Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Greener Lawn

Isn't that what everyone wants?  A lush green lawn without weeds?  So, what do you do to get said lawn?  Call in the professionals, right?  TruGreen.  The company who put flyers on your door because your new lawn at your new house has more weeds than it does grass.  Your neighbors use their services and their lawns look lush and thick and weed free while you've spent hours of your summer hand pulling clover from the yard.  And, when that fails, you try organic options, such as vinegar, that while kills the clover also kills the grass in the process as well.

So, after months of trying and failing, you cave.  You call the number.  Or, well, your husband calls the number because you can't bring yourself to do it.  They come.  They spray pesticides and fertilizers all over your lawn where your kids and dog play.  You cringe.  You don't allow the kids outside for two+ days after every application.  You still cringe after those two days.  Your lawn grows.  Your weeds die.  A few applications later, the dream of a perfect lawn is starting to be realized right before your eyes.  You still cringe when that green truck shows up but you promise yourself that you'll stop treatments after a year.

A year goes by.  You stop all treatments and cancel service as per the plan.  Your husband talks you into just one more treatment in the Spring to kill any potential weeds.  You agree to just one.  You cringe again when the green truck arrives.  Even more so because you now have a baby in the house. You tell the TruGreen employee to only treat the front yard and skip the backyard due to the kids and vegetable garden.  You also tell said employee that they must call and get an OK from you to do any further treatments and that you do not want them to just show up and treat the lawn, which is how it usually works.  They agreed.  You go about your summer happily playing in the backyard worry free about any weed killer/pesticides.

Until today.  Until your five year old daughter walks up to you with a little watering can and says, "Hey Mommy, look at all of the little balls that I found in the driveway".  You look into the can to find about twenty little yellow balls.  You ask your daughter again where she found the balls and she tells you again, "the driveway".

You walk to the front of your house only to find your driveway completely littered with little yellow granular balls.  And then it hits you.  TruGreen was here and did a treatment.  Sure enough, you find the little sign almost hidden behind your lamp post in the front yard.   So, you freak out a bit about the thought of your daughter picking up all of those little fertilizer balls and immediately take her inside to thoroughly wash her hands.  You also ask silly but necessary questions about whether or not she tried to eat or lick the little balls.  And, you're serious because she still, at five, tends to put things in her mouth.  Thankfully, she assures you she did not.

You venture back outside to check the backyard and quickly discover the granules littering the backyard, too.  Upon further investigation, you find them throughout your vegetable garden.  You cringe again.  You find them all over the mulch around your kids' play set.  You cringe even more.  You find them all over the open sandbox and the toys surrounding it.  You start to feel sick.  You then find them in the kiddie pool filled with water.  You then go from feeling sick to feeling very angry.  You wonder how an employee of this company, knowing they are applying something that contains a weed killer, could knowingly spread it onto a vegetable garden, sandbox, toys and even into a kiddie pool that wasn't even in the yard but instead sitting on a patio.

You call your husband and yell.  A lot.  Not at him but at the situation.  He calls TruGreen.   Their services are forever canceled.  You spend several hours after the kids are in bed, spraying the little granules off of your driveway and sidewalk.  You're wearing flip flops.  You don't really think about the fact that while you're spraying the granules that the weed killer residue could be coming off of them and inadvertently spraying your feet.  You realize this scenario about halfway through the job and decide to change into sneakers.  You water your lawn, spray the garden, spray all of the kids toys and decide to throw away the kiddie pool (it had a hole in it anyway).

You come inside, take a shower and finally sit down at the computer.  You write a blog post about TruGreen and it wastes way more of your time than it should.  But it makes you feel somewhat better.  Until you think about the fact that you probably got weed killer on your feet.  And, as you're thinking about it, you realize that the skin on your right foot burns just a bit.  You cringe.  You worry about the fact that you probably have weed killer now in your system and you're still nursing your baby.  Then, you wonder if said burning is all in your head because you worry way more than you probably should about this stuff.  Then, you sign off and say goodnight, hoping that your foot is still intact in the morning and you don't poison your baby when she wakes up to eat.   



1 comment:

Penny said...

We had a similar TruGreen battle (as did our neighbors) after we moved in--I can't believe they are allowed to operate with such blatant disregard for their customers' instructions/termination of services. The owner must be well-versed in how to straddle the line of harassment so as to not get sued.