Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Public Enemy Number One

After several nights of making slug soup (not for human consumption), SomeBeans has come up with a technological solution to our burgeoning slug problem.

He has suggested a remote control trebuchet system. Originally, the idea was to encourage the slugs to crawl onto the 'bucket' of the trebuchet, and then fire them over the fence. However, having spent a few happy days in Cornwall as an undergraduate, painting different coloured dots onto periwinkles, I pointed out that molluscs tend to have a bit of a homing instinct and would soon return, hungry from their exhertions. So, he has now suggested the salt trebuchet, capable of remotely delivering a lethal dose of salt to individual slugs, with pinpoint accuracy. We'll see.

Luckily we don't seem to have leopard slugs hanging from the trees 'doing their thing' in our garden.


chaiselongue said...

Have you tried beer? Slugs are said to crawl into a container of beer at ground level, then die a happy death! I'm not sure it works, but it may be worth a try. We have the same trouble with snails here, but we find if we can protect plants past the seedling stage they can survive having a few bites taken out of their leaves by snails. The trebuchet sounds fun, though!

Karen said...

We both posted about public enemy no one at the same time - the slug population in my garden is becoming quite mad - I really like the idea of the trebuchet - but you are right - they do just crawl home to continue their munching. Ours have given up just appearing at night - and now are so bold as to chomp through the day as well. (sigh)
Warm regards

Anonymous said...

opps - left my comment under Karen Hall rather than artists garden - sorry for any confusion.

Matron said...

Slugs are the bain of my life! I cannot call myself an organic gardener because I use slug pellets from time to time. I make sure I remove all dead slugs from the garden to help prevent them being eaten. Apparenty beer works quite well but it gets filled up with rainwater.

Anonymous said...

Ew! Hate 'em. Gardening in Seattle, I have oddly had more snails than slugs recently. They are easier to stomp and make a satisfying crunch. :) I'm not big on killing stuff but make an exception for those guys, otherwise I would have no plants left. Sometimes I can't handle offing the big ones and dump them into the yard waste bin instead. At least then they will have a happy time munching away at everything before they go. Good luck with the salt trebuchet!

- Karen