, that is such a chick thing. No guy in the history of time has said “and a half” when referring to his height.

20. Michael - March 6, 2011

She was standing on her toes.

21. lauraw - March 6, 2011

Wouldn’t diatomaceous earth or boric acid blown into the walls with a puffer (usually through plumbing gaps and by removing wall outlets) work on Palmetto bugs? Works on roaches up here. Virtually forever. As long as it stays dry. Diatomaceous earth has the advantage of being rather harmless.

22. scottw - March 6, 2011

“Arthropods are highly vulnerable to chemical warfare”

Cathy shouldn’t be eating those dandelions.

23. Michael - March 6, 2011

Laura, that stuff might work, but it is expensive and not rewarding.

The advantage of chemical warfare is that, once in awhile, you can see a water bug dying in agony on your kitchen floor.

You can pick it up with a Kleenex and flush it.

Priceless.

24. lauraw - March 6, 2011

??? It’s cheap as Hell, Man.

25. lauraw - March 6, 2011

And you’re retired! You could do this yourself very easily and forgo a year or more of treatment. It does not take much powder at all. I had my building in Hartford done and did not see a bug again, even after two years, and with tenant turnover on the other floors.

26. lauraw - March 6, 2011
27. lauraw - March 6, 2011

You literally just need one of those squishy squeeze bottles with the screw-on nozzle, that you put ketchup and mustard in. Get them anywhere. Open up the wall & switch outlets, puff some powder in the wall, screw the cover plates back on. Go around and hit the little cracks and crevices that bugs like. Do the perimeter. Easy peasy, cheap as can be.

28. Michael - March 6, 2011

To be accurate, the Jackson’s Mosquito Control System is normally not necessary, due to the abundant population of lizards (which the system does not affect). The lizards do a yeoman’s job against the insects.

It’s only after hard rains, when you have pockets of water in the gutters or drains, that you need to deploy the heavy artillery.

29. Michael - March 6, 2011

You could do this yourself . . .

You lost me right there.

30. Michael - March 6, 2011

Seriously, Laura, the insect attack in Texas is not something you are familiar with, because you have the benefit of a winter kill. We normally delegate this to the pros when you are defending a home worth (looks at recent refinance appraisal) a lot of money.

31. scottw - March 6, 2011

“We normally delegate this to the pros”

Only because those spray bottles are so difficult to operate.

32. Michael - March 6, 2011

Actually, I just refinanced my mortgage, with minimal closing costs, in order to lock in historic low-cost interest rates. In the process, I got an appraisal, and they do these appraisals pretty conservatively these days.

I was like, WOO HOO! — my house is only worth 5% less than I paid for it in 2008. WIN!!!

That is the economy we live in right now.

It’s getting better.

33. lauraw - March 6, 2011

Right. Because the presence of a thin film of microscopic diatoms here and there between your walls is going to just kill the home value.

the insect attack in Texas is not something you are familiar with

UH. MUH. GUD.

My apartment house in Hartford was BOILING with cockroaches when I bought it. Almost literally. My fiance would remove a light fixture to replace it, and the bugs would rush and swarm out of the hole in the wall. They were everywhere. Gave me the dry heaves.

I wouldn’t set foot to live in there before it was treated. When I got back from viewing the property, I was so disgusted that I actually undressed on my doorstep before I would go in my house, and bagged everything up and laundered it immediately.

*puts hands up in defeat*

But it’s true that I don’t know Texas.

34. scottw - March 6, 2011

Seriously Michael, Ortho Home Defense. It works great. It will kill any insect that walks across treated areas for about 6 months, yet it is pet and people friendly.

It’s a spray bottle.

YOU CAN DO IT!

35. Michael - March 6, 2011

Only because those spray bottles are so difficult to operate.

Scott, that is not fair. In order to implement Laura’s program, I would have to operate a screwdriver to remove switch plates, and do other complicated stuff, like look for gaps around toilet seals.

You are just being a prick.

36. Mrs. Peel - March 6, 2011

Yep, we have the place sprayed for bugs quarterly. It helps. Gonna need some more silverfish packets, though.

It was the ceiling over their guest room, which is why they didn’t notice – they never go in there. And the banana trees do fruit down here, if there isn’t a severe drought (or if you actually water them, unlike me).

Will’s been breaking his back getting the damn banana trees and their root balls out. They’re almost all gone now. The only ones left are between the phone box and the fence, so they’ll be hard to get.

37. Michael - March 6, 2011

The Texas attitude is — nuke the enemy.

That’s how we dealt with the Comanche.

Scott, do you really want to change that?

Then, Texas will not be your refuge.

38. Michael - March 6, 2011

Will’s been breaking his back getting the damn banana trees and their root balls out.

Guys tend to do stupid shit when their woman is pregnant. I don’t know why. It is genetically coded, I figure. Take advantage of this time.

39. lauraw - March 6, 2011

YOU CAN DO IT!

