This year I am trying different slug deterrents. Slugs do have their uses, but it would appear that they don’t adhere to terms and conditions – my terms that is. In an ecological system, they should work with other creatures to clear the land of dead matter and debris, in order for the next generation plants to make their appearance. This, however, is not an ideal world.
Apparently there are only 5% of slugs above ground and in that case, another 95% is quite a sizeable family to feed, but if living beyond their means, means tucking into my plants, then there are consequences. Although not entirely their fault that a cold, wet garden is their paradise, I still have to help nature keep a balance. A balance of less slugs and more plants. So the battle begins.
I have already used wool pellets with some sweet peas and not one young plant has been touched. If you have only one foot to glide over surfaces and the lubricant gets absorbed in the wool, you could be stranded, unable to move for a long time. The pellets, expand and become fluffy when wet and eventually, the wool breaks down and adds to the compost.
I am not a fan of the blue pellets but I splashed out and bought an expensive slug trap, it was expensive since most of the traps I use are free! It’s a neat box, more of a pod which has a chamber to hold the dreaded blue pellets. The neat trick with this is, all you need is a bottle of scent and the slug’s desire for procreation, and it will lure them to their destiny. They think they are being enticed by a seductress of the species. Chanel No.5 hasn’t a look in with this little bottle, one whiff of it sends out the ‘come and get me’ invitation in the slug world. Instead of a wanton hussy waiting for them, there is a tasty feast of blue pellets. They meet their destiny disappointed and very dead.
I have been in the habit of using beer traps – the ‘Gastropub’, they are good but it would appear that my little gastropods like to dine before going to the pub – on my plants. They also meet their destiny but I think they die very drunk and very happy.
Another free trap, will be yeast because apparently it’s the yeast in beer which attracts our one-footed friends, so with a mix of flour, sugar and dried yeast, I hope I can offer a dessert from my ‘gastropatisserie’.
Sometimes a bit of hands-on treatment is required, a little bit of salt on their tails make quick shrift of them. Not quite as dignified as the rest but they are reduced to a gelatinous blob in seconds making them a bit messy to dispose of. As a result, I keep a salt pot handy and just pop the offending slug in it, it’s much easier and cleaner in dealing with what’s left of their remains.
The first time I put the pod out on it’s own, there was be at least 30 slugs and two snails dispatched from this world. I then did a one-night test of all methods of slug disposal, and caught two in the beer trap, none in the yeast trap and several in the bought slug pod. The yeast trap did catch some on the second night as did the pod, but not the beer trap.
The beer and yeast traps are virtually free but they are slower. I came to the conclusion that it would be well worth investing in the wool pellets for the most vulnerable plants. They are preventative, so neither lives nor plants lost.