interesting tip for avoiding slugs

I read this in New Scientist, I believe.
Take a battery that's apparently drained (doesn't work in your walkman anymore, for instance). It will most likely have some sort of voltage left in it, though.
Put the battery on the ground near your precious strawberries. Connect a loop of un-insulated wire to one end, and another to the other end. Place the loops so they are around the strawberries, one within the other, so the wires are within a few millimetres of each other.
Now, whenever a slug smells your yummy strawberries, it will get an electric shock if it tries to approach!
Haven't tried this, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Kae
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This method, whilst good in theory, is never going to work in practice. How would you keep two loops of wire big enough to go round your strawberries just a few mm apart all the way round? Nobody's soil is that flat for one thing, and don't forget weed growth, animals, wind and rain. It's a no-go.
Now try this instead. Use twin-core speaker cable instead. The two conductors are always separated from each other, but not by much. Shave off the insulation to expose the conductors and there you go. Getting the soil flat enough is still a problem, but not if you grow your strawbs on a raised bed/cradle/whatever. Then you can put the speaker cable round the legs of it and wiring up will be easy.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@spamlessness.co.uk says...

Yeah right. As soon as the wire contacts wet soil (you do water your atrawberries?) it'll discharge the battery.
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Sheesh! Maybe put the whole darned cluster of plants in a giant bug zapper. This will keep out all birds, cats, dogs, slugs, insects, even children's sticky fingers.
More seriously, are there no more "natural" or botanical solutions? I am just getting into this hobby, and even I know stories of plants such as marigolds, etc that have been used to chase away various pests. What eats slugs? What chases them away? Are there plants that repel them? I fear the battery trick will have the problem of shorting out and dying very rapidly. I have heard of devices that periodically cause vibrations or some such disturbance in the ground to chase away some kind of pest. Maybe there is such solution for slugs?
Dominic
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French people.
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of
LOL ;-))) That must make them slug eating cheese eating surrender monkeys, yes?
(looks over at TV, sees the celebrations of 200th anniversary of Trafalgar, chuckles a bit) Steve
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He said slugs, not snails....
Dominic
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Ducks.
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There are plenty of natural organic slug solutions, plenty of inorganic chemical ones too, the advantage of the natural ones is that they don't harm the ecosystem, the advantage of the inorganic chemical ones is that they actually work.
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Too true
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Bah humbug -- something is EATING *my* marigolds!!
About the only thing here that nothing eats are the petunias (except crows eat the red ones). My volunteer petunias are so thick they've choked out weeds, grass, and even the cats don't smash thru 'em any more! (They also bloomed in weird shapes and colours... with blotches, spots, and wrinkles!)

Any sort of salt or drying agent should work. Try a swath of borax powder as a slug barrier. (We don't have slugs so I haven't had cause to try this myself, but I know it works with ants.)

I suppose one could use one of those mats that static-shock a pet if it gets on the couch? but they're not really designed to get wet, and damp soil will probably corrode 'em quickly.
~REZ~ who is reminded of this tale:
New Mexico was having a problem with armadillos. So they turned to their neighbours in Texas for aid..
NM: Help! We're overrrun with armadillos! What kills armadillos?? TX: Coyotes. Want some? NM: Yes!!
Later... NM: Help! We're overrrun with coyotes! What kills coyotes?? TX: Rattlesnakes. Want some? NM: Yes!!
Still later... NM: Help! We're overrrun with rattlesnakes! What kills rattlesnakes?? TX: Armadillos. Want some? NM: Didn't we just leave this party??!
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Kae Verens wrote:

I think you will find that a loop of bare copper wire without the battery will work just as well.
Lorenzo L. Love http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.     Cicero
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I once tried digging holes and putting small plastic cups (with 1/2 the height cut off) filed with beer in them. A bunch of slugs fell in and died. We had so many problems that year, including the neighbors three cats, that nothing helped. However, the beer seemed to be pretty good.

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