I’m not killing the slugs, I’m inviting them for a beer, then they die.

Homegrown, organic beautiful, and eaten by me, not by neighborhood gastropods.

We have been having such a wet June (global weirding, or is this normal?) that the slugs are having a field day. My strawberries are getting ripe, and the slugs have been eating half of them. Now, I’m a generous soul, if the slugs would eat some berries, I wouldn’t mind so much, but they seem to eat half of each one.
My MIL has taught me the solution- cheap, grocery-store-type beer in a saucer at ground level. She saves her margarine tubs for this, but I’m too snobby for margarine, so I use salsa containers. You have to bury them so the rim is just at ground level- the slugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide coming off the beer, then they drown in it.

The Boy checks the trap the next day- "EEW! there's beer on my hand!" Our take, a couple of slugs and a spider. Collateral damage- sorry spidey.

I will also set out board traps- pieces of scrap wood on the ground- the slugs hide under them during the day, so I can scrape them off into the compost pile. My friend Schnied’s mom feeds slugs to her goldfish, but I think these slugs are too big for my fish.

There’s been a radio ad recently that just curls my hair- a major pesticide company telling me I need to kill the bugs that are eating my precious garden crops. It just makes me mad- they want me to dust poison on the food I want to eat. Grrrrr. With beer, they die, but it is their choice. And not all of them die…maybe I’m still conflicted.

I’ll add new beer to my traps before we leave for the weekend. Last year, we barely had slug damage, I think, because the garter snakes stepped up to the plate. I realize that for some people, snakes are worse than slugs, but garter snakes are slug eating machines. And you hardly see them- we’ve got great ground cover, which is good snake habitat.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Molly
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 23:20:11

    Yeah, seriously, I mean they didn’t HAVE to come drink the beer.


  2. Trackback: Strawberries- you can grow that « Strawberry Fields for Breakfast

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