Monday, 29 August 2011

Too Paranoid?

With all the notices prominently displayed as we go through Customs back here in SA about not bringing in any foreign flora or fauna,  I spent half an hour scrubbing the underneath of my trainers before I left my brother's house for the airport as I discovered the indentations in their soles had trapped a fair amount of pony pooh when we were out walking the dogs.  I should explain that this would not normally have happened, but I had a very excited black and white collie on a lead next to me who is not used to walks and every now and again she would pull me off the path at a tangent so determined was she to examine a new smell. Similarly, when I was ironing my clothes this morning, I found the tiny, round, hard seed of a particularly nasty weed that I recognised from my mother's garden as having accompanied me on the plane.  I haven't seen that plant in Johannesburg or Cape Town, so I am going to annihilate it on a tiny bonfire in my back yard and then pulverize it in case it survives the fire. I don't want to be responsible for bringing invasive foreign weeds into this country. Should I pat myself on the back or I am being paranoid?


  1. There was a time I would have thought you were being paranoid. Now, however, I have seen the invasion of the Asian Ladybugs into my country that were brought here for some sort of agricultural purpose without proper research into their impact. The things invade our homes by the thousands, they stink, they pinch or bite, and they are everywhere if your house isn't perfectly sealed up! Fortunately they are only around for a month or so each year but man are they a nuisance! Apparently they just don't have any natural enemies in the wild so they flourished. I remember as a kid being all excited to find a ladybug because they were so rare. Our native ones were beautiful bright red and were a treasure for any kid to find. Now, the sight of a ladybug is a very bad thing!

    So anyway, I'd say yes, be careful!

  2. wow - that is so interesting! We had the red ones in the UK - I always thought they were a good thing. What color are the Asian ones?

  3. The Asian ones are kind of a rusty orange color and have more and smaller spots on their wings. I know people who live in older houses that get them so bad they are literally falling off the ceilings. A friend of mine went to visit his grandparents and said that they were falling in their food while they were trying to eat dinner. His grandparents just picked them out and flicked them away like they were nothing because they were so used to dealing with them! My friend said he wore his shoes all the time because he was constantly stepping on them!

    We didn't have them quite as bad as that. We would get clusters of them gathering in the corners of the ceilings. We kept our vacuum cleaner out all the time and would just suck them up whenever they would get too bad. There would be groups of 50 or so in almost every corner when we would get home each day!

    Anyway, now we live in a little bit better sealed house and don't get them near as bad. My wife is very thankful for that! :)

  4. I think you're being very prudent! There are a lot of examples world wide of a plant not native to an area taking over everything. Good for you!

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