Monday, June 23, 2008


Slugs have been eating my dahlias (see the eaten leaves in the photo above). I spent $10 on the bulbs and a good half hour planting them, and I'll be mad if I let those slugs win.

Not being from the region, I had no idea how to make war on a bunch of slugs.

So I did what anyone would do in my situation: I Googled SLUG MURDER.

I got all kinds of interesting and very strange sounding suggestions, from going outside at night with a headlamp and squishing them to spreading the ground with organic sharp things like eggshells and diatomaceous earth (like sand).

The best sounding thing was to kill them with slug killer (available in a variety of forms) but after consulting with my neighbor I decided against that because slug killer as it turns out can also kill dogs and cats (these slugs must be TOUGH!).

A good alternative, I was told, is beer.

So I dubiously went out and set up beer traps. I didn't have any cheap beer so the slugs were going to get my nice local Pyramid Heffeweisen beer, which smelled delicious as I poured it out and laid it around the yard.

As you can see, I caught some slugs! I got 5 total. They are much smaller than I thought they would be. We'll see if I get more tonight. I was beside myself when I saw them, but then I started to wonder... how long can I keep them around in the beer before I have to waste another one of my precious Pyramids and start all over? And how long am I going to have to keep this up? Well unless one of you has some advice (Peggy...? Eric...?), I guess that will have to be my next Google search.


Peggy said...

The slug pellets will kill dogs and cats IF THEY EAT THE WHOLE CONTAINER. A few pellets near your dahlias won't do any damage to the local wildlife. Just don't go nuts with them.

We have a BIG slug and snail problem here. I have resorted to using the poison in the greenhouse. I put slug pellets down to keep the herbs I grow in the greenhouse safe.

Eric said...

I was paged...

We get snails, but during the day they hide in bushes or under things then move to the garden at night... so, I put the pellets between the garden and these areas(I have no animals). If the bulbs are in a central location, I'd try diatomaceous earth around the bed...

But, most people I've talked to do the beer thing... but get a 6pack of PBR or schlitz. It hurts to see it be waisted.

uncle bruce said...

Go ahead, use the good stuff. It's not wasted. I'm sure they appreciate it. That's why you got 5.

Uncle KT said...

I must have been a slug in a past life because crawling into a container filled with beer sounds like a great idea!