I’ve declared all-out war on slugs. When the rains did not stop this week, it became apparent that my slug problem was much larger than a few strategically placed saucers of beer, or some sprinkling of salt, could handle. If I’m to see any annuals – even those in pots – bloom or ever hope to pick a single string bean, I had to devise a more effective way to eradicate as many of these slimy, disgusting creatures as possible.
Here’s my tools:
- a repurposed metal can that once held a popular juice; cut the top off of one end.
- a plastic spoon – can’t tolerate touching the slimy things. It takes forever to wash off the goo, and I don’t want to donate a pair of gloves to this cause.
- a flashlight to illuminate the little buggers while they’re munching on plants at night.
- a willing partner – going into battle is much more effective when supported by an extra pair of hands and eyes.
Starting in late afternoon on days when it has rained, or closer to dusk after dry days, fill the can about a third full of water and add a couple of pumps of dishwashing detergent. If it’s still light enough to see, you can wage this part of the war solo, but when it’s dark having an extra hand to shine the flashlight really aides the quest. Seek out slugs en route to their feeding grounds – check sidewalks, damp areas, under plant leaves of plants, along hosta and lettuce stalks , on previously attacked plants, and on the soil around plants. When you one of the slimy scoundrels, scoop it onto the spoon, then tap the slug into the soapy water. With a little practice you’ll get pretty good with the spoon (it’s easier to scoop up slugs from the antennae end), and before long you’ll have a nasty slug concoction. Let your slug stew rest overnight … you may find more of the slimy crawlers to beef up your brew early in the next morning … then once the slugs have fermented enough to insure they can no longer feast on your plants, dump the goo into the woods or other out of the way spot.
I’ve lost count as to how many slugs have met their demise during my campaign – who wants to count these slime-balls anyway – but I think I’ve made a significant dent in the slug explosion in my soggy Connecticut gardens – at least my annuals are showing signs of life.