Or: the Trials and Tribulations of an Uptown Girl with a Boyfriend from Old Europe

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Location: Basel, Switzerland

Friday, June 01, 2007

Vampires Are Alive!

They'll probably never star in any horror movies, but as far as I'm concerned, aphids are evil, evil monsters. Called Blattläuse in German - leaf lice, which is very appropriate given their green but otherwise tiny, lice-like bodies - these sap-suckers have killed my cilantro.

Admittedly, I could be written up on charges of plant neglect, given that I first spotted the creatures about two weeks ago. Even if I hadn't been keeping a close eye on the plant, which was already looking a bit strung out and not terribly healthy, the aphids would've been difficult not to notice. They seemed to emerge from nowhere to swarm my cilantro. Once infected, the plant's stems looked like they'd sprouted boils all over.

I did have good intentions, though. I first thought to go to Obi for some insecticide, though the idea of using the herb for cooking afterward put me off a bit. Then I remembered an offhand comment from Swissy Pie, about some nettles I'd stepped in because I didn't recognize them as such. (They didn't look like the kind I was used to in the States.) Apparently some people boil the leaves and use the liquid to kill aphids. But that was not a very specific formua, and besides, I was a bit wary about picking a plant that had given me a rather unpleasant rash on both calves. So in the end, I just tried to wash off the little buggers, which only worked for a couple of days.

Oddly, the basil and parsley plants right next to the cilantro have remained untouched; the rosemary and thyme don't seem to appeal to them either. Hopefully things will stay that way.

Not that it'll matter too much. We're headed for the United States today, and by the time Swissy Pie gets back in a week, the herbs will probably all be dead, anyway - unless there's a good bit of rain in Basel in the meantime.

As long as we're not greeted by singing, leather-clad Blattläuse...

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Blogger naechstehaltestelle said...

Have a wonderful time in the US! A whole month, too!

June 3, 2007 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Eva said...

well with the forcast for the next week being rain every day, they might just survive :-) have a great time in the US!

June 4, 2007 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

well - if it makes you feel any better, we only have a small balcony which is too small to try making plants/herbs come to life...

thanks for the tips on the wines!

June 17, 2007 at 5:54 AM  
Anonymous jessica said...

Where are you chica? Did you get my email a week or two ago?

June 26, 2007 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger bacon said...

organic way to get rid of aphids is to soak 2 cigarettes in a bottle of half vinegar, half water with a little detergent. Put the resulting nicotine brew in a spray bottle and have at it. Aphids away, and the pesticide is gone next time it rains.

Wear gloves and if you spill it, don't touch it as you'll get a big rush and keel over...

September 2, 2007 at 2:23 AM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Please tell me your subject line is also a joke about Switzerland's hilarious Eurovision entry last year...

Also: I found your blog while surfing expat blogs, and I have been enjoying reading it.

So, I was wondering, would you mind if I added you to the blogrolls on two of my blogs? You can look at them at these links, if you want:


Again, good writing! Thanks for giving me something quality to read!

October 25, 2008 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Support Lin said...

it's great ^^

June 29, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
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Switzerland / Europe SIM Cards for US Travelers by Rebelfone.

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