"They just keep coming back," Gerald said as he bent over uneasily. "You have to get them while they're young or else it's uncontrollable. It's unbelievable how many there are."

Like many of the residents here in Harwich, Gerald is concerned about his lawn. "Ever since he became retired, I can't keep him away from that damn lawn," his wife Amity tells. "And he's losing his hearing so it's not easy to call him back in." She loves how well he matches the petunias with the shade of their house, but has recently considered confronting him about his behavior. "At some point you just have to start wondering, hey wait a second, is he avoiding me?"