Ground Boogers. The mushy blob of goo that slimes its way around your garden eating hostas, strawberries and everything in between. Those hateful little snots can somehow make their way from the garden dirt to the tips of all of your plants without the benefit of arms or legs.
If the Paralympics allowed shell-less terrestrial gastropod molluscs to compete … they’d win it all.
You probably know them as slugs.
I don’t have to worry about my slugs on my hostas, my chickens have ripped all of my hostas out. But Strawberries? Yes, I need to worry about my strawberries.
Last year I put straw beneath my strawberries to keep them clean. It worked. Those slug eaten strawberries filled with ant tunnels and slug snot didn’t have a single speck of dirt on them. Just slugs. They had lots of slugs on them
Straw you see is the perfect hiding spot for slugs to bed down in during the day. At night they flip off their straw blanket and worm their way around the fruit salad until it’s time to go to get into their straw bed again.
I hate them.
The other problem is slugs don’t really like strawberries. They, like a lot of pests, take a few bites then skulk away.
THAT’S when the opportunistic pests like woodlice and ants move in.
How to get rid of slugs?
The old wives tale about using beer to trap them – actually works the best.
But beer is for drinking, not for catching ground boogers. So instead of cracking open a $4 Guinness or a slightly cheaper Stella Artois, hell, even a Budweiser … make this DIY slug bait instead.
DIY Slug Bait
It’s the yeast in beer that slugs are attracted to, so as long as you can concoct something that replicates that, you’re golden.
This recipe also includes sugar and flour for the yeast to feed on.
2 cups water
2 tsps sugar
2 tsp flour
1 tsp yeast
- Add 2 cups of water to a jar or jug.
And yup. This is exactly how stained my fingers and nails are at this time of year.
2. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar.
3. Add 2 teaspoons of flour.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast. Shake well.
To control slugs in the garden just put any container into the ground so the lip is at ground level. Just dig out a bit of a hole in the soil and then pour in the slug chug. You don’t need to fill the container to the top but make sure that your container and solution are deep enough that they won’t evaporate within a couple of days.
Regularly check your containers for slugs and regularly replace your solution. It’s gonna smell astonishingly gross if you don’t.
One quick tip about keeping your strawberries away from slugs and off of the ground is to run string along your strawberry bed and hook the berries over it when they start to ripen. This helps make the berry much harder for the slug to get to (and let’s face it they may be agile but slugs are notoriously lazy). It also keeps the berries clean.
Now you can save the beer for your more refined backyard guests. The ones who only roll around in the dirt after they’ve got at least a 6 pack into them.
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