Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slug slugger

I'm on a slug offensive.

We had a surprise pumpkin grow in our courtyard. We gutted the Halloween pumpkin on the concrete, and some of the seeds washed into the small garden bed. A few weeks later and there was cute little pun'kin plant growing. I felt like a farmer. An accidental farmer. (Get it? Oh I crack myself up...)

Unfortunately, that wee vine grew from a sweet baby into a hulking teenager, and started to belligerently take up all the tricycle riding space in the courtyard. I chucked the offending runners over the seven foot high concrete wall, thinking that would be the end of it. But instead it happily grew up, and over, and down the other side, then started to make a mad dash for the garage. I hear "Jack and the Beanstalk" was originally titled "Jack and the Pumpkin Vine."

This vine, however, did not provide a me with conduit for riches or random genetically modified geese. Instead it brought a slug invasion. They must have been lurking on the other side of the wall, wondering how to enter our pristine, pest free courtyard, but too short to unlatch the gate. That dastardly pumpkin opened, for us, the portal to the underworld, and for them a route to an embarrassment of greenery. They've eaten my geraniums, my pansies, my petunias and now my hydrangea. The hydrangea was a step too far! I bought that at Woolworths for $19.99! It was an investment! Damn slugs.

So, with the success of my recent spider decimation fresh in my memory, I have again gone on the attack. The pumpkin is gone, the portal is closed. At dawn and dusk you can find me out in the courtyard wielding a small red plastic children's spade, mercilessly flinging them back over the wall to the badlands beyond (and by badlands, I mean the driveway, but it's a pretty bad place for a slug. I'm not trying to impugn my neighbors yard work or anything.)

I'm finding fewer each day, but it's a vain hope that I actually catch them all. Perhaps carpet bombing with epsom salts will be in my near future. Either that or I rip out my bedraggled investment hydrangea and adopt a literal scorched earth policy, letting nothing grow for months until they are starved out. Has anyone tried starving a slug? How long does it take? I'm sure someone has written a scientific paper on it at some stage, people have researched the most bizarre topics!

If you have any slug eradication techniques you use at your place, short of a bucket of petrol and match, I would love to hear them. Actually, if you have used a match, I would like to hear that too. I'm really peeved about my hydrangea, and very willing to listen to vicarious stories of revenge.


  1. You are such a terrific writer! I just loved reading this!

    we have a novel snail and slug eradication technique.....'stripey' our pet blue-tongue lizard! The kids hunt in the garden for snails and slugs for him to eat!

  2. We don't have slugs (yet), but coincidentally, we have a pumpkin vine (or 8) that has sprouted in our front yard. I just blogged about it today! Must be something in the air.

    There are slug pellets you can put out. I don't remember if they actually work but I do remember being in charge of pouring them into the garden when I was a youngster.

    Came by via Down to Earth blog.

  3. Hi, I have just found my way over from Rhonda's =). For slugs and snails I have found unbelievably successful to put out a little bowl of beer (it can be leftovers, doesn't have to be fresh). They're attracted to drink, get drunk and drown. Maybe we just have alcoholic slugs, but it worked a treat. Goodluck!

  4. Crushed up eggshells are also a deterrent - they don't like the texture as they slide over them. As are coffee grounds, I have heard. And smelly clove/teatree/eucalyptus sprays seem to deter most unwanted things in the garden!
    I love your blog - I too came hear from Rhonda. I don't see many without the panel of ads down the side. Great work! x

  5. My brother had great luck getting rid of slugs by leaving saucers of beer out overnight. Slugs love beer, and they do seem to get drunk very quickly and then die happy (drown). However, the alcohol-laced slugs were eagerly devoured by the local hedgehogs, who also became drunk, and kept falling in the (very small) pond. After fishing out several cold, wet, and very quickly sobered up hedgehogs, my brother put a little ramp in the pond for them to climb out by themselves!

  6. Anonymous and the story of the drunk hedgehogs gave me a wonderful laugh this morning!

    I am new to this blog, thanks to Rhonda, and felt the laughter was a good introduction! I look forward to reading more from you and your commenters.


  7. I also vote for beer. I get the cheapest variety I can and put it in small containers just deep enough to drown the little %%#%s. I am sure the makers would be most upset with me calling their product 'slug bait.'