A couple of days ago we had 24 hours of drizzle & a hot humid evening.
Usually the sort of weather slugs & snails thrive in. Not so, I went out ot
my vege patch in the evening & found stuff all slugs. The intensive beer
trapping I did seems to have made a big difference in the slug population.
The few I did see were dispatched with some salt. The gardens are raised so
my mate Mr hedgehog hasn't scoffed any. I put the success down to beer
In woodland, garden and meadow studies, beer traps are used to assess slug
species and populations whereever the slugs are INTENDED TO REMAIN
Beer traps do attract slugs but don't kill them unless the trap is deep
enough slugs can't reach over the top to get out (so saucers don't work,
slugs climb right off the saucers, but Yoplay yogurt plastic cups are just
barely too deep for a slug to climb out of, so it drowns in the beer).
Such a trap would also endanger frogs & small lizards & beneficial insects
that per chance fell in, without really resulting in a dramatic lessening
of the slug population.
Because slugs can drown, it really doesn't matter if it's Welch's grape
juice or Martinellis or plain water. The reason it's beer is because the
smell of yeast attracts slugs (though the odor is gone after about two
hours and the beer should be changed throughout the night for maximum
value; slugs can't smell stale beer).
Slugs have favorite beers. A study at the University of Colorado
discovered slugs dislike some beers & just won't pay attention to them.
They did indeed rather like Michelob & Budweiser. They were MOST enamored
of Kingsbury Malt, which is not alcoholic.
The Colorado study used DEEP "professional" slug traps that drowned slugs.
But a University of Ohio study which did not wish to kill the slugs used
shallow beer traps with "lids" for the sake of population & species
studies. Fresh beer was used as an attractant which in no way harmed the
slugs. The "hide box" beer traps attracted a lot of slugs, which liked
the beer enough to hang out in the trap (clinging to the trap roof) for
easy count & species assessment. Essentially beer in a hide-habitat made
them happy rather than dead.
It's always hard to assess what's going on in one's own garden with slugs
when their visibility is greatest in dark of night, the numbers out of
hiding reliant on humidity, moisture, temperature, and season. You could
piss all the place or spread cat-vomit around and conclude that it scared
off all the slugs when it was actually a change in humidity that impacted
the numbers visible.
Actual field studies that compare measurable plant damage thus restrict
the plant populations for identical comparisons under identical
conditions, discovering the only artificial control of slugs (other than
plucking and killing with flashlight in deep of night) is iron phosphate,
which causes them first to lose the ability to eat any plants then to
slime themselves to death. All other methods of population control of
slugs have slight impact on garden health, and any illusion to the
contrary is not well supported by controlled studies conducted in
university experimental gardens.
-paghat the ratgirl
visit my temperate gardening website:
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.