Slug Control – AKA We’re New At This

I should start by mentioning that Opie and I are relatively new at this gardening stuff. I mean, I did grow tomatoes for a few years when I was a kid but it’s amazing how much more work it is when my dad isn’t there to pick up the slack.

I thought I could just go out, throw our seeds and plants in the garden and bam! Fresh vegetables galore!

I hadn’t counted on slugs.


We have one garden plot that is infested with crop-destroying, slime-leaving, hermaphrodite-being SLUGS. Last week, I went out one fine morning, fully intending to harvest some fresh baby spinach and what did I find? Devastation! A spinach wasteland of chewed plants and unearthed roots. All because a colony of slugs got there first and decided, in their evil little hearts that they wanted my spinach more than I did!

I mean, just LOOK at them. They even look evil:


In any case, I immediately began to research the best way to exorcise the slugs without contaminating the environment with poisons and the like. And my research indicated that beer traps are the bee’s knees in slug removal. You take a little bowl, bury it to the rim in the affected area, fill it with beer and voila! The slugs slime their way in, get sluggish from drinking too much beer and drown.

It seemed a little too good to be true but let’s be honest, beer is a main staple of the Pawprints kitchen. We may run out of bread, eggs, flour, or butter, but we ALWAYS have beer. There were some mild protests about the beer plan, largely because Opie has become something of a craft beer connoisseur and craft beer is slightly more expensive than the Bud Light he drank in St. Louis, protests in the nature of “You’re going to do WHAT with that milk stout? What do you mean you’re giving it to the slugs, have you lost your mind?!”

But these were overcome with a much more impressive show of histrionics “Did you see the spinach? Did you? Do you think I can handle more of this devastation? DO YOU REALLY?”

And a beer baiting we did go!

And I did catch 3 slugs…3 little slugs and our dog, Bubba, drinking the beer and licking his chops.  Not exactly a screaming success.



Bub suggested that we should bait 10 or 12 beer traps and leave them all over the yard or, failing that, pour some milk stout directly in his bowl and he would knock the slugs into it later but that just didn’t seem appropriate.  

 Instead, I headed back to the computer for more information. And, sadly. the best way to get rid of the little monsters is outright murder. Go out late at night and kill as many of them as you can, then turn over the soil the next day to kill their nasty little eggs.

 So, now, every night Opie and I arm ourselves with flashlights and garden trowels and tiptoe around the entire yard looking for slugs (one of us with the unholy glee of a serial killer or die-hard vigilante intent on saving the poor defenseless spinach from the evil, gaping maws of the invading slug horde, the other with unenthusiastic acceptance that giving in to your new spouse’s somewhat lunatic requests is less painful than logical resistance. I’ll let you all guess which is which). We search under all the spinach leaves, along the rock border, and underneath the mulch. Whenever we find one, we dig it out with the garden trowel and–even now–I jump back and squeal in revulsion. We used to dump salt on top of them but I kept imagining them writhing in the throes of salt-induced agony and I couldn’t take it…I mean, sure they’re evil but torture is bad for my karma.  So now we chop them in half. Which is a quicker death for them but is so revolting that it makes me squeal even more.

 Can you imagine what the neighbors are thinking?  They see lights flashing around the yard, hear a loud thunk, then a girlish squeal….Kind of wondering how long it’s going to take them to call 911 to report a pair of lunatic intruders next door.



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