Babe, don’t try to help him. His Texan bugs are different than ours. His bugs live in a mansion and have lawyers. Fighting bugs in a nice house is a whole different ball o’ wax. You spill a teaspoon of prehistoric clamshells in there, the whole neighborhood falls into a sinkhole.

Can’t hit the walls indiscriminately with a flamethrower, like we always feel free to do here. Hell, we don’t even need to have bugs to do that…

40. scottw - March 6, 2011

If your paper towel roll changing people and your bug treatment people aren’t the same, you are getting ripped off.

41. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

>> You can pick it up with a Kleenex and flush it.

pussy. Pick it up with your hands.

wash em later or the girls get all “oooooo”

42. Michael - March 6, 2011

Skip the banana trees and get Will preparing the baby’s room. You need a crib assembled, fresh bright paint, colorful shit hanging from the ceiling to stimulate baby’s infant mind, wifi access so you can listen to baby breath and make sure it is not a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and so forth.

Get Will On The Job!

43. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

*you should not mention things that scare moms a lot.

44. Michael - March 6, 2011

Dave, I remember my kids falling asleep on my chest, when they were babies. I did that. Their breathing was so irregular, it was hard for me to fall asleep.

Then, in the morning, the kid was not on my chest, and initially you’re wondering, OMIGOSH, did I smother the kid?!?

Turns out, the kid is always spooned up against you just right and is perfectly fine.

45. kevl - March 6, 2011

OT: Huckabee is on his gay Fox News show playing bass with Def Leppard. They are doing “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” And they’re all like “sober” now. And vegetarian.

I am not making this up.

Peel, go on back to watching your man work. Enjoy.

46. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

I miss my baby girls sleeping on my tummy.

Also Huckabee is a dork.

47. Lipstick - March 6, 2011

I remember my kids falling asleep on my chest

Sheesh, my parents wouldn’t let me sleep with them even after a bad nightmare.

48. lauraw - March 6, 2011

I’m so glad he told me that Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer are tight bros, though.

That was an important nugget of info. to share during Primary-time, lemme tell yuz.

I feel certain this shows how he always acts in good faith.

49. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

I’d prop up pillows on both my sides and just settle them there.. always wore a t-shirt cause their little fingers would go grabbing on my chest hair.

*sigh* so long ago.

50. Lipstick - March 6, 2011

*grabs Dave’s chest hair and yanks*

There’s some nostalgia for ya!

51. Mrs. Peel - March 6, 2011

little fingers would go grabbing on my chest hair

Oh, Will gets to experience that every night. He totes loves it.

52. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

hahahahaha.

A friend of mine who was a physical therapist taught me how to untangle their fingers.. you put your thumb in their palm, and press on the back of their hand with your fingers.. their tendons are short when they’re babies.. it opens their hand like magic.

53. Lipstick - March 6, 2011

Peel, you pull on his chest hair?

I love Mr. L’s manly chest and love to lay on it.

54. xbradtc - March 6, 2011

**scratches hairy chest**

55. Michael - March 6, 2011

I love Mr. L’s manly chest and love to lay on it.

It’s even better when the chest hair is white and has the texture of 2# steel wool.

56. Mrs. Peel - March 6, 2011

Nah, I don’t pull on it – my rule with any short and curly hairs, regardless of location, is “no pulling.” But he definitely gets to experience little fingers running through it.

57. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - March 6, 2011

little fingers would go grabbing on my chest hair

Better than fingernails digging bloddy trenches in your back.

58. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

>> my rule with any short and curly hairs, regardless of location,

LA LA LA LA LA LA LAA LA LAAAAA LA LAAAAAAAAASHUTUP

59. Lipstick - March 6, 2011

Dave’s Dad instincts are kicking in. 🙂

60. daveintexas - March 6, 2011

oh shush you.

*sticks my fingers back in my ears

61. Retired Geezer - March 6, 2011

Haven’t seen a cockroach since we moved to Idaho. We have a few bugs though. Lots of Earwigs.

Yeah, Boric Acid is the shiznit! You can buy a real pricy product called “Roach Pruf” (I think). The label says the active ingredients are… Boric Acid.

Did I mention my gophers?

62. Retired Geezer - March 7, 2011

I actually undressed on my doorstep before I would go in my house,

*searches for Internet Security Cameras in Connektikut.

Uh, approximately what year was that?

63. Cathy - March 7, 2011

^ FINALLY!

Been waiting for one of our men to make a comment about the lovely-wimmin-gal who undressed on her doorstep.

Geezer-Man wins the prize.

64. Michael - March 7, 2011

*hangs head in shame*

Jeez, I wanna see Laura nekkid also.

I guess it’s too late to get any credit for saying that.

65. geoff - March 7, 2011

Been waiting for one of our men to make a comment about the lovely-wimmin-gal who undressed on her doorstep.

*starts collecting roaches for next meetup*

66. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - March 7, 2011

Been waiting for one of our men to make a comment about the lovely-wimmin-gal who undressed on her doorstep.

I thought I’d try something new and not make otherwise inappropriate comments. How was I supposed to know that they’d be taken as compliments?

*tears corner off man-card*


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