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‹ The Weekly Green

Live And Let Live – Or Not

August 2, 2015
Ants gathering Purple Sage petals

The rains have come and with the rains have come the ants. My wife was rather grossed out and suggested poisoning them wholesale. Now after humans, ants have the most complex society on earth and the nest they have built under our house is the size of New York on an ant scale, stretching well beyond our property lines and probably those of the neighbours too.
The amount of insecticide needed to wipe that out  might make the remedy worse than the disorder (although my wife may disagree with that).

But there is an easier and much more benign way to keep the ants of the house: baking soda. Ants hate it and will not pass it. So find out where they come in, usually by a door sill or window sill, and put a good line of baking soda along it. Perhaps a bit messy, but quite effective and harmless to the environment. Live and let live!

The rains have come and the buffelgrass is greening. There are limits to tolerance: time to whip out the Round-up sprayer and kill it at the root.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, has recently classified glyphosate, which is scientese for Round-up, as probably carcinogenic to humans. Consequently its use has now been banned by all European governments, the Netherlands being the gate-closer.

Glyphosate is the by far most effective and widely used of all herbicides, so it is no wonder that the IARC designation has caused considerable controversy. What, for instance, does IARC mean by ‘probably’? After all, sun light is also a ‘probable’ carcinogen  and nobody is considering banning that at this time. Follow this link to find out more about the kerfuffle.

Meanwhile don’t hesitate to do in the buffelgrass wherever you can in the short time you have for it, because it is a threat to the fragile Sonoran ecology and when it is dry, which is most of the year, it burns like tinder.

The rains have come and we’re getting more than usual, it seems. Another sign of climate change perhaps. Maybe Tucson will one day be a beach resort because of it. But for the while, we still have to conserve water whenever we can. Wouldn’t it be great, in that respect, if we had three hands instead of two: one for the dish brush, one for the dish, and one to control the faucet.



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