A Strategy For Debugging My Home Office

Gwen-200pxNot all of my home office technology is “high technology.” Nonetheless, some of the low-tech is critically important. On this particular occasion I offer some insight into how we go about debugging. That is, how we eliminate bugs…more specifically, flying insects.

The factual information that I have to share is slight, but the story of how I come by it a personal one. When I was teenager my family lived in the small, Northern Ontario town of Atikokan. At the time the family business included a building supply adjoined by a Laundromat.

The Laundromat was open long hours and during much of the year the doors left open. In the summer it had the most unfortunate way of gathering flies. Our reaction to this was to deploy a pair of small battery operated appliances that dispensed an aerosol spray on a timed basis. The spray was known as KONK and it was tremendously effective.

In such a facility you can’t simply deploy any bug spray. It’s a public space so the insecticide needs to be approved for such use. It happens that KONK is a pyrethrin-based spray. Pyrethrins are naturally occurring, being derived from Chrysanthemum flowers. It’s safe for prolonged use around people and pets. It’s even rated for use in commercial kitchens.

The majority of the worlds commercial Chrysanthemum crop comes from Kenya. In recent years supply has been reduced, which seems to have  brought an end to availability of the original KONK brand. Most recently we’ve been using a similar product called Clean Air Purge III. It’s remarkably effective.

Now let me spring 25 years ahead to the present day. My home office was once an apartment attached to the garage. It’s features include two set of French terrace doors that open into the back yard. They ensure that the office gets marvelous natural light.

Gwen-Office-Doors-Butterfly

When the weather is agreeable it’s nice to keep the doors open, allowing the dogs to come and go as they like. Pleasant as that might be it invariably end up with flies and mosquitos buzzing about the office. Mosquitos are the greater issue as they are drawn to the CO2 in our breath and have the potential to spread West Nile disease.

Also, our youngest Labrador, Gwen, becomes positively fixated on catching flies. Her antics have more than once caused the destruction of trinketry, or worse.

automatic-aerosol-dispenaserWe are also mindful of the effects of insecticide on everything in the yard. We are fortunate to be on the migratory path of the Monarch butterfly. We plant things that draw the Monarch caterpillar. We see dozens of them in the yard over the course of the year. We don’t want to do anything that would endanger their larva or caterpillar. The use of Purge III indoors has proven effective, while safe for everything outside.

The little machine that squirts bug spray every fifteen minutes has proven a good investment. We have one in the office and another in the house. When the can runs empty or the batteries fade the results are quick and sure. We suffer flying insects followed soon after by jumping, snapping, frantic dog.

We buy Clean Air Purge III by the case. This years’ supply arrived earlier this week.