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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's Not Easy Being A Terrestrial Gastropod

A what? You know--a slug!

Tell me how many people you know who love slugs? Not many, I'll bet. So they suffer from a lack of love. Not only that, slug "control" for ridding your garden of the little mollusks, is not exactly humane. Just look at this advice from The Dollar Stretcher:
One of the most effective barriers, however, seems to be copper tape, as it works wet or dry. When slugs and snails make contact with the copper, there is a toxic reaction, similar to an electric shock, which repels them.
The best time to hunt for slugs is 2 hours after sunset so take a flashlight. Finish the slugs off in a bucket of soapy water.

I suppose beer drinkers would consider beer traps to be a more humane control. But wait, know what beer The Dollar Stretcher suggests works best? Budweiser. Yeah, right, a Bud is the humane way of slug control? Me, I'd rather shrivel up and die than drink a Bud!** And speaking of shriveling up and dying, one common treatment for slug control is to sprinkle them with salt. So cruel.

Well, at least here on the East coast, we don't have the problem they do in California--banana slugs!

photo by Jim Whitehead

So, as I did yesterday, I will end with a few delightful picture books about slugs!

Crew, Gary. Tracks. [JP CRE] Joel discovers the origin of the shiny silver tracks that he sees one night on a camping trip and then again later in his own backyard.

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. Some Smug Slug. [JP EDW] A smug slug that will not listen to the animals around it comes to an unexpected end.

Pearson, Susan. Slugs in Love. [JP PEA] Marylou and Herbie, two garden slugs, write love poems in slime to one another but have trouble actually meeting.

**Just a little aside--you may not want to share a better brand of beer with a slug, but, if you want to treat yourself, there are plenty of local breweries in the region! Go to Beertown, the website of the Brewers Association, and click on New Hampshire or Massachusetts. You may be surprised at how many brewpubs are now in the area! Or, look for this book on our shelves: The Good Beer Guide to New England by Andy Crouch [647.9574 CRO].

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