Gut Rumbles

March 29, 2009

Toxic stuff

Originally published November 17, 2003

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.

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