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Yikes, the slugs are out!


What to do?

The gardening purist would begin his slimy search-and-destroy mission at about 1 a.m. Armed with a flashlight, he'd search them out, pick them off the leaves with bare fingers (or gloves, for the squeamish) and drop them into a jar of salty water.

But I don't hear much enthusiasm for such direct encounters. And I hear even less enthusiasm for a slug-eating contest, such as happens in Northern California where some brave diner swallowed just over 50 banana slugs (where the name indicates their size!) with all of the free wine he could drink.

Here are more realistic ways to say so-long slug:

  1. Roll out a band of copper wire along the perimeter of your garden. Their slimy bodies get a small electrical charge if they try to cross--so they don't!

  2. Dust microscopic razon-blade-like diatoms (ancient seashell creatures) around your plants. When slugs slither across this dust (called diatomaceous earth), they die a death of a thousand cuts.

  3. Spread a goop or pellets containing a low-toxicity poison called metaldehyde around your plants. Slugs pick up the scent, eat it and dehydrate.

  4. Sink little margarine tubs of beer to ground level among your plants. Slugs gravitate to the smell and drown--probably in a better mood than other treatments.

  5. Ask for the copper wire, diatomaceous earth, slug goop and pellets at garden centers.

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