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Gardener catches nightmare neighbor poisoning their plants in broad daylight: 'You need to press charges'

This is about as bad as neighbors from hell get, with the safety of a family and their dogs on the line.

Neighbor from hell, Neighbor poisoning their plants in broad daylight

Photo Credit: iStock

Hornworm caterpillars, deer, and other pests can make gardening hard enough.

But a neighbor who uses poison to ruin your vegetables has clearly crossed a line.

That's what one Redditor experienced last year. They were advised to do everything in their power to put a stop to the dangerous behavior.

After moving into their house in January, the poster wrote that an "elderly neighbor was unhappy that I had pulled up the grass" to plant "a small raised vegetable garden in the side yard (only place in the yard with enough sun to grow veggies)."

The neighbor accepted peace offerings of fresh produce over the next few months — but "out of the blue" called code enforcement, claiming the garden "was full of dead plants."

"Code enforcement came out, saw a garden with no dead plants and tons of melons and peppers and laughed, said I was not violating code and my garden looked great," the poster said.

Apparently, the neighbor was not happy and escalated their conduct.

"She proceeded to trespass on my property and mow over all my watermelon and cantaloupe vines, destroying all the not yet ripe melons," the poster wrote.

The next day, the poster saw the neighbor "spreading poison in my organic veggie garden."

Despite being filmed and told to stop, the neighbor continued. The poster's two dogs got sick that night, though they had been only in the fenced backyard.

The poster called police, who told them to put up cameras to protect their pets.

"I didn't press charges as I just want her to stop and leave me alone," the poster wrote.

"That is exactly why you need to press charges," one user said, noting the poster should document the dates and times of the trespassing and harassment and get a restraining order. "If there are no consequences for her actions, she will continue."

One commenter in particular provided sound advice, which included guidance other users recommended plus additional ideas.

"Call the police back and ask if you can still press charges," they wrote. "Report her for trespassing every single time she does it. Build that fence. Contact a property lawyer. … Find her family (if she has any) and ask they can intervene (if they don't seem dangerous or creepy). Call Adult Protective Services."

That user also noted the poster could report the damage to the neighbor's homeowner's insurance company, get the damage assessed and sue the neighbor in small claims court, and call the city or the state's environmental agency to report misuse of pesticides.

Another commenter said the poster could talk to the head of the neighbor's house of worship if they were religious.

"For some people nothing is worse than their church leader knowing about their evil deeds," they wrote. "It should shame her into stopping and that leader will give her a good talking to."

"Extremely concerning" probably doesn't do the offender's actions justice. This is about as bad as neighbors from hell get, with the safety of a family and their dogs on the line.

"I'm a wreck over all this," the poster wrote. "I'm going to have to remove all the poisoned soil and remediate the ground."

There is a federal law that governs the misuse of pesticides, and tilling deeply and mixing in lots of compost can dilute low levels of toxicity in soil.

Other treatments — including activated charcoal, cover crops, and soil remediating crops such as sunflowers and oats — may be more effective. And, of course, removing and replacing the contaminated soil could be necessary.

This neighbor was especially dastardly. When a situation reaches that stage of aggression, it's beyond time to get law enforcement and other officials involved.

The poster later provided an update, thanking everyone for their input.

"I will be going to the police station tomorrow to press charges," they wrote.

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