Frustrated Bubble Criminal

My girlfriend has a lawn that is overrun with gophers, and two oak trees that are being defoliated by caterpillars. In an effort to eliminate these pests – and in an eco-friendly way, mind you – I first used traps. This was only minimally successful on the gophers. So it was time for a new method: Dish soap.

If you apply dish soap in a way that causes it to foam, it suffocates, de-oils, and dehydrates gophers. A10-25 percent dish soap solution in a spray bottle also kills almost all soft-bodied insects – aphids, caterpillars, and the like.

So I embarked on a morning of dish soap shock and awe. Take that gophers! Take that, caterpillars! I sprayed the tress with high-pressure water and prepared to use soap, but unfortunately the bubble police came before I had the chance. I was planning to use five ounces on the trees. Before they arrived I did manage 4.5 oz. in the gopher holes, and am happy to report that several gophers are in a better place.

I did not intend to release bubbles on to the street but it did happen. Also keep in mind the total discharge beyond the property was less than 2 oz. of Dawn. But the Democratic-lefty neighbor saw them and was incensed. So she called the Santa Barbara water police, and in 15 minutes a city truck and two city employees were at my girlfriend’s doorstep to inquire about the bubbles. I will say they did not fine me, and they were very nice and respectful. They remained silent when I asked the question, “Which is better, 15 pounds of poison and several gallons of pesticides, or dish soap?” It reminded me of that sci-fi movie where some alien has taken over the body and there is battle for the body but the alien wins. Quote: “You have discharged bubbles and you’re in violation.”

I can use soap but if so much as “one bubble” winds up in the gutter we will be fined. But I could use any and all manner of poison and pesticide that will end up in the ground water and local environment no matter how it’s applied!

Why could the neighbor not stop and simply ask me, “Hey, what’s up with the bubbles?” When does the eco-insanity stop?

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Goleta Target Store Confirmed

Set to open at Kmart location in 2019.

County Fire Chief Calls for More Fuel Breaks

Peterson wants to create a continuous front-country line from Montecito to Goleta.

Crime Rates Down, Youth Arrests Up in Santa Barbara County

A 'high percentage' of misdemeanor citations happen on school campuses.

Will Hollister Ranch Access Deal Hold Up Under Public Scrutiny?

State commissioners are taking a closer look at settlement over beach access to Santa Barbara County gated ...

Faced with a Gun, Sheriff’s Sergeant Holds His Fire

Sgt. Freddy Padilla reflects on potentially life-saving decisions during welfare call.