Below is a list of plausible responses to what some think is evidence of a marijuana grow operation.
1. All windows are covered, often with dark plastic or newspaper.
I cannot afford to heat the house for more than a couple hours a day. Garbage bags and newspaper are inexpensive, if inefficient, insulators.
2. Condensation forms on windows due to high humidity levels inside.
I have a respiratory condition that requires the use of a ventilator. Sometimes, if it’s really bad, I boil water on the stove.
3. Residents may only be in the home occasionally and for short periods of time.
I work two jobs, one of which has me sleeping over three nights a week.
4. Unusual visitor behavior – no visitors or frequent visitors for short periods of time.
I have few friends. Occasionally I supplement my income by renting out a spare room on a short-term basis.
5. People access the home only through the garage.
I have a nest of skunks living under the front stairs. Rather than disturb them, I have asked that people enter from the rear of the house.
6. Strange skunk-like odors.
Like I said, I have a nest of skunks living under the stairs.
7. Unusual garbage – little or no garbage or unusual items such as pots, soil and wiring.
I tend to be forgetful. On a number of occasions I have put water on to boil and the next thing I know I have ruined the pot.
For the past few years I have been repairing a model train set I picked up at a flea market. Though the train itself is in good condition, the platform was poorly executed and requires constant rewiring.
8. Unusual wiring on the outside or signs the hydro meter has been tampered with.
The previous tenant installed an intercom system linking the rooms through exterior cables. As for the hydro meter, a couple years ago I banged into it with the lawnmower and, in attempting to repair it, might have made it worse.
9. Little snow (or steam) on the roof in winter.
The house is poorly insulated.
10. “Beware of Dog” or “Guard Dog On Duty” signs and excessive security.
I have had more than enough break-ins in my life. Rather than get a dog, which I cannot afford, I chose to double up on signs.
11. Localized power surges or brown-outs.
There might be a grow-op in the neighbourhood.
12. Bright interior lights left on all day and night.
I want people to know there is always someone home.