Thursday, November 05, 2009

A fun story about indoor composting

After reading this article (the comments section warrants a giggle or two), I began to reflect on how I have not seen a house centipede since leaving Ottawa.

Then, I recalled something that happened last summer, in our old house in Wellington Village.

Dave and I are big believers in composting. By disposing of the rotting garbage separately from the rest, your garbage can remains sanitary, odourless, and generally inoffensive. Moreover, when given time (and worms), the garbage that rots eventually undergoes a fabulous alchemy into black, nutrient-rich soil. In turn, this soil translates into healthier houseplants, beautiful flowers, and succulent tomatoes. In short, everyone wins.

The only drawback is the persistence with which one needs to ensure all compost is BURIED. Exposed rot is a perfect place for fruit flies to populate, and once established, these pests require Herculanean efforts to get rid of.

This issue was one we'd had last summer, and were dealing with it in a gradual and pesticide-free manner. What this meant was, that for one maddening week, we had fruit flies EVERYWHERE. But after that, the population noticeably declined. We must have been doing something right.

Now, decline is not the same as erased, and we were expecting houseguests in the near future. Dave's sister and her husband were due to visit, and we wanted our place to be gorgeous (read, fruit-fly-free) for their stay. So, a week before they arrived, I moved the compost out to the garage, and put up fly tape. Soon, there were no more fruit flies. Life was good.

One week later, I was sweeping the house, and came across some oddly-shaped dustbunnies hiding in corners. Only, they were NOT dustbunnies -- they were dead spiders! There were likely a half dozen of them in that sweep alone, and it got me thinking... had they starved from the lack of fruit flies??

Naw, that couldn't be it.

Fast forward to two weeks after THAT, where I found something else very strange -- several shrivelled, dead house centipedes! Now, recall that house centipedes eat spiders, and now that there were fewer spiders to eat... could they have starved, too??

I didn't know whether to be mournful or revolted. Frankly, I still don't.

But what I do know is that the circle of life can happen anywhere, even in one's humble abode. ;-) Take it away, Disney...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was pretty funny Karla, and my guess is that your 'theory' is right.Love from Margaret(AKA:Mom!)