Murder She Wrote

I’m generally a lover of all creatures great and small (except spiders, you all can die).  But these past few weeks I have begun to cultivate a growing hatred for any type of insect, bug, or creepy thing.

We planted this huge garden, the main garden is about 18×20 feet and we have side beds of corn, cucumbers, pumpkins, and fruit bushes.  We committed to doing this all organically, even buying organic seeds.

Why organic?  Well we chose that for a variety of reasons.  One being the environmental impact, I just don’t see how dumping chemicals onto our garden is good stewardship to the earth.  But the overriding reason we did it was for health reasons.

When you battle the infertility monster you will pretty much do anything if it might help your overall health and fertility.  And after reading that a lot of the chemicals used in crop and animal production are estrogen-mimicking I figured we probably didn’t need to be ingesting all that.

Yes, please tell me that we all ate regular fruits and vegetables as kids and they were coated in pesticides and fertilizers and it didn’t “hurt” us.  You are correct.  However the amount and variety of pesticides and fertilizers used on crops has been increasing steadily.  Additionally the U.S. is an exporter of pesticides that have been BANNED for use in this country but are still in use in developing countries.  Developing countries that we get our food from.  So we are eating food with more pesticides and fertilizers then ever before.

And I honestly don’t care if you gargle with Miracle Grow in the morning, that’s your choice.  I just wanted to explain my reasoning as it relates to infertility and overall health so that when you mock me and call me stupid for paying extra for organic seeds you will have had fair warning:  I’m infertile, I cry easily.

And this is where we get to the ‘murder’ part.  Our garden has been over run with pests this year.  We have squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and green-horned tomato worms.  Creepy crawlies all over my garden.  The worst are the tomato worms:

Just having to look at this image made me break out into goosebumps.  These bast… I mean bugs are huge, yet not easy to spot, so I’m just going through the tomato vines, checking the tomatoes and suddenly I reach for a vine and feel soft and squishy in my hand.  Almost. Died. Of. Heart. Failure.

Well guess what the best “organic” method of controlling these pests are?  Let me quote from the source as it is very technical:

“the easiest and most effective way to get rid of it is to pick it off of plants as soon as you detect it and either squish it or toss it into a bowl of soapy water.”


So, as you may have read in earlier posts, I don’t ‘do’ bugs.  If I find a creepy-crawly I call my husband.  That’s why I got married,  that and he’s really tall and can reach stuff off the high shelves for me (and all that “love” stuff too of course).  So that’s my game plan, I find the worms, he picks and squish.  I make him wear gloves too because I imagine him touching one of those evil worms and then going to hold my hand and I freak out, because you know, worm cooties.

At this point in the season the worms had destroyed about 10 tomatoes.  ‘We’ (the husband) kill all the worms we can find.  Then we had to leave for two days and we come back and half our tomatoes are gone.  And that’s when I lost it.

I was pulling worms and stomping them left and right.  I went after the squash-bugs and cucumber beetles and smashed them with my bare hands.  I started dreaming about killing those bugs and plotting ways to kill them or prevent them from eating my plants.  I’d get up every morning and head straight to the garden, checking for bugs and leaving a path of murdered insects in my wake.

Still the worms persisted.  And so I went to the local garden shop and learned that there was this natural bacteria that you can spray on your plants, and it kills the worms.  I ask if I can buy their entire inventory.  The clerk assured me I only needed one bottle.  Then he told me how it worked.  The worms eat the leaves with the bacteria on it, after they ingest the bacteria it causes them to no longer be able to eat, and they die.  All I hear is “they will die”.  I go home and douse my plants in it.

And then I feel guilty.  I start to wonder how long it takes a worm to starve to death, will they suffer?  At least the ‘picking and squashing’ method was a quick death.  Now I feel the weight of tortured dead tomato worms on my soul.

And that is the reason of my post, I have plotted and dreamt up death for bugs and feel the need to confess.  To purge my soul if you will.  I feel guilty.

But then I look at the picture of the worm and I get over the guilt.  We try to grow enough tomatoes to preserve so that over the winter we don’t have to buy any in the store. ( If you want to know why tomatoes in particular click here: slavery in the U.S.)  And now I feel better, me killing worms it helping to put an end to forced labor in the U.S.

I am really counting on Rob Bell being right on his idea of heaven, because if there is a hell I’m sure mine will consist of me being attacked by horn worms all over my body.

And now I have to go wretch from the mental image of that.


3 responses to “Murder She Wrote

  1. Ya know what’s just as gross as those green horned caterpillars? Slugs. All the disgusting squishiness, PLUS added slime! They are the enemy here. And yes, in a fit of rage, I too have plucked them from plants and squashed them with my foot. So you and I can have adjoining suites in the place where bug-squishers go. See you there!

  2. I don’t ‘do’ bugs either…I very well remember this being my ‘job’ as a farm child. I hated it and used Dad’s gloves to keep my hands ‘sanitized.”

  3. Next year try attracting birds to your garden with food and water attractions – it is quite rewarding watching a cardinal emerge from your vines with one of those nasty bas.. bugs in their mouths!

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