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11 June 2010

slugs are gross [More:]

...and yet strangely fascinating. I've been fighting a pitched battle against the slimy little bastards in our garden this spring, and reading up on them for part of the morning.

ewwwww!!! slugs!!

Wow! Slugs!

hmm, I did not know that about slugs...

and last but not least: OMGWTFLOL slugs!!

Turns out the slugs eating my lettuces are likely an introduced European species, Deroceras reticulatum. Boring little creatures for the most part; they apparently thrive out here in various cool, moist microclimates. Like in our yard, which happens to be moist, fertile floodplain soil at the very foot of the Flatirons. And apparently also in the many, many cow pies splattered about on the local recreational open space trails :P

We're in for yet another 2-3 day stint of cool, rainy weather, after which I'm going to have to set out more board and beer traps.
I had a pitched battle with slugs one year and I won!

See, they like to hide under things like rocks and sticks and logs so they can stay moist during the day.

I couldn't kill them (moral quandary) so I went to the garden and removed everything the slugs could hide under.

If that didn't work (and it did) I would have then made a garden border of copper sheeting.

The slug's slime, in contact with the copper, creates a small electric charge that shocks the little blighters into "running" away.

posted by MonkeyButter 11 June | 14:38
When there is not much rain in your forecast for a while, buy some diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it around plants they like to nibble on. Works as well as anything you can do. Also if you have solid objects in your garden or around it (rocks, cedar logs, whatever) go outside shortly after sunset with a flashlight and you can often find a lot of them on top of the objects and smash them or whatever.
hi weretable!

I did in fact think about using d.e.; however we are also fortunate enough have a bounty of earthworms (which aren't so common in the usually rock-hard clay Colorado soil), and unfortunately diatomaceous earth is bad for worms as well. So I'd like to avoid that route if at all possible.

Caffeine and acidity are 2 things that apparently deter slugs, so I've added that to my beer-and-board trap arsenal, and have been diligently dumping my coffee grounds around the plants. Our roses, especially, are zooming along in all their hypercaffeinated glory.

So far this all seems to be working for the most part, tho the rain refuses to stop and the slugs have been persistent. mr. lfr. and I have gone out on quite a few evenings with our headlamps and done some serious slug-a-ma-geddon. Yuck. Tho we have also seen plenty of long, plump, fat nightcrawlers lazing about / mating as well of an evening. So there is that.
posted by lonefrontranger 11 June | 15:37
≡ Click to see image ≡

(sorry, couldn't help it. made it small)

Mostly I've only had to deal with cutworms. I gotta say I love that Ask a Scientist site. That's getting bookmarked.
posted by lysdexic 11 June | 16:07
and smash them

posted by MonkeyButter 11 June | 16:40
Sluggy !!
posted by rollick 11 June | 21:28
lol lysdexic and rollick, I love you guys :)
posted by lonefrontranger 11 June | 22:16
Putting Together a playlist for the Art Monkey's Ball, || :-P