Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Slug Trap Experiment

Everybody say "Ewwwww".
With seedlings everywhere it's a regular smorgasbord for the slimies and something needs to be done!

Slugs do have an important job to do. Without them (apparently) we'd be up to our elbows in the pooh of every living thing. Somehow though...the fact that slugs save us from mountains of shoite by eating it does little to endear them to me.
I still REALLY don't want them slithering over me dinner.

This season, in my garden and in my allotment, I am concentrating on permaculture of which is to observe and interact with nature. I'm not sure that slug and slimey slaughter is what they they had in mind but too bad. The slugs have got to go.

So my first observation/experiment is to find out what is the best bait for my slug traps. Slug traps are very simple to make....just cut two little trap doors into a milk carton. Fill with a few inches of very tempting liquid. Fold the trapdoors in to make little diving boards and 'plant' the traps about three feet apart.
Yeah, you need a lot of traps.

And that brings me to my first issue.
The tradditional liquid to use in homemade slug traps is beer.

Years ago, when you could still enjoy a fag in pubs, you could get the contents of the driptrays from the landlord for free.

Now, pubs are more sophisticated (or without soul) and my husband  no longer frequents them.
So I am forced to buy booze for slugs and I can't help thinking there is a flaw in this plan.

It's not really cricket is it? To buy the chap a beer and then drown him in it.
It's also bloody expensive!

So how does the beer trap work exactly? that's what I need to know. What attracts the slugs to it? Because if it's the yeastie smell of beer, I can replicate that with some bakers dried yeast sachets or brewers yeast tablets for a fraction of the cost.

  And why do they drown instead of just slithering back out and staggering home with the hiccups?
Are they actually so pis... I mean too drunk to find the exit? If so, I've a sneaking suspicion the yeast won't do the trick.

So here is my first experiment.
One trap with lager in it.
An identical trap (well, bar the witty signage...) with this yeastie recipe in;
1 teaspoon dried yeast.
1 teaspoon sugar.
1 teaspoon flour.
couple of inches of warm water.

 Both traps side by side in a slug ridden raised bed.
Results to follow......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did the slug experiment go?

We must know