The cashier scanned my groceries. We talked about the importance of eating healthy and the extraordinary cost of the organic and natural food I was buying. She shot me a sideways glance when she scanned my extra-tall aluminum can of Coors beer.
“I plan on getting some slugs drunk!” I said.
“Oh,” she said nodding her head, as if that was an ordinary response.
I told her about my slug problem. She also was plagued by slugs, but never heard of the beer trick.
“I got the idea online. It’s supposed to really work. They drink the beer and die!” I said.
The YouTubes I watched promised that if you bury a Styrofoam cup in the soil of the problem area, and fill the cup with beer, the slugs naturally attracted to the malt and barley, will drink to their heart’s content.
They will just fall in; you can pick them right out of the cup! The YouTube hosts said. Or you can fill a shallow dish with beer and place it on the ground. The slugs will crawl in it and become beer-logged and drown.
I wanted to give this a try after losing time, money and flowers to slugs.
I have several pots on my front porch I have enjoyed filling with beautiful flowers for years. The last several years, the flowers have mysteriously vanished and withered. I had no idea what was causing this. At first, I thought it may be a fungus in the soil, so I replaced the soil, but this year, just weeks after planting flowers, I again found a flower graveyard. They were dying quicker than last year.
Several times l found a slug crawling around on the porch. One was so big; it literally was the size of a regular hot dog in length and nearly as thick in the middle! I gave that little sucker a burial at sea by flushing it down the toilet. It was getting fat at my expense!
Flushing the little guy made me feel awful! Like I was killing a mammal. Though slugs aren’t as cuddly as bunnies, they are still God’s creatures just trying to survive. I am one of those who feels sorry for mice and just about every other sort of creeping thing out there, but I am stuck with the conundrum of not wanting them in my house either.
Except for spiders, flies and earwigs. Those, I kill with glee. After getting rid of the big slug and a couple of others, I didn’t see any more. But the withering of my plants continued.
What was the big mystery? I never saw any slug trails in the pots. Besides, I couldn’t imagine slugs climbing horizontally up my pots. I asked God to show me the problem.
Then one morning, there it was!
The telltale, shimmering residue on one of the remaining leaves! Those slugs were draining the life out of my flowers just like the devil sometimes saps joy out of us.
“Aha! Thank you, Lord.”
I figured those slugs worked for their food, the pots are eighteen inches high. That’s an awful lot of slithering. How they managed to climb in I will never know. Eager for slug control, I asked my husband to pick up beer on his way home.
“Make sure you don’t get diet or reduced calorie beer. Just get regular, cheap beer.” I said, figuring the slugs like plain beer. I didn’t tell him not to buy low carb beer, though.
He brought home Michelob Ultra, reduced carb beer.
I placed the beer in a shallow dish near the pots and filled the buried cup that evening. The next morning I was eager to find drunken slugs in the dish and in the cup. There was nothing. After a couple of days; nothing still. It’s probably because of the diet beer, I thought.
That’s when I bought the extra-tall Coors, dumped the Ultra and filled the shallow dish and cup with it.
I checked on the containers late in the evening and found a slug hanging over the edge of the dish, half of it on the floor, the other with its face in the beer, sucking it up. Smart slug!
That guy also had a deep-sea-burial.
Early the next morning, I found one hanging over the side of the buried cup, half its body on the soil, the other half sipping away at the beer.
Not wanting to support the slugs’ alcohol issues, we bought slug bait. I planted new flowers. To date there is no more damage. Hopefully they are all gone. May they rest in peace.
Everything I read said they crawl in the beer and drown. The only slugs I found hung over the edge of the containers. I guess the news about drunk slugs drowning got out.
Apparently, the northwest has the smartest, most athletic slugs around, and they don’t like diet beer!
Have a garden pest problem or solution you would like to share?
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.