Saturday, July 17, 2010

Homestead Experiment #6-Battle Slugs-Game On!!

Ugh! Those slimy, nasty beasts have crawled through the mounds of broken seashells (see previous post 'Gardening in Full Force') and egg shells to make their way to my squash beds and wreak havoc! They've stripped the leaves clean off some of the little stalks. :(
That's it-this means WAR!

I decided to go ahead with Plan B; I made the coolest slug traps that I found on I collected plastic water and soda bottles from around the house. I rinsed them and peeled off all the labels.
Then, I took my faithful utility knife and cut the top off at the base of the neck where it starts to 'flare out'.
Next, you invert the top back into itself. I took a piece of duct tape and wrapped around the edges to keep the lid in place.

Next I put an inch or so of cheap beer in the bottle (I hypothesized my slugs would be satisfied with Busch. They're not very discriminating.) and laid them against my zucchini and pumpkin mounds. Even though I put tape around the edges, they are not leak proof. Thus, lay them at an angle to keep the sweet slug poison from seeping out. Yes, I am feeling quite like an evil villainess with this project. I'm like the Cruella De Ville of Garden Pests. Muahahahaah...

Okay, okay. Enough evil villainy (sigh).

One of the things that I really appreciated about the design of this simple trap was the fact it had somewhat of a lid. Being that I live in a rainforest, it will help the beer bait to last a little longer versus the old 'stick the styrofoam cup in your garden' method.

Now, about the results! I went outside the next day, and I had a slug massacre to clean up! I probably had 20 of the little boogers in my bottles! Woo Hoo! I brought them in, removed the tape, dumped the 'contents' down the loo and taped/filled them up again for round two. I've had them out there for a couple of days and have quite a collection again. At this point I will keep refilling every few days until growing season is done.

This experiment was definitely a huge success!! Thank you! You are my slug erradicating hero.

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