Gut Rumbles

November 17, 2003

Toxic stuff

I had some good advice in the comments about my post on flies and ants that I wrote below, but I owned a mini-farm for five years, and I am skilled at insect control. I know what kind of killer stuff to spead for what kind of bugs I want to kill, and I know how to mix it.

Years ago, I wasn't nearly as wise as I am now and I had a flea outbreak on my property. Fleas were EVERYWHERE! Both dogs I had at the time were covered up, I couldn't walk outside without being covered up and the little bastards were biting my daughter all over. They were bad outside, then they became bad inside, too. The situation was intolerable.

I tried Seven Dust, all kinds of sprays, sulfur powder, cedar chips and everything else I could think of, to no avail. The fleas just kept coming. I was at the end of my rope when I bitched about my problem one night at work. An old farmer who worked with me said, "I believe that I have what you need."

The next day, he brought me a quart jar of pure Chlordane. He told me "Wear rubber gloves and long sleeves when you handle this stuff. Add one-half cup to 20 gallons of water and spray your yard. Take a shower as soon as you are finished and don't let dogs or children play in the yard until the next heavy rain. Dip a rag in the mixture, wring it dry and toss it under your couch. That'll get rid of those fleas." I did as I was told.

The fleas were gone from the yard and the house by morning. So were any ants, grubs, roaches, beetles, birds or squirrels. My dingbat first wife let the dogs out in the back yard the next day, even though I told her NOT to do that, and they both became deathly ill just from walking on the grass. My wife never took instructions well ("It can't be THAT BAD," as spoken by someone who once put a 20-to-1 flea bath straight on her poodle and damn near cooked the critter as a result), but she became a believer after she saw what Chlordane could do. That shit killed everything except my family and it nearly disposed of the dogs, too. But it damned sure got rid of the fleas.

Chlordane is banned today. That's a crying shame, because that's the most lethal insecticide I ever saw. Nothing else bothered those fleas, but Chlordane killed them all and kept my yard bug-free for more than a year. I don't know what happened to the rest of that quart jar Jesse gave me, but I wish that I had it today.

I would like to show the ants in my yard something they've never seen before.


Bet they haven't seen Instant Grits!

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 17, 2003 02:52 PM

My father used a sh*tload of that stuff when we built our house. I think one of the reasons our house is the only one in the area that hasn't had any ant / termite problems is cause of that.

Dangerous stuff, but man does it do the job.

Posted by: Mythilt on November 17, 2003 03:01 PM

My guess is that the BC flushed that jar as part of her leave prep.
Too bad.

Posted by: Ric on November 17, 2003 03:07 PM

I used to be 100% anti-pesticide......but then I moved into an apartment building in Los Angeles! Now I believe that it is a neccessary evil. Unfortunately, not everyone in the building feels the same the ants just move from one apartment to another (kind of like musical chairs!)
But I'm really liking Ms Anna's grit remedy......I'm going out to get some right now! I'll report back and let you know how it works out.
Thanks, Ms Anna!

Posted by: DogsDon'tPurr on November 17, 2003 03:10 PM

I live in Alabama now. And I fucking hate fire ants.

Posted by: "Ralphy" on November 17, 2003 03:15 PM

My Mother kept a huge glass carboy of Chlordane in the garage. She was a firm believer in the Power of Toxic Chemicals. Once it was banned I tried to get her to at least wear gloves when she handled the stuff, but she didn't care. Never saw a bug within a mile of the house, either. When she passed away I looked for her stash, but it was gone. I think my aunt boosted it. She liked Chlordane, too.

Posted by: Velociman on November 17, 2003 04:23 PM

Borax sprinkled like snow on the carpets, scuff it in and leave it there.

That was posted a 15 years ago or so, and a lot of people tried it, and people in the East reported great success; people in the West still had fleas. Maybe there are two races of flea.

Some time later somebody posted the toxicity sheet for borax and it's toxic as hell (as toxicity sheets always say); various people panicked and cleaned it up; others of us pooh-poohed it and left it there on the carpets. My Doberman Susie lived 13.5 years so it couldn't be too toxic. You wash diapers with it, for christssake. Anyway there has been not a flea in the house in all that time, with no retreatments.

Just the 20 mule team stuff, nothing special. Not the detergent by the way.

Some other people said it ruins carpets. It would be hard to say on my carpets. They're not falling apart, if that's what it means.

Posted by: Ron Hardin on November 17, 2003 05:40 PM

Non-toxic and VERY cheap: lime. Just regular ole yard lime - buy at any garden shop. Sprinkle or broadcast from foundation of house outward. SURE kill for fleas. Don't know about ants. Another one of those "old farmer" remedies.

Posted by: Indigo on November 17, 2003 07:25 PM

Ron's close. Generically it's boric acid. But I wouldn't advise sprinkling it in the carpet and leaving it there. It's toxic to animals as well and if you get a puppy he'll invariably get that shit on his paws and lick it off. You're better off spreading it in places where ants and other bugs come in but your new puppy can't get to, like under the fridge. They'll track it back to their nests and kill the whole lot of them.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on November 17, 2003 09:17 PM

Good chemicals:
Our first house was in the late '60's. My farmer father-in-law noticed the previous owner left a lot of weeds in the small lawn. Next vist, he brought a gallon of 2-4D. He mixed it and applied it with a spray can. Killed them DEAD. Next year, I went to apply it. It was commercial shit. One gallon to 2000 gallons of water. I locked that gallon in a wooden box. It lasted the 28 years I lived there. No weeds.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on November 17, 2003 09:24 PM

Yep. I remember being out on the job when the pest control guys would spray that chlordane shit. (I tried to keep my guys out of there, but they would work while it was being sprayed!) One of the pest control guys would let a skeeter light on 'em and bite, and the skeeter would keel over dead. Wonder if any of them (pest control guys from the chlordane era) are still alive?

There's so much chlordane under my house, I doubt that we will ever get termites. Maybe I ought to check the well water. Could be I got enough chlordane in there to cure any intestinal critters I might pick up.

Posted by: SwampWoman on November 18, 2003 01:56 AM


Try this on the ants:

1. Ask them to describe, in detail, what the hell the human race did to them to piss 'em off.

2. Don't accept their initial, inane, wheedling reply. Push for real answers. Offer constructive suggestions.

3. Upon determining that the ants are more interested in pushing their point than a quest for truth, bitch-slap 'em with a withering screed. Anger n' shame 'em into PARTICIPATING in an ant-enlightenment program.

4. Offer 'em sugary treats if they gots the huevos to quit actin' like PESTS, if even for a day.

5. Have the Chlordane handy though, if they balk.

6. After the ants decide to become productive members of society, enjoy the fact that they're great neighbors, helping to kill the real enemy: cockroaches, liberals n' trolls.

I'm lookin' FORWARD now, truly, to you getting that bottle forwarded from Acidman. Even more, I'm lookin' forward to a truly well-written narrative 'bout your ride.


Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim on November 18, 2003 07:12 AM

You may be looking forward to it, but I'm not. Nothing like a bottle of Wild turkey though.

Posted by: "Ralphy" on November 18, 2003 08:48 AM

I hear that Chlordane is still available in Mexico.

Posted by: Rivrdog on November 18, 2003 09:41 PM

Make sure you still have something worth wishing for.

Posted by: Kwon So Heui on December 10, 2003 09:18 PM

Ethics is not necessarily the handmaiden of theology.

Posted by: Smoker Jeanene on December 21, 2003 12:05 AM

You cannot learn without already knowing.

Posted by: Brockway Kim on January 9, 2004 11:54 PM

Don't worry that other people don't know you; worry that you don't know other people.

Posted by: Cook Elena on March 17, 2004 10:25 AM

Even a philosopher gets upset with a toothache.

Posted by: Luongo Jon on April 28, 2004 01:54 PM

There was no immunity to cuckoo ideas on Earth.

Posted by: Townsend Maya on May 19, 2004 07:37 PM
Post a comment