People, humans
Are lumps of meat and bone
Tasty to many creatures
In life and after death
Protein carbohydrates and yummy fats
Blood and minerals

We are growers of plants and animals
Domesticated plants and tame animals
Plants and animals without a wild sense of survival
Plants and animals without noxious toxins and tough fibrous tissues
Soft, tasty plants and dumb dumb animals
In rows
In pens
They are susceptible to

We are inventors and prolific makers
We mine and burrow and dynamite
We burn and assemble and move stuff in transit
We produce lots and lots of stuff
Not all of it gets used
As a result, there is a lot of surplus
A lot of extra
A lot of garbage
A lot of trash
Its all food for
Our roads our transport our depots our stations
Is how pests
Move and disperse and gather

There are pests that feed on us
There are pests that feed on our friends and property
There are pests that follow us around wherever we go
Pests that thrive in our nooks and crannies
Armpits and crotches
Bed boards and sofa cushions
Cracks and basements
Sewers and dumps
I hate pests

I hate mosquitoes at the campground at twilight
I hate rats in the garage chewing up textiles and leaving pill shaped turds
i hate gophers that swallow my tulips
I hate fuzzy mold on my oranges and spaghetti sauce
I hate colonies of aphids sucking on my broccoli and collards greens
I hate black fungal dust that blows off the grain stores
I hate pigeon poop left on the playground swings
I hate beetles burrowed into my acorns
I hate white mycelium webs that have infiltrated the wooden deck
I hate the dividing bacteria in my infected swollen leg
I hate the sound of a million cockroaches waltzing across the kitchen floor at night
I hate the buzz and sting of the hive of yellow jackets that I step on
I hate them all

So it is war and survival
With pests
Theres is no tapping out, this is not a sport on a mat
There is no time out, this is not a game
There is no start over redo, this is not a training exercise
Winners and losers, whistles and flags
It is a war about
Food or famine
Health or pestilence
It is life and death

How do you win a war
Against small creatures with tiny brains or no brains at all
How do you win a war
Against creatures ten times, hundred times, thousand times
More ancient than ourselves
How do you win a war
Against an unrelenting enemy
Hell bent on feeding and reproduction
How do you win a war
When it is
Seven billion humans versus
How many pests? How many pests?!
Infinite pests
You cannot win a war
Against pests
They rule the world
Discretely, quietly
With no arrogance or grand gestures
They rule
They have their sphere of influence and territory
They adapt and overcome

You can learn to live with pests
And minimize their numbers
Have them below a damage threshold
Be willing to compromise and accept some loss
It is not – all or nothing
It is tolerance and acceptance
Coupled with a fight for survival
Be proactive in your approach to pests
Prevent them
Discourage places where they thrive
Attack them when they are weak
Live with them

This way you can make some cash
Feed the family
And still have a sane and balanced mind
Sitting around, throwing your hands up at the pests of the world
That is not an option
The path of humility
The path of understanding
The path of survival

Cleanliness is Godliness
Wash your hands after going to the bathroom
Wash your cuts with soap
Remove the rose leaves and litter full of fungal spores
Cut off the infected branches
Sterilize the potting soil
Keep the watering nozzle off the ground in the greenhouse

Plant the right plant in the right place
Breed disease resistance plants
Practice crop rotation to prevent buildup of pathogens
Proper irrigation and soil preparation
Plant cover crops, mulch
Amend the soil, conserve the soil, treat the soil with care

Know your enemy
Know their lifecycle know their habits
Know where they spend their days and nights
Know when they emerge and when they go to rest
Learn to distinguish your enemy from its look alikes
Its look alikes who may actually be your friends
Learn to attack your enemy when they are the most vulnerable
Learn to tolerate your enemy because you will never kill them all
Learn to respect your enemy

Use the least harmful method of control that you can
For pests
Because like karma
Whatever you put out in the world
It comes back at you
The nastier the poison
The more effective the kill, the more long lasting are its effects
Ha ha pests all dead
The poison stays around in the loop of life
And comes back at you
Might be a generation two generations three generations away
But it comes back at you
You like hahaha I got away with it who cares about anybody else
Who cares about the ‘environment’ or the ‘future’
I am good ‘now’
My belly is fat
I got my bottle of foamy drink
And meat on the grill
But maybe you care about your kids, or your kids kids, or your kids kids kids
Or maybe your brothers kids, your sisters kids, your neighbors kids
Maybe you still hear, on occasion, the voice of the little kid, within
You want them to live in a world with frogs and dragonflies and singing birds
A world of fantastic laughing creatures
You do not want them to live in a world
Where all they know
Is made of plastic and metal and plastic
A world lived in a dark cave of only human constructed lifeless objects
Shiny glossy titillating tempting and addictive
But empty
A world where you do not see the beauty of creation

You cannot eradicate the cockroaches of the world
You cannot annihilate the rodents of the world
You cannot make flies go extinct
They are more powerful than you
They are tougher stronger
And more hungry than you

That is why it is important
To try and see beyond
A world at war
With itself
A mind at war
With itself

So that is why we choose peace and tolerance and love
So that you can appreciate a bee a sunflower a setting sun
A day out by the river with the family and friends
That is why there is this thing in horticulture and farming
We call Integrated Pest Management