Friday, April 9, 2010

The Garden Slug: A Worthy Opponent

Dear Cheapskate,


Lighting fast. Whip smart. Tricky as hell.

You probably thought they were slow and easy to smush. You were wrong.

Last night, as I lurked with my flashlight and specially designated "slug fork" to battle the beasts, I noticed two slugs racing each other across the path. Yes, racing. I could see the slippery trails of slime in their wake. They appeared to be moving slowly but this is part of their trickery. They move fast only when you're not looking. Try this: Look away casually, then whip your head around. By the time you're looking they've slowed down again. Try sneaking up on them from around a corner, or jumping out from behind a bush. They still appear to be moving slowly because they're that tricky. You can't catch them moving fast, but they do move fast. Really fast. When you're not looking.

They also pretend to have dainty appetites. Don't believe it. They can devour 1000 times their weight in one night. Five of them will gang up on one little bean sprout and eat it to the ground. With absolutely no remorse!

I know this because I pick them off one poor defenseless bean plant with the slug fork and then five minutes later the slug army of reinforcements has resumed devouring that very same defenseless bean plant!!!

So, how to defeat this wily foe?

1) Desperate, I went to Home Depot planning to use my store credit on some kick-ass chemicals. I would nuke them. But the $10 box of chemicals promised to kill the slugs AND the earthworms, my pets, the neighbors kids, and every other living thing so I didn't buy it. I was too cheap to spend the $25 for the less lethal chemicals, even if they would defeat my evil sluggy foe.

2) Beer. I hear they will happily crawl into a bowl of beer. Who wouldn't?? But I'm too cheap to buy beer.

3) A bowl of sugar and yeast mixed with water caught about fifteen slugs! The black bowl worked much better than the clear bowl.

4) I will pick them off by hand, every night, until they learn: Do not mess with my plants!!!

Does anyone have a better battle plan? A cheap one??


  1. Hi!

    Slugs' largest enemy is salt. I put a thin layer of salt around my garden (just the part with veggies, no flowers or grass). They do not go over it as salt kills them slowly and painfully by removing the water from their body...

    When I am really mad... I collect them after a rainy day in a bucket and pour salt over them... they actually squeak...

    The only drawback is, when it rains you may have to add some more salt... But it is very cheap and environmentally friendly.

    Thanks for the great Blog!

    A fan from Europe!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful and cheap tip! And from Europe!!! I am going to try this immediately!


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