How to get rid of slugs? That’s the next big question now that I’ve got my peas and spinach planted. You see, I just know there’s an army of them hiding behind the rocks watching me work and waiting for me to go indoors so they can get stuck in the way they did to this baby broad bean plant. There are many remedies available, but is there such a thing as a surefire, foolproof how to get rid of slugs trick? I must admit I used to use the old blue slug pellets but no more. For one thing it is very unpleasant to find them lurking in the curl of a lettuce leaf on your salad plate and since developing allergies to garden chemicals and feeds, as well as certain weeds and brambles I have to be a lot more careful about products I come in contact with. I have been trying to find ways to kill the slimy little horrors in a more ‘enlightened’ way.
DEATH BY A MILLION NIBBLES
There are loads of tips on how to get rid of slugs on every gardening site or blog, but do any of them work? I have heard pretty mixed reviews from gardeners regarding eggshells and it seems to me that it’s a lot of work, washing eggshells, collecting the quantity needed, storing them and crushing them – if they’re not going to save all your crops from death by a million nibbles. Still, I’m keeping my jury out on that one for the moment until I see how the old beer trick works out.
ANYONE FOR BEER?
Having decided to try beer against the scourge of the slug I did wonder if they had a preference but told myself that unless I have attracted a batch of superior slugs from the real-ale slug society they’d hardly be that fussy, so off I went to Lidl and picked up some cheap beer.
In the interests of using up all those plastic containers I’ve been saving and for fear of becoming a mad hoarder who has to tunnel my way out of my house and sleep on top of the fridge, I cut the bottoms off some of my saved water bottles. (I use the top part as a watering funnel for my seedlings.)
THE SLUG PUB
I buried the bottle bottoms in my raised beds and filled them with beer. The plan is that the slugs, attracted by the aroma of alcohol will slither across the soil, ignoring the delicate little spinach leaves and pea-shoots in pursuit of the demon drink. Then, when they arrive at the little slug-pub I made for them they are supposed to tip themselves straight into the containers in their desperation for a drink and then quickly drown, as they are unable to climb out again.
The sensitive gardener can remain guilt-free in the knowledge that the slugs died in beery bliss. Not a bad way to go for a slug and surely better than death by boot crunching.There does seem to be a weakness in this plan though. What if the slugs prefer to enjoy their alcoholic refreshments after they eat?
If that’s the case I’ll be left with a container full of beer soaked and spinach-stuffed slugs and a raised bed full of half eaten plants. So, in the meantime I’ll be keeping a sober eye on the situation and will let you know if there’s any news from my slug-pub. Oh don’t go yet I also tried out some more ‘healthy’ methods on my weeds as well.
Bye for now and have fun in the garden.