I imagine that our struggle against slugs will be ongoing here in the wet northwest. Each night the gastropods slither out, and each morning I survey the damage they’ve caused. Although we live in a wildlife sanctuary, I don’t have issues with killing slugs. Gardeners everywhere share the deep questions – “Just what purpose do slugs serve?” and “Why were slugs created?” While slugs are as valuable as earthworms in creating rich soil and are part of the food chain, I’m happy to speed up that food chain process. I’d feed all of them to the hens if I could.
I’ve purchased and used the Sluggo brand of pellets, but to cover this amount of garden the pellets are cost prohibitive, plus I’ve read some articles arguing that Sluggo is neither truly organic nor safe for pets. Not great, so I use it sparingly. Salting slugs is a common practice and does kill them, but also affects soil and kills some of the tender plants near the salt, so that’s not an option for me. Also salting requires running around pouring salt on slugs in the wee hours, watching them shrivel, and having to clean up the mess afterwards.
A few days ago we stopped in at the corner grocery store and purchased the cheapest brand of beer we could find there with one purpose in mind: Winning the slug battle! We’ve learned that slugs are naturally in love with beer so much that they will climb into bowls of it at night and drown. So we baited slugs with beer last night… and it worked.
The bait: (I apologize if this is your favorite brand.)