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Upset homeowner seeks advice over neighbor’s potentially illegal actions with toxic product: ‘The fines … are stiff’

“The neighbor went off on my wife about how she did it on purpose.”

"The neighbor went off on my wife about how she did it on purpose."

Photo Credit: iStock

Neighbor disputes go back as far as people have lived next to one another. While one recently aired dispute is no Hatfield and McCoy feud, it does involve some dangerous and possibly illegal behavior. 

The victim of the potentially prosecutable action by a neighbor took to Reddit to share the tale from their side of the fence, which had some tall grass that their neighbor did not like. 

“My neighbor purposely sprayed round up five feet into my yard,” the Redditor captioned their post.

The Redditor described how they got a “bad rash/chemical burn” on their face while working on their camper. When the OP’s wife pointed out the large patch of dead grass along the fence, she contacted the neighbor about what happened. 

“The neighbor went off on my wife about how she did it on purpose and had her friend spray it because she thought our grass was too long, and she thinks our yard is an eyesore and we are ruining curbside appeal,” the Redditor explained. “From my understanding, spraying chemicals in someone else’s yard on purpose is illegal?”

In the comments, one previously licensed pest control person said it is illegal. “These people broke a couple laws,” they said

The commenter continued, saying that it is illegal to spray herbicides on any property other than your own unless you’re a licensed operator. The neighbor apparently broke a second law by having someone else do the dirty deed. “Which means even if they did it for free they were still acting in a commercial capacity which means they need a commercial operators license to apply,” they wrote

The commenter recommended the OP contact the state agency that regulates pesticides/herbicides to send out an inspector. “If they determine they did it the fines…..are stiff. They typically start in the thousands not to mention your damages,” they concluded

Other than being illegal, herbicides and pesticides harm more than just their intended targets. In this case, the OP got a rash, but they have kids and a dog, and those chemicals could have devastating effects on them.

Any time you introduce chemicals to an environment, you risk drastically impacting the ecosystem, which is why many homeowners opt to control pests and weeds without them. 

While this is not the first time someone has poisoned their neighbor’s yard or destroyed part of their garden, it’s still shocking to hear stories of people taking matters into their own hands, especially over something as petty as the appearance of a lawn. Even the Hatfields and McCoys likely would’ve let the minor issue of tall grass slide. 

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