Welcome to Evil Week, our annual dive into all the slightly sketchy hacks we’d usually refrain from recommending. Want to weasel your way into free drinks, play elaborate mind games, or, er, launder some money? We’ve got all the info you need to be successfully unsavory.
If a dog ever has a bad reputation, it can often be traced back to irresponsible ownership. Dogs don’t come into this world with evil intentions, but your neighbor might. Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, chances are you’ve seen those signs begging dog owners to please not let their dog piss or shit on their delicate, well-tended lawn. But you wouldn’t be reading this post if those signs worked—they are all-too-easy for a selfish dog owner to ignore. An easy, quick solution is replacing your nice sign with a sign that warns of poisoning.
Since inconsiderate neighbors won’t listen to your “please stay off the grass” sign, maybe they will listen to a “WARNING: Lawn sprayed with pesticide” sign. You don’t actually need to spray your lawn with any pesticides; you just need to put the sign by the spot that gets repeatedly abused and make sure it is visible to the dog owner.
I know first-hand that this is effective. I recently had my basement and home treated for bugs and asked the company to leave a pesticide warning sign on my lawn even though it wasn’t treated. I put the sign next to my mailbox, which is a hot spot for the neighborhood dogs. My home office has a window facing my front yard, and to my amazement, I watched every single dog owner pull their dog away from my lawn every time they read the pesticide sign.
My sign did disappear at some point, and the owners came back the very next day to continue business as usual. However, you can easily buy sturdier signs that will not be swept away in the wind and can withstand the elements for about $30 on Amazon. People are also less likely to mess with a sign that looks well-cemented on your lawn.
Be mindful that even a sturdy sign isn’t foolproof. If you have pets yourself and let them roam around on your lawn, the neighbors might notice and call your bluff. You might also want to check if you’re legally allowed to put pesticides on your lawn in case anyone decides to report you.
Even though it’s Evil Week, I wouldn’t recommend you poison your lawn just to scare dog owners away. Even cayenne pepper or vinegar, which most dogs will run away from, are solutions targeted at dogs, not their careless owners. If you know the pesticide sign on your lawn won’t work, here are some other suggestions to consider:
- If you know where they live, kindly return their dog’s poop to their doorstep in a bag. Feel free to attach a note if you have more things to say.
- For those who want to go a bit more extreme, install motion sensor sprinklers to scare them off.
- If you live in an HOA, chances are there are rules against not picking up your dog’s poop. You can report it to the HOA with video proof from your doorbell camera or an outdoor security camera. If you know the dog owner has pissed off other neighbors as well, you can combine the complaints with more proof for a stronger case.