Beer, Wool and Rhubarb

Beer and Rhubarb

The battles have begun…and it’s official, I HATE SLUGS!!!!

I am now in full battle mode.  The slugs started it! The sneaky little people haters have been out, undercover of darkness and enjoyed a slap up meal on my rhubarb and comfrey plants. Consequently, I’ve spent two days looking for ways to KILL slugs without resorting to pesticides.  My ‘slug problem’ is most definitely exacerbated by the fact that plot 5A hasn’t been cultivated for several years.  According to research (what a project!! haha) the average garden ‘homes’ around 20,000 slugs and snails and each slug/snail lays approximately 100 eggs several times a year! This could mean 6,000,000 eggs per garden or more! Flipping heck!

So what are my options?

Option 1: Beer Traps

Slugs are party gastropods, living it up all night and rampaging through my beloved plot 5A!  Well, apparently they love a pint of beer too! Slugs find beer irresistible and are attracted by the smell.

I clearly don’t know anything about slug anatomy but was curious to find out how they sniff out tasty snacks (and beer).  One quick ‘google’ later and…‘slugs smell with their whole body!’ They are giant snotty noses!!!! They also have green blood, and 27,000 teeth!! 27,000! No wonder they are such successful munchers!

Anyway, I’ve rummaged through the kitchen cupboards, found a number of glass ‘posh pudding’ jars, stolen a can of beer from the fridge and placed beer ‘slug’ party pools around my plants.

Option 2: Give them a hearty cereal breakfast

Slugs love to scoff cereals only one slight problem…once eaten it swells inside the slug causing, well, I don’t think I need to spell it out! Cereal also mops up their slime making it difficult for them to slip away.  Fat slugs are literally breakfast for the birdies!

Bags of cheap porridge have now been added to the weekly shopping list.

Option 3: Eggshells or Grit

Another ‘google’ later… ‘A slug’s slime enables it to glide without difficulty over glass shards, or even the edge of a razor blade.’

Okay, scribble that one off the list.

Option 4: Wool Pellets

‘Wool pellets are manufactured from the fleece of sheep. Wool fibres have very fine scales with small barbs on the tip called cuticle cells. These cause wool fibres to felt and matt together. Wool fibres are very hygroscopic and this plus the sand and grit already in the compound and the potassium salts from the sweat glands of the sheep absorb some of the slime from the slug’s foot. 

As soon as water is added the fibres swell.  The fibres irritate the slug foot so, in theory this causes Mr Slug to find an easier snack.

I’ve purchased a small bag and have wrapped my rhubarb, borage and comfrey in a snuggly blanket of wool. We shall see!

Option 5: Nematodes

Completely harmless to humans, birds and animals, and perfectly safe around food crops. Apparently nem­at­odes are already present in my soil! However you can purchase a ‘micro’ army to help fight the war.  Definitely adding this to my list of weapons but would like a few opinions…Has anyone tried nematodes?

Option 6: Slug-lamping!

Yet to be tried but I have a few brave ‘Tiddlers’ that love a gruesome battle, if I supply them with head torches, a bucket and a weapon of their choice…

Option 7: Prepare a Battle Plan

Thank you once again ‘Little Ears’ for my Christmas present now I can fully prepare the next stage of my battle plan…

50 ways

9 thoughts on “Beer, Wool and Rhubarb”

  1. Another solution – frogs! Evidently they keep the slug population down. A neighbouring plot of ours has a small pond. I can’t say I’ve noticed a reduction in our slug numbers though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would adore a little frog pond. I’m not sure that my plot is big enough though 😦 However if the ‘no-show tenant’ is evicted from the plot next door then a frog pond is a possibility 😀

      Like

  2. Beer traps are what I use and they work really well. We have a healthy population of hedgehogs as well which helps (I have made sure we have plenty of places for Mr Hog to hide in thus making our garden more attractive to him) 🙂

    Good luck with your battle . Interesting comment about cereal. I always have porridge oats in the cupboard, so may have to give that a go in conjunction with the beer traps 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I visited a large walled kitchen garden this week – they were using beer traps…loads of them! So my hopes are pinned on beer to be honest.
      I’m told that the porridge works but can start rotting and ‘clag’ up around the plant so you have to keep an eye! I’m going to give it a go too! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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