Friday, August 09, 2013

Slug Trails

This is day two of the slug trail in the back room.  I don’t know if it is the same slug each night or whether they take it in turns.  There is just the one single trail.  I don’t know whether the slug hitched a lift in when I brought the veggie box in the other day, or whether it has found some little hole underneath the door.  

I read a statistic a while ago that at any one time there are only 4% of slugs above ground.  That means there are 94% somewhere else. 

An internet search came up with a number of solutions:-

The most popular answer with 29% of the votes was divorce worked for me”.  I don’t get it!  I am assuming that the slug in this particular instance is the husband.  Witty though it might be, it doesn’t solve my particular slug problem – which isn’t my husband!

There were small gaps in the floor boards near the wall and the floor was carpeted, I then removed all carpets, which I was going to do anyway and filled all around the gaps between the walls and floors and have not had that problem again, now 4 years on.” I am not planning to remove all my carpets – except perhaps a stair carpet and the one in the front bedroom.  This solution seems very labour intensive and I think I lack the essential skills to do a good job.

Get up at 3am on a damp night, go outside with a good torch ( flashlight) and half fill a bucket with very hot water, you can eliminate up to about 200 in a night, the idea being to eliminate them BEFORE they get to your house.”  The damp night gives me plenty of options.  I’d have to buy a good torch.  I’d also have to remember to put the water heater on.  But 3.00 am is a bit of a challenge.  I don’t really want to kill 200 slugs in a night – just the one that leaves trails in the back room.  Killing 200 seems a bit extreme.  If you kill 200 slugs a night, and, according to my statistic, only 4% of slugs are above ground at any one time…that’s a lot so slugs in the vicinity.

 “You can create a trap for the by taking a 2 litre bottle, laying it on its side and cut 2 or 3 rectangular slits ( 1 inch x 1/2 inch) in a row. Pour some beer into the bottle through the slits and leave it there. The slugs will be attracted to the sugar and yeast in the beer, climb up the sides of the bottle and drown in the beer.” I’m just trying to picture this one.  Where exactly do the slits go?  I guess if it says the slugs are climbing then it’s likely to be along the top.  I can think of a much better use of the beer.  This has science experiment written all over it!  Do I have a 2 litre bottle?  Am I willing to share my beer with a slug?  If there is more than one slug involved, I can imagine them working together as a team to roll the bottle over and have the beer spill out.  The trails might be more erratic than before.  The drunken slugs maybe can’t find their way out and I have to deal with not just their trails. Maybe the slugs go on to tell their pals the next night about the free beer!  Maybe I need to find a teetotal slug that’s willing to act as a bouncer and stand, or lie, across the hole I haven’t yet located.  Supposing they bribe my bouncer slug – a back hander in his pocket – and he lets the slugs have free reign in the back room.  Maybe they sent slug messages on slug mobile phones – like a rave for slugs.  Your right – I’m taking it too far.

“Do not use the pellets as someone suggested - - when the birds eat the poisoned slugs what do you think happens to the birds?”  Is this a rhetorical question? I will NOT use slug pellets.  I promise.

“They hate egg shells…” We had eggs for breakfast.  This is a possibility.  How many egg shells are we talking about?

“or banana skins…” I’m letting the imagination run with this one. 

“I put salt across the doorway outside, and I have never seen them since.”  I think we have the solution.  I can do salt.  What about low sodium salt? Putting it outside? What if it rains? Is my salted path no longer a slug killer?

What is it about slugs and salt that is so lethal? Here you go…

slugs and salt simply don’t mix, and when the two come into contact the slug’s life expectancy is rapidly diminished to a few seconds.  The slug contains a lot of water, which is essential for its survival. Sprinkling with salt draws that water out, and the poor creature dies of dehydration.” 

Well, there you go – all you need to know about getting rid of slugs.  I am off to find a bag of salt – and a banana skin…

